Given recent events, the world has taken a renewed interest in fighting germs. Contagious diseases are highlighting the importance of hygiene, good habits, social distancing, and keeping your home clean.
NOTE: If you are looking for information specifically on COVID-19, please go to the CDC’s website at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html.
Back to the topic at hand: Especially when considering social distancing and the potential for necessary in-home isolation, getting rid of germs in the air is essential. Thankfully, there are some simple measures you can take to help the air you breathe is free of pathogens. By following these simple steps, you can reassure yourself that your home is safe and clean.
Benefits of Germ-Free Air
Removing germs from your air has many benefits, and in general is a good habit wherever you are.
Some benefits of getting rid of germs in the air are straightforward, while others are added perks or perhaps a bit less obvious. Advantages include:
- Improved immune function: By lessening the number of pathogens in your air, you give your immune system an added edge. When there are fewer germs to fight, it is easier to contend with the elements and stay healthy. We see that with COVID-19.
- Avoiding risk of infection: If you have open cuts or are healing from surgery, it is all too easy to catch a cold or a skin infection. By limiting the germs in the air, you mitigate this risk. Germs propagate much faster than we sometimes assume, it is best to avoid them altogether.
- Reducing mold and mildew: No one appreciates pesky fungal particles – they cause everything from rashes to breathing issues. Especially with spring melt, keeping your air clean prevents them from building up. Plus, nobody likes that musty smell.
- Helping pre-existing conditions: Particularly in cases of asthma, when you get rid of germs in the air, you can breathe easier (both literally and metaphorically).
- Better your skin health: Avoid rashes and irritation to the skin when you get rid of ambient pathogens.
- Improve the smell of the air: Once there is a certain threshold of particles in the air, you smell it. By cleaning up the air and ridding it of germs, your home will smell fresher. Covering it up with scents is just a short-term solution, you are better-off getting rid of the rood cause.
- Avoid dust buildup: Make your chores easier by limiting the amount of dust that accrues on surfaces when you clean your home’s air.
How to Get Germs Out of the Air
When it comes to heavy-duty pathogens, it helps to have an equally powerful disinfecting agent to battle the germs. There are many different aerosol and manual sprays that you can put into your home’s air to clean away germs. Because they use chemical disinfectants, it helps to keep your windows open when spraying these cleaners.
To use chemicals to combat germs, focus the nozzle upwards and let the spray fall naturally thanks to gravity. As it works its way down, it binds to and renders inert the germs in the air. This stops them from collecting on surfaces and reduces the spread of bacteria and viruses.
Often, homes with pets and children prefer the natural approach to cleaning their air. The good news is that, for every chemical, there is an organically occurring agent you can employ instead. Try out some of these easy solutions to keep your air clean naturally:
- Make your own air-cleaning spray by using either vinegar or lemon juice. The acidic properties assist with getting rid of germs, such as coronavirus, influenza, and staphylococcus. It is really simple to make your own spray with an old bottle or one you can buy from your local dollar store. Fill it with filtered or boiled water that has cooled. Mix in your antibacterial agent (vinegar or lemon juice). For added benefits, bank on the healing powers of essential oils. Tea tree oil is particularly handy since it is the trifecta of germ reduction: antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal. It also leaves your air smelling fresh.
- Use the power of ozone: This triple bonded form of oxygen occurs naturally, produced when rain falls and lightning strikes. You probably recognize the iconic smell – slightly sweet and inherently fresh. As it happens, this chemical is also a fairly potent germ cleanser. You can purchase an ozone machine for your home and let it run occasionally to add some extra cleansing power. Bear in mind that, just like carbon monoxide, ozone is toxic when it is too concentrated. This cleaning approach is best used in moderation.
- Sunlight/UV: In the true spirit of natural cleansing, it is important to remember the power of the sun. Ultraviolet radiation is a powerful tool against germs – and it is probably the easiest to access. Add benefit to your cleaning routine by letting some natural light shine into your home. Throw open the curtains and let the sunlight shine in for at least 10 minutes. To get an idea of its effect levels, consider looking at the UV index. More rays in this wavelength means increased cleansing power.
- Humidify the household to fight the spread of viruses. This option works best when you couple it with other approaches. While the moist air is suggested to battle the spread of viral germs, it can also foster bacteria. This means that while a more humid room might help with coronavirus or influenza, it can grow the mold and mildew instead. When you use a humidifier in conjunction with a cleaning spray, you prevent this risk. Don’t have a humidifier? Consider taking a large pot and boiling water. Once it begins to steam, bring it through the house room by room. Add bay leaves or essential oils to get the added health benefits from their natural properties.
Clean Your Surroundings
It is no secret that particles live on surfaces. When in the air, they settle onto your countertops and faucets (not to mention everywhere else). Although gravity places them on surfaces, activity kicks them back into the air. Simply by touching things or running an overhead fan, you enable these particles to float back up into the air you breathe. To prevent this pitfall, the solution is simple: keep your surfaces clean.
There are both natural and chemical approaches to this task – it is really a matter of preference. You can use conventional cleaners or natural ones to complete the spray and wipe technique. Naturally, you want to make sure that you are using a clean cloth, so either go with disposable or keep your laundry up to date. In keeping your surroundings free of dust and generally clean, you limit the risks of reinfusing your air with unnecessary germs.
More Ideas for Getting Germs Out of the Air
Add Cleaner Air
It has long since been a fact that keeping your home clean is essential to improving health and overall wellbeing. This is even more important with the onset of recent fast-spreading diseases that quickly jump continents. Due to the fact that people are spending more time in the home, air quality naturally diminishes.
If you have a home with an air exchanger, a device which keeps air flowing through a building, use it. Just be sure to have ducts cleaned regularly or you could be defeating the purpose. Otherwise, crack the windows open to get some air flow.
To prevent the risks associated with an excess of germs in the air, it is necessary to take some extra precautions. Follow the above guidelines in order to mitigate your risk of illness during these trying times.
Don't Overdo It
Another worthy note is that, while germs are scary, they aren’t all bad. The human body is a biome that consists of loads of healthy germs. It is critical that you don’t live in an entirely sterile environment either — humans were not meant for that.
Take measures to keep your home clean to provide yourself with reassurance while also taking the time to appreciate the work you’ve completed. Stress levels are one of the top causes for a lowered immune response. Ensure that, when you take the necessary steps to clean your home’s air, you take a moment to breathe deeply and find a state of calm. When you take all possible steps to get rid of germs in the air, you know that you have done everything in your power to help keep your home and family safe.