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10 benefits of a healthy home

WebMD Feature
Medically Reviewed by Dr Rob Hicks

If you want to be healthy and happy, your home environment is a good place to begin.

Living in a dirty, messy and cluttered place can make you sick both physically and mentally. A domestic deep clean and declutter can do wonders.

1. Clean away the germs and bugs

Having a clean environment means you are less likely to pick up germs and bugs that make you sick. "Cleaning helps keep families fit and well and avoid common illnesses like stomach bugs, colds and flu," says Philip Malpass, who's director general of UKCPI, the cleaning industry organisation.

A good cleaning routine can limit the risk of spreading illness through the family too. A really simple step is making sure everyone washes their hands after going to the toilet. If someone in the family is ill regular handwashing will limit spreading bugs.

Latest guidance from household experts the Good Housekeeping Institute suggests jobs that should be done daily include washing up, making beds and cleaning round the toilet bowl. Weekly jobs include washing bed linen and vacuuming. Every month it suggests washing the windows and cleaning the dishwasher. Jobs you only need to do once a year include wiping the lightbulbs and having the chimney swept if you have one.

"Knowing your home is a clean place for you and your family gives you peace of mind. It's pretty yucky if your hand sticks to the knob when you open a cupboard door or your shoe sticks to the floor as you walk across the kitchen," adds Philip.

There are some things that probably need replacing as they are often more susceptible to germs and bacteria. Chuck out washing up sponges that you've had for ages, wooden spoons that have started to crack and old chopping boards that have seen better days.

2. Keeps allergies at bay

There are quite a few substances in the average household that can trigger allergies. Allergy UK refers to it as 'home fever'. Their research suggests that more than half of people with allergies react to house dust mites, and that 31% are allergic to mould. Of those with allergies, 45% say their allergy is triggered by pets.

Amongst Allergy UK’s cleaning suggestions are to use a vacuum fitted with a special air filter to trap more dust mites than usual vacuum cleaners, and to regularly wipe surfaces with a damp, clean cloth rather than dry dusting as this can spread dust into the air.

Hard floors and minimal soft furnishings make it easier to keep allergies at bay. Making your home a smoke-free zone is an important health consideration for everyone in the family but it's particularly important for people with conditions like asthma.

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