Wondering how to best fight back against the constant onslaught of germs, bacteria and viruses inside the home? We bring these contaminants indoors nearly every day, so it's important to learn to keep these unwanted guests at bay. Here are some appliances that will help to keep your home clean and keep you healthy, as well as stop germs from spreading before they have a chance to contaminate other places in the house.
1. A Refrigerator with an Air Filter
Fridge air filters are designed to trap odors as well as protect your food from contaminants such as bacteria and household cleaning chemicals. Keep your food happy by upgrading to a refrigerator with a built-in air filter. This will help ensure that your food stays fresher longer, resulting in the promotion of your overall health.
Some manufacturers state that an air filter changed out every 6 months is seven to eight times more effective at removing odors than baking soda.
2. Dishwasher with Sanitary Cycle
The kitchen is the germiest room in the house, so taking approaches to effectively clean and sanitize dishes between each use is paramount to keeping germs and bacteria at bay and thus prevent sickness.
One of the ways to effectively sanitize cookware, dishes, and cutlery is to use a dishwasher that is certified to NSF/ANSI 184, i.e., the standard for residential dishwashers. This means the water reaches 150º F and kills 99.999% of bacteria when run on a sanitary setting.
3. Washer and/or Dryer with Sanitation & Allergy Cycles
A washing machine with sanitary cycle uses extremely hot - about 150º F - and cold water in turn to kill 99.9% of bacteria and microorganisms on clothing and preventing the unit to spread germs to future cycles of laundry.
A washer with an allergy cycle uses steam heat to remove over 95% of common household allergens such as dust mites and pet dander.
Both of these cycles would prove useful in a household that is fighting allergy, flu symptoms, and other viruses and bacteria caused illnesses.
Cleaning and Disinfecting
Some viruses such as the Coronavirus responsible for the outbreak of COVID-19 can live up to 3 days on some surfaces, according to an article by Harvard University This enforces the importance of keeping household surfaces clean and sanitized on a daily basis. Don't neglect regularly wiping and deep cleaning the inside and outsides of your appliances with disinfectant cleaners.
A helpful definition from the CDC's website:
- "Cleaning refers to the removal of germs, dirt, and impurities from surfaces. Cleaning does not kill germs, but by removing them, it lowers their numbers and the risk of spreading infection.
- Disinfecting refers to using chemicals to kill germs on surfaces. This process does not necessarily clean dirty surfaces or remove germs, but by killing germs on a surface after cleaning, it can further lower the risk of spreading infection."
More tips on keeping your appliances clean and working well
- Empty your dishwasher and run a vinegar cycle once a week to stop germs and mold from spreading.
- Wipe your refrigerator shelves and drawers with a vinegar solution and clean any spills right away - this will make cleaning the fridge much less daunting of a task.
- Run your washing machine on an empty cycle with vinegar and baking soda, and if you have a front-load washer, regularly check the seal for mold spots and scrub away with baking soda.
- Washer pro tip: on front load washers, leaving the door slightly ajar when not in use will promote airflow and slow the growth of mold.