I love watching House M.D., a television show about a brilliant doctor who can diagnose illnesses with the most complicated symptoms. In determining a patient’s illness, Dr. House would often ask his staff to break into the patient’s home to search for possible causes of the patient’s symptoms. In a number of episodes, the medical team found neglected nooks and crannies of the house which became breeding grounds for disease causing organisms. This made me aware that eating the right food and living a healthy lifestyle is not enough to prevent disease. Keeping our homes clean can protect our family from ailments like diarrhea, food poisoning, colds, fever, viral infection, allergies, asthma and other respiratory ailments.

Let’s start with the kitchen. The kitchen is where we prepare nourishment for our family. Unfortunately, this is also where most germs and bacteria lurk. Bacteria such as e-coli and salmonella can breed on moist surfaces like the sink, counters, stoves, cutting boards and knives. Make sure that there are no left over food or dirty dishes in the sink every night to prevent pest infestation.

Molds and fungi can also accumulate in your bathroom tiles, shower curtains, mirror, cabinet, sink and toilet bowl. Regular cleaning of bedroom and living room can prevent build-up of dust, mites, bed bugs and other insects that can cause rashes, asthma attacks, allergies and other respiratory ailments. You may also want to check your garage and storage areas once in a while for unwanted pests and insects like rats, wasps, termites and mosquitoes.

These are just basic things that we should consider in maintaining cleanliness in our house. Here are additional cleaning habits that you may want to consider:

  1. Daily dusting, sweeping and cleaning of general areas of the house. Kitchen must be thoroughly cleaned everyday.
  2. Mattresses and pillows may be aired at least once a week. Simply expose pillows and mattress to direct sunlight during the hottest time of the day to eliminate germs and organisms that may be breeding in them. You may also do the same for rugs or carpets after cleaning.
  3. Disinfect sink and bathroom regularly.
  4. Inspect rafters, closets, cabinets and drawers from time to time. This is a good way to detect and prevent pest infestation.
  5. Conduct thorough general cleaning for the whole house at least twice a year.