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How To Get Rid Of Germs In The Air

Germs are everywhere; many didn't even realize we are constantly exposed to them. No matter how often you sanitize your hand or spray it with an air freshener, there is no way of killing them all. We are at constant risk of being exposed to all kinds of infections if we fail to deal with the widespread bacteria. So instead of leaving those unseen airborne germs to roam free, here are a few helpful tips that can help get rid of germs in your home.
Short answer
UV air purifier is the most effective way of killing germs in the air.

 

How Can Germs Spread?

Most germs are spread through the air by sneezing, coughing, kissing, or even breathing in. The germs droplets can travel as far as 6 feet and even stay suspends in the air until it drops or someone breathes in. Another common way is by direct or indirect contact with objects contaminated with germs. Doorknob, pen, cellphone, remote control, or even shaking someone’s hands that just had a cold. The person will be exposed to the viruses when he or she rubs her eyes, nose, or mouth with her contaminated hands. Other common germs spreading through sweat, saliva, sexual contact, blood, water, or food ingestion.

Can Germs Make You Sick?

Germs can make you sick between 24 to 72 hours from exposure or inhaled to it. However, if our body immune system is able to resist the viruses, we will not fall ill or experience any unhealthy signs. If our immune system fails to fight off the viruses, we might experience symptoms such as sinus, cough, chronic headaches, or tiredness. Specific bacteria cause ear infections, sore throats (tonsillitis or strep throat), cavities, and pneumonia. Viruses can cause chickenpox, measles, flu, and protozoa can cause intestinal infections. Prolonged exposure to germs can aggravate many types of respiratory illnesses, including asthma.

1. Get An Air Purifier With UV Light

There are 2 types of air purifiers in the market you should look out for. First is a classic mechanical HEPA air purifier that traps germs inside its filter. It is effective with a 99.97% of capturing rate on microbes as small as 0.3 microns. Second is a air purifier with UV-light filtration. UV-C or ultraviolet light disinfects microorganisms by destroying their nucleic acids and DNA. Without the vital cellular, bacteria and viruses will be eliminated from the air.

Our take, why not both? There are air purifiers with the combination filtration of HEPA filter and UV-light. These air purifiers will trap germs on their filter, and the UV light will kill off the trapped bacteria and viruses. That way, no germs will be able to once pulled into the air purifier.

2. Sunshine Helps Kill Indoor Germs

Yup, sunlight will kill germs, as Researchers at the University of Oregon concluded after 90 days. A room exposed to daylight regularly will have fewer germs compared with a room pitch black. Perhaps more surprisingly, when compared with a room sterilized with UV light, the result is not too far off. So if you want to reduce your risk of exposure to bacteria, let there be light.

3. Bacteria Killing Essential Oils

Yes, the essential oils drop candle or stick can kill bacteria and viruses! Most of us know essential oil as a natural scent product used in aromatherapy for body wellness. Besides helping you relax and sleep better, an essential oil is an outstanding antibacterial agent. The natural ingredient of essential oils will neutralize close by airborne bacteria and viruses. As not all essential oils are created equal, below are the top picks that will help in removing airborne germs.

Top 10 Antibacterial Essential Oils

  1. Tea Tree Essential Oil — Melaleuca alternifolia
  2. Peppermint Essential Oil — Mentha piperita
  3. Lemongrass Essential Oil — Cymbopogon citrullus
  4. Lavender Essential Oil — Lavandula angustifolia
  5. Eucalyptus Essential Oil – Eucalyptus globulusOrange Essential Oil — Citrus sinensis
  6. Geranium Essential Oil — Pelargonium graveolens
  7. Citronella Essential Oil — Cymbopogon nardus
  8. Oregano Essential Oil — Origanum heracleoticum
  9. Palma Rosa Essential Oil — Cymbopogon martini

4. Consider Having An Air Purifying Houseplants

While this is not our most recommended route, air-filtering houseplants do help reduce germs and allergens but in a less effective way. Through photosynthesis energy, the plants will take in nearby airborne contaminants. This includes carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, and harmful VOCs gases. Indoor houseplants can also create a positive ambiance in a home that helps ease tension and stress. Perhaps for that reason itself is worth more than any other germs removal factor.

5. Clean And Disinfect Household Items

Clean or disinfect everyday objects to reduce the risk of getting bacterial and virus infections. Germs are tougher than most think and will harbor things we are frequently in contact with. This includes grabbing handles, cellphones, doorknob, staircase rail, faucet, refrigerator handle, and more. We indirectly expose ourselves to germs when touching our face, nose, and even mouth with our infested hands.

For household objects you are less frequent in contact with, you can clean or disinfect once a week or even a month accordingly. This includes countertops, kitchen floor, shelf, stairs, sofa, and table. You can toss them in a washing machine or dishwasher for smaller items like towels, soft toys, cups, and plates.

6. Take Out The Trash

Trash contains food waste, leftover spills, bad eggs, dirty diapers, and other stuff that is full of germs. Take out the garbage at least once a day and spray the bin with a sanitizer to prevent bacteria growth. Use a plastic can liner to avoid spills of trash and leakage that encourage the development of germs. Always separate wet and dry waste (paper, box, plastic) to manage your trash loads better.

7. Take off Your Shoes

No one should wear their shoes indoors. What’s underneath your food wear is usually dust, dirt, and even feces filled with bacterial germs. A study from the University of Arizona shows more than 400,000 types of bacteria outside of the home. So why do you want to transfer the outdoor contaminants into your home?

For those that insist on wearing shoes indoors, use a doormat and try to scrub off as much dirt as you can. Remember to clean the doormat regularly as it can be filthy on frequent use. You do not want the doormat contributing to more germs in your shoes.

8. Keep Pet, Pest Out

Dogs and cats’ mucus, saliva, urine, feces, and dead skin cells all contain germs. This applies even to a hypoallergenic breed that is supposedly allergen-free. So to keep germs at a contained level, try not to have pets inside the house. If you must, limit their activity space and always vacuum and mop the floor every day if possible. Also, groom them every day and bathe them with good conditioner shampoo to reduce shedding.

Home pest problems like rats, cockroaches, and geckos are also germs carriers. They carry diseases like Hantavirus, leptospirosis, encephalitis, and E.coli that can be transmitted to humans. Use bait or traps to catch them out or hire professional pest control.

9. Clean Or Replace Dirty Filter

Filters can get clogged from dust, hair, mold, and germs over time. When the filter is completely covered with particles, no air will pass through. A dirty filter can do the opposite by spreading more pollutants and cause airborne germs to stay linger in a room. To prevent this from happening, make sure all ventilation filters are clean or replaced properly. While you’re at it, make sure all HVAC or air conditioners are maintained according to schedule. Check for any condensation, water infiltration, leakage, or mold infestation.

Before we begin, let's understand what germs is. Germs are microorganisms that can cause all kinds of diseases. There are 4 major types of germs: bacteