8 living room items that could be making you sick

Unknown to you, ‘disease traps’ lurk everywhere in your living room. (rawpixel.com pic)

Do you love your cosy living room, the one you decorated and personalised as accurately as possible to your Pinterest inspiration board? Well, tough luck – it could be plotting to get you sick.

So pay attention to these disease traps in your living room, and get them taken care of before they strike.

1. Remote Control

Your TV, media player, air conditioner, and fan remotes are a reservoir for all sorts of germs and disease-causing ickiness. Everyone and anyone handles them, some with dirty hands.

They are also in contact with various, sometimes unsavoury surfaces and are rarely cleaned. In fact, remote controls notoriously have more germs than a toilet seat.

So give your remotes a regular wipe-down. Handle them only after you’ve washed your hands. Keep them limited to certain locations, and avoid carrying them around especially to the kitchen and toilet.

2. Air-conditioners and fans

Un-serviced air-conditioners and neglected fans accumulate dust, dirt, mould, spores, and bacteria – all of which will kick your allergies into overdrive and get you sick.

Water from leaking air conditioners can also harbour pathogens. Both appliances are also distributing air throughout the living room, further dispersing harmful nasties all around.

Maintain and service your air-conditioners and fans regularly, and clean the filters every week or so. Get your air-conditioner checked and fixed as soon as you notice problems like warm air or leaks.

3. Carpets and carpeting

Carpet
Floor Heating-Direct pic.

Plush carpets make a great statement piece and a nice place to chill in the living room. However, they are also dirt and dust traps that accumulate dander, hair, and other allergens.

Dirty carpets can also harbour mould and breed bacteria, which exposes you to disease. Trapped food particles can also promote mites and parasites to grow, further harming your health.

Clean your carpets regularly by vacuuming and using carpet cleaners. For plush, harder-to-manage carpeting, consider engaging a professional to clean and sanitise them.

Limit eating or drinking around your carpeting and keep shoes and pets off to avoid dirtying and contaminating your carpets.

4. Curtains

Like carpets, curtains are a dust trap – they’re also a great place for mould and bacteria to thrive. The railings and curtain fixtures will also collect dust and dirt that could cause your allergies to flare up.

Launder fabric curtains from time to time, and make sure you remove the dust around curtain railings and fixtures.

Use the proper cleaners for hard-to-wash curtains, or get a professional to clean and maintain your curtains if needed.

5. Sofas and upholstery

Another regularly used but minimally cleaned articles are sofas and furniture. Friends, family, guests, and pets are welcome to sit and sleep on them, and you’re probably guilty of letting a few crumbs slip between the cracks.

The dirt and grime will attract all sorts of insects and disease-causing mites, as well as harbour mould and parasites.

Remove and launder sofa upholstery if possible, and clean and polish leather sofas with proper cleaning agents.

Vacuuming and wiping down your furniture also helps. If you have particularly finicky pieces, get an expert to do it instead.

6. Ceiling and walls

Mould can grow under peeling paint or within wallpaper, while dust bunnies and cobwebs cause allergies or allow bacteria to breed.

Paint and wallpaper can also release harmful, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that could cause headaches, breathing problems, and long-term health issues.

Besides regular cleaning, consider using certified environmentally-friendly and health-safe paint with low VOC levels.

Older houses with decade-old paint jobs can be particularly dangerous, so consider repainting or reapplying wallpaper after a certain period of time.

Keeping your walls dry by addressing leaks immediately will also help with maintaining their cleanliness and safety.

7. Pets

Pet
Wallpaper Abyss pic.

Your furry friends are an integral part of your family, but they can bring pathogens and diseases along with fun and joy.

Animal fur, dander, and saliva are allergenic and can cause irrigation and flareups in susceptible family members. Pets that live both outdoors and indoors can also track dirt and parasites into the house.

Generally, you’re advised against letting your pets onto the couch or to eat from the same table as you.

Ensure your pets receive their regular vaccines and deworming, and are groomed and cleaned regularly to reduce the likelihood of them carrying diseases.

Vacuum and clean your carpets, sofas, and floors to get rid of dander and shed fur.

8. Cleaning supplies

In your quest to eliminate dirt and disease, you might be using cleaning liquids and aerosols liberally. But not all supplies are created equally, and some cheap, harsh chemicals can harm your health.

Harsh chemicals like bleach can irritate airways and cause headaches, while certain compounds are toxic to human health.

Avoid using too much of these chemicals and stick to plain water and a cleaning cloth when possible.

Consider switching to organic, health- and environmentally-friendly cleaning products that are non-toxic.

You can also opt for simple, home-made cleaners using relatively harmless supplies like white vinegar and baking powder for a cleaner, healthier home.

Regular maintenance and a deep clean once or twice a year – using the proper methods and products – is sufficient to keep your home and family healthy and safe from illnesses.

This article first appeared in kaodim.com

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