Maintaining a Healthy Home
Lori Hendrickson, Extension Educator — Family Resiliency
Revised April 2015.
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Cleaning the inside of your home on a regular basis can help prevent unnecessary wear and tear as well as roaches and other pests.
Kitchen Cleaning Tasks
After Every Meal
- Put away all food in tightly covered containers.
- Rinse dishes after use and stack in dish pan or dish washer.
- Wash or soak utensils used for cooking.
- Wipe up any spills on the floor.
- Wash the dishes, sink, and counters.
- Sweep the floor.
- Clean the stove top — cleaning after every use can help to prevent baked-on dirt.
- Pick up any trash and empty the trash can.
- Mop the floor.
- Disinfect counters and cutting boards using a bleach water solution.
Every Other Month
- Clean the range hood filters.
- Clean the oven and microwave.
- Clean the refrigerator and defrost if required.
Bathroom Cleaning Tasks
- Run exhaust fans after showers or baths — the recommended minimum is 20 minutes.
- Rinse the sink and tub after use.
- Wipe up spills on the floor.
- Wipe down the sink and tub area with an all-purpose cleaner.
- Clean the toilet bowl.
- Wipe the toilet seat and outside of the toilet bowl with an all-purpose cleaner.
- Wash the floor with all-purpose cleaner.
- Clean the tub with a low abrasion cleaner.
Every Other Month
- Check for mold and clean if needed. When mold appears on grout or wall surfaces, scrub with a concentrated bleach-water solution.
Other Floor Care
- Use door mats near all outside doors.
- Pick up food and any other spills.
- Vacuum carpeting weekly or more if needed, especially in high traffic areas.
- Mop any hard-surfaced floors.
It's important to prevent and eliminate roaches because they:
- Contaminate or damage food.
- Damage wiring.
- Contribute to allergies.
Start with Prevention
Here are some simple things you can do to prevent roaches in your home.
- Keep roaches away from items you will move to your new home.
- Keep roaches away from food sources by:
- Keeping food in tightly covered containers.
- Cleaning dirty dishes frequently so they are not left out overnight.
- Taking garbage out daily.
- Fixing leaky faucets and pipes.
Getting Rid of Roaches
To get rid of roaches:
- Use roach traps to determine where roaches are living.
- Apply insecticides near where roaches are living.
- Apply insecticide with care to keep it away from pets, children, dishes, and food.
Bruin, M. (2002). RentWise PowerPoint presentation. St. Paul, MN: University of Minnesota Extension Service.
Everyone Deserves a Safe and Healthy Home — National Healthy Homes Partnership — Download this 12-page consumer guide that includes the basic principles of healthy homes with helpful action steps, checklists, graphics, and links for supplemental information.
A Healthy Home for Everyone: A Guide for Families and Individuals — Centers for Disease Control — A room-by-room guide for families.
Cleaning Tips — University of Nebraska-Lincoln — Get information on cleaning every surface in your home.
Energy Actions to Save $ and Increase Comfort for Renters (62 K PDF) — Conserve energy in your home to lower utility bill and increase comfort.