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Home is where your health is...

PUBLISHED: 10:52 29 January 2019 | UPDATED: 10:52 29 January 2019

Regularly cleaning or disposing of sponges and brushes can reduce the spread of infection Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Regularly cleaning or disposing of sponges and brushes can reduce the spread of infection Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto

kittijaroon

Germs are everywhere at this time of year - from coughs, colds and flu to the winter vomiting virus. Here are our top tips on what we can all do around the house to help banish the bugs.

Having the central heating on too high can cause your skin to dry out Picture: Getty Images/iStockphotoHaving the central heating on too high can cause your skin to dry out Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto

1 Layer up

Rather than turning the thermostat up, opt for a blanket or an extra jumper. Having your central heating on full blast can create excess humidity which, inside, can have a drying effect and cause irritation to both your skin and your sinuses.

2 Open your windows

Studies suggest that shoes are common carriers of germs - ditch them at the door and encourage others to do the same Picture: Getty Images/iStockphotoStudies suggest that shoes are common carriers of germs - ditch them at the door and encourage others to do the same Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto

It might seem counterintuitive when the temperature drops below freezing, but circulating some air throughout your house can really help to blow the cobwebs away, flushing out nasty pollutants.

3 Filter out

Make sure to change the filters in your vacuum on a regular basis. While this is not a job to do just in winter, it can be especially important in cooler months when our indoor environment is more static. Vacuuming with a clogged up filter or brush is a pointless exercise – you’re moving more dust around, rather than getting rid of it.

Even in winter, plants can help to purify the air - and improve mental health Picture: Getty Images/iStockphotoEven in winter, plants can help to purify the air - and improve mental health Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto

4 Stay alarmed

Take the time to check that your smoke alarm is working – and your carbon monoxide detector, too. With our houses less ventilated throughout colder months, and with us likely to be using more and more fuel-reliant appliances, this two or three minutes is well worth your time.

5 Kick off

It might be time to take off your shoes and invest in some slippers, as a study in 2017 revealed that just over a quarter of all shoes carry clostridium difficile, commonly known as C.Diff, which can infect the bowel and cause diarrhea – certainly not something you would want to welcome into your living room! Store your shoes in a handy box as near to the front door as possible – it will be an easy way to let guests know what to expect.

6 Clean up your act

You might clean your kitchen and bathroom on a regular basis but what about the things you use to clean them with? Disinfecting sponges and brushes regularly can help to reduce the spread of viruses.

7 Grow roots

It’s not always about your physical health but your mental health too. Luckily for us, there’s an easy way to tackle both: get some indoor plants. Not only do they help to purify the air, but they can promote relaxation and mindfulness, and their added colour can brighten even the dreariest winter day.

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