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In A Jiffy: The Easy Way To Clean For Busy Couples:

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By Mia Bolaris-Forget

My husband recently named our vacuum. Yes, he named it Fido, because he insists that, like a pet, I take it out for a walk at about the same time every day. In fact, I tend to have daily rituals geared at keeping our home in tip-top shape so that we can play catch-up or go out and “play” a little on the weekends.

Yet, I realize that with only so many hours in a day it’s often trying to try and keep up with it all. Yet, according to the experts a “clean’, germ-free home can be achieved at 20-minute intervals, spread out and completed a little at a time.

Here’s a room-by-room approach to a “pristine” home

Bedroom basics:

Experts assert that the biggest chores in the bedroom are picking up laundry piles, dusting, and vacuuming.

Tackle the “mess” in stages. Firstly don’t allow clothes to pile up by instead placing them in the laundry room or hamper as your take them off. Also you should dust and vacuum weekly, especially if your have allergies or asthma. Otherwise, the pros say let your personal “acceptance meter” gauge you and how often you do your chores. Experts also suggest a powerful vacuum that has the Green Label seal from the Carpet and Rug Institute to help guard your environment and the air quality within via sucking up soil and other dirty residue.

Experts also recommend laundering your pillows, quilts, and comforters every 2 to 3 months.

They further recommend investing in a HEPA air purifier, a device that filters out tiny particles found in the air and diminishes the presence of allergy-aggravating dust present in the room. And, it may also behoove you to steam clean your carpets every 12 to 18 months too.

The Kitchen:

According to experts, most homes feature cleaner bathrooms than they do kitchens, primarily because most disinfect their washroom, but not their kitchen counter.

Professionals point out, that while you may not be up for a daily cleaning of your counters, etc., the least you can do is clean your sponge ridding it of all the germs and bacteria it gathers and tends to spread when you use it to wash or wipe down things. They suggest microwaving your wet sponge or running it through your dishwasher daily. And, when it comes to wiping down countertops, etc. you’re better off using paper towels.

Take extra precautions by spaying the sink, countertops and cutting boards with an antimicrobial solution after preparing each meal. Allow the cleanser to sit for a while (check labels) prior to wiping with a damp paper towel.

Also, its best to places dishes in the washer after every mean and wash them each night. Remember, wet, food-covered surfaces are a “natural” breeding ground for bugs.

Wipe down your refrigerator handle and your phone with an anitmicrobial solution each day to limit invasive germs that can be easily transferred through hands.

Finally sweep up any crumbs with a dry cloth sweeper and them discard of the pad.

The Living Room:

Unless you have a den or “family room”, this is probably one of the most used rooms in the house, and likely to get that “lived in” look rather quickly. And, while and overall overhaul isn’t always necessary, you should make it a practice to vacuum and to wipe off the TV, computer, and remotes, since they are likely covered in germs for all the excessive handling.

Experts suggest cleaning and disinfecting these items with wipe at lease once a week or more often if a family member has a cold or the flu.

Take additional precautions by making it a habit to dust and vacuum weekly, especially if you or someone in your family is allergy prone.

The Bathroom:

Experts note that while the kitchen is probably the most germ infested room in the house, the bathroom ranks second. And, they add that the biggest culprits are the sink, faucet, and shower where bacteria and cold viruses tend to lurk, often leading to infections and diarrhea.

They recommend wiping down sinks, faucets, shower drains and toilet seats at least once a weak with an antimicrobial cleaner. For in-between “touch-ups” you can use disposable towelettes.

For additional germ busting, mop the floor at least twice a month and don’t forget to get behind the toilet.

Also, use an after-shower spray to cut back on the mildew and grime buildup. Plus, they recommend lightly spritzing the whole shower area, including the inside of the curtain and shower door with a cleansing spray and dropping a toilet tablet with bleach in your toilet tank and replacing it every 3 months.

You should also get rid of your vinyl shower-curtain liner every 6 months and if possible replace it with a nylon liner that can be thrown in the wash every 3 to 4 months.

Finally you should switch from washcloths to synthetic poufs or sponges, since they tend to dry more quickly, harboring fewer germs.

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