How To: Flu-Proof Your Home

This Old House

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Flu-mania is making people a little nuts. My mother leaves constant reminders to get a flu shot; at my office they've handed out masks, anti-bacterial gel and wipes with instructions to wipe down our phones, computer keyboards and desks before we leave each night; and, a friend of mine turned to me the other night while we were watching "Glee" and said, "You know that woman who wears plastic gloves to do everything? I'm thinking maybe she's not so crazy after all."
  • Watch the hot spots: Pay special attention to keeping these areas clean.
  • Keep your sponges clean: Try these 5 tips.
  • Use your appliances: Dishwashers, washing machines and dryers don't only clean clothes, they also kill germs via high heat.
  • Wash your hands: Hand washing's the best protection against the flu. Wash your hands frequently and encourage your children to do the same.
  • Pay attention to your cutting board: Use a separate board for raw meats and consider swapping out your plastic boards for wooden ones.
  • Consider copper: Though the trend has been towards stainless in the past few years, there's some evidence that copper - sinks, door knobs and pans - may have anti-viral properties
  • Humidify: It seems counter-intuitive to us but apparently viruses have a harder time thriving and multiplying in humid air.
  • Ultraviolet: Okay, this seems a little extreme but if you can find an ultraviolet air purification system, it inhibits the growth of mold and fungi
  • Air filters: We've become a recent convert of these, especially in the bedroom.

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[image: TheGiantVermin, from his Flickr, with a Creative Commons License]

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