With coronavirus cases on the rise across the country, it’s important to be extra-vigilant about washing your hands, not touching your face, and staying home when possible. However, being at home doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t get sick. That’s because our homes can harbor bacteria and viruses, including Covid-19, that we bring in from outside.
The good news is, it’s relatively easy to zap those germs and make your home a safe haven as winter sets in. Here are three habits to get into today that can help keep sickness at bay.
Wipe down the doorknobs.
When researchers at the Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Massachusetts swabbed 27 door handles, they found them coated with 1,323 bacteria colonies! Yikes. To send these unwanted guests packing, just give those germ magnets — we mean, doorknobs — a quick swipe with an antibacterial wipe. Hint: Keeping a tub of wipes by the front and back doors of your house will make it easier to establish this habit.
Leave slippers at the door.
Research shows that a whopping 99 percent of viruses and bacteria (including Covid-19) hitch a ride from outside on the soles of your shoes and get transferred to the floors inside your house. To the rescue: Keep a pair of cozy slippers by the door to change into and leave your shoes (and germs!) behind when you return home. Bonus: You’ll feel much more comfortable wearing your slippers around the house instead of shoes!
Give reusable grocery bags a ‘spin.’
Bringing your own bags to the grocery store is an easy, environmentally-friendly thing to do. But when scientists tested reusable grocery bags for germs, virtually all of them had potentially harmful bacteria left behind from raw chicken, milk, and other foods. The fix: Just throw these bags in the washing machine in hot water and air-dry. (Machine drying could shrink them.) A single wash kills 99.9 percent of bacteria.
This article originally appeared in our print magazine, First For Women.