9 Ways to Kill Germs Around the House

Natalie Abraham

If all the talk of a “twindemic”—the overlap between COVID-19 and flu season—has sent you into a cleaning frenzy, you’re not alone. But it takes more than a simple paper-towel swipe of the counters and doorknobs to clean and truly disinfect.

First things first: You need a quality product — ideally one that’s overtly labeled as a disinfectant, like 3M TB Quat Disinfectant Ready-to-Use Cleaner. If you’re not sure, check the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) registration number on the label, says Carolyn Forte, Cleaning Lab Director at the Good Housekeeping Institute. Then, type that number into the agency’s database for specifics on what type of bacteria and viruses against which it’s effective.

Proper usage is also extremely important. It’s a common misconception that you can simply spritz and wipe. The truth: Proper disinfecting takes time. Check the product directions for how long hard, non-porous surfaces must stay wet for the most effective germ killing, says Forte. When cleaning a surface with 3M TB Quat Disinfectant Ready-to-Use Cleaner, for example, a hard non-porous surface needs to remain wet with the cleaning solution and untouched for one minute in order to kill the virus that causes

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7 Ways to Prevent Water Damage At Home

  • Replacing your gutters with a system that helps prevent clogs is one of the best ways to shield against water damage.
  • Installing a sump pump, smart water sensors, and more will also help defend your home against water.

    There’s usually more to a leaky bathtub than a puddle of water on the floor. When left untreated, even the smallest water damage can cause mold growth, water contamination, structural problems, damaged wiring, odors, stains — the list goes on and on.

    But instead of crossing your fingers and hoping your home is leakproof, take action into your own hands: The best way to avoid water damage is to make sure it doesn’t happen in the first place. Not only are these ideas likely cheaper and easier than repairing water-damaged walls or floors, but they can increase the value of your home and keep all systems in working order for years to come.

    Replace your gutters

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    Englert LeafGuard Gutters

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    “Clogged gutters allow water to spill over the sides, which can send water flowing down to the basement where it could do serious damage,” explains Craig Gjelsten, vice president of operations at Rainbow International Restoration. But instead of climbing up on

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