Easy Tips for Making Your Home Healthier

If you don't have time to deep clean, use our tips and top gadget picks to help you live a healthier life while saving time.

Creating a Healthier Home 02:14

Carley presents tech-savvy ways to reduce health hazards in your home.

I clean a lot. In spite of my incessant scrubbing and bleaching, it feels like there's always something dirty to clean up. With a husband, a couple kids and a dog, I'm bound to live in a dirty place. Most of it is harmless, but some of it can make my family sick. If you're not well, it pays to take a closer look at how you can banish mold, dust mites and dander to make your home healthier.

Clean the Dirtiest Places in Your Home

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Kitchen: Sink Area

Raw meat, raw fish, what’s left of dinner — the sink has plenty of growing bacteria. Give it a scrub with baking soda, then follow up with a white vinegar soak. Add a few tablespoons of vinegar to warm water, or place vinegar-saturated paper towels in the sink for 15 minutes to completely sanitize. 

Photo By: Carley Knobloch

Bathroom: Toothbrush

Water alone won't sanitize months of growing bacteria. Put your toothbrush in the dishwasher, or use a UV cleaner for 10 minutes to get rid of bacteria. 

Photo By: Carley Knobloch

Kitchen: Refrigerator Handle

Germs can live on refrigerator handles for at least two days. Apply a small amount of dishwashing soap to a damp microfiber cloth to wipe away bacteria. Avoid using bleach or other harsh cleaners to prevent chemicals from getting in your food.

Photo By: Carley Knobloch

Living Room: Remote Control

Everyone touches the remote, often times while snacking. Use a cotton swab dampened with rubbing alcohol to clean germs without damaging delicate buttons. Tip: Use disinfectant wipes to clean the remote in a hotel room. 

Photo By: Carley Knobloch

Kitchen: Faucet

The aerator on your faucet, the little screen at the bottom of the spout, is a hotbed of bacteria. Remove and soak it in white vinegar every couple months to get rid of germs and lime buildup.

Photo By: Carley Knobloch

Every Room: Light Switches

Light switches are one of the dirtiest items in your home, which results in an abundance of germs. To clean, spray a cloth with all-purpose cleaner or a 1:1 mixture of vinegar and water. Gently wipe the faceplate and switch.

Photo By: Carley Knobloch

Bathroom: Walls

Nobody wants to think about it, but when you flush with the toilet lid open, nearby surfaces get contaminated. Your favorite all-purpose spray or hydrogen peroxide is a simple solution to this nasty problem. 

Photo By: Carley Knobloch

Every Room: The Walls

While you're at it, go ahead and give all of your walls a good scrubbing. Wipe off any loose dust with a soft cloth, then gently scrub off any dirt with an all-purpose cleaner that's safe for your walls. (Test in an inconspicuous area first if you’re unsure.) Don’t forget the molding!

Photo By: DK - House Works ©2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Kitchen: Cutting Boards

A clean cutting board is important since you place food directly on it. Using soap can wear down a wooden board, but vinegar will gently disinfect it. Scrub with a baking soda paste and salt for a deep clean.

Photo By: Carley Knobloch

Kitchen: Sponge

If the kitchen sponge smells, that's proof that it's harboring bacteria. Place a wet sponge into the microwave for a minute and a half to kill bugs, or run it through the dishwasher (and replace it regularly).

Photo By: Carley Knobloch

Kitchen: Garbage Disposal

The garbage disposal can also produce a foul odor if not cleaned regularly. Pour half a cup of baking soda down the drain followed by a cup of vinegar. Let the mixture bubble for a few minutes; then pour a bucket of hot water down the drain to rinse. Grind half a lemon in the disposal for extra cleaning power and a fresh scent.

Photo By: ©iStockphoto.com/-Oxford-

Kitchen: Oven Knobs

You touch oven knobs frequently while handling food, but how often do you clean them? Pull the knobs off, and give them a good cleaning with a 1:1 mixture of vinegar and water. For stubborn stains, let the vinegar sit for at least 10 minutes.

