Keeping the house clean and germ-free is an important part of staying safe and healthy, especially during cold and flu season. Although expensive disinfectants are sold at most supermarkets, they are often filled with a variety of harsh chemicals. To keep your home germ-free, consider a cheaper solution made from items around your home that are safe and effective for most household disinfecting.
Bleach is a household cleaner that can kill up to 99% of germs. It comes in a variety of scents and is very useful for disinfecting. Bleach is not color fast, so before using it to clean something, test its colorfastness on that item. To clean with bleach, dilute it with water at a three-to-one ratio. Place the solution into a spray bottle--it can be used to clean counters and toilets in bathrooms and counters in the kitchen.
Standard rubbing alcohol is an effective sanitizer, although it tends to evaporate quickly. Use a cup of alcohol to soak brushes, combs, thermometers or other household items, or pour some onto a clean paper towel for rubbing down hard surfaces. Alcohol dries without leaving a residue, and it is safe around children, although rubbing alcohol is poisonous if consumed.
Vinegar is an effective household disinfectant. It can be used to clean windows with a streak-free shine as well. Mix it in a two-to-one ratio with water for use as a general disinfectant. Vinegar is safe to use around children, the elderly and family pets. Test the colorfastness of the item before applying a heavy mix of vinegar solution to it.
Hydrogen peroxide is a cheap and highly effective disinfectant. Mix an equal solution of 3% peroxide with distilled water, and immediately store the solution in an opaque container--hydrogen peroxide quickly breaks down under sunlight. The peroxide mix is safe and effective on hard surfaces.
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