Photo By: Carley Knobloch

Dog Bowls

To clean your pets' bowls, remove the food and water and run them through the dishwasher. Use vinegar to get rid of lime buildup, and wash with dish soap in between dishwashing cycles.

Photo By: Carley Knobloch

Home Office: Computer Keyboard

You touch your face. You type an email. You reach for your lunch. You type a report. You get the idea. To clean your computer's keyboard, unplug it first. Next, gently wipe with a 1:1 mixture of rubbing alcohol and water, but make sure not to get your keyboard too wet.

Photo By: Carley Knobloch

Bathroom: Shower Curtain

Getting rid of mold on your shower curtains is easier than you think. Spray plastic shower curtain liners with a 1:1 mixture of vinegar and water, and run fabric curtains through the washing machine once a month.

If you don't have time to do a daily deep clean, it's time to advocate some help. No, I don't mean a cleaning crew. I mean cleaning gadgets, which can make a difference with the day-to-day cleaning tasks.

I'll show you a few of my favorite tech items that can help you get the cleaning done and get your home into healthier shape. There's an automatic device that can make your toilet more sanitary, a kitchen surface that can almost clean itself and an everyday appliance that eliminates allergens that linger on your clothes.

12 Gadgets to a Healthier Home

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Automatic Dustpan

You can keep sweep but never seem to get all the dust in the dustpan. Enter automatic dustpan. This dustpan hooks up to your central vacuum system and sucks the dust into the wall and out of sight. 

Photo By: Scott Hislop

Think Dirty Phone App

Your lipstick or face cream may be carcinogenic. Plug your personal care products into the Think Dirty app that rates items based on the reported toxicity of their ingredients, so you can choose the safest products.

Photo By: Think Dirty Inc.

Dyson Humidifier

Thanks to an ultraviolet light that hits the mist before it leaves the machine, Dyson's humidifier aims to destroy 99.9% of bacteria that humidifiers often breed. 

Photo By: Dyson

Water Filter

This is a far cry from a plastic pitcher. With its glass body, petroleum-free filter casing and coconut carbon filter, the Soma filter is the ultimate water purifier, all while looking stylish.

Photo By: Soma

Lapka Phone App

This miniature environment monitor works with an iPhone to detect radiation and electromagnetic fields in your environment. It also detects whether your food is organic by plugging a probe into the food in question. 

Photo By: Lapka

Nest Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detector

Instead of beeping, this smoke and carbon monoxide detector both speaks aloud and notifies you via app if it picks up a problem — and tells you which room the trouble is coming from. It also specifies whether it's an emergency like a fire or a heads-up like burning food.

Photo By: Nest

Leeo Plug-In

This plug-in gadget works with your existing smoke and monoxide detectors, and contacts your phone (and your emergency contacts' phones), so you'll know if the alarms go off while you're away.

Photo By: Leeo

Pelican Water System

Chlorine is a must to keep you from getting sick in a swimming pool, but you don't want it in your drinking and shower water. Pelican's whole-house water filters and softeners remove chlorine, sediments, pesticides and other water contaminants.

Photo By: Pelican Water

Kohler Touch-Free Toilet Kit

This toilet kit allows you to flush without touching a germ-filled handle — just wave your hand over the sensor.

Photo By: Kohler

Anti-Microbial Countertops

These counters can practically clean themselves. By incorporating copper into their surfaces, they’ve been made into bacteria-busters. Studies show that dry copper naturally destroys bacteria, fungi and viruses.

Photo By: Cosentino Works

LG Dryer

After a regular wash, there can still bacteria on your clothing. The LG dryer uses steam to get germs out of wet or dry items.

Photo By: LG Electronics

Vacuum With HEPA Filter

Vacuums grab dust, but they can leave billions of allergens behind. HEPA filters can trap allergens as tiny as 1.2 microns, so spores and dust get whisked out of your environment.

Photo By: Hoover

If you're feeling out-of-sorts or just eager to wipe out household dirt, it might be time to let tech take over some of your housework. 

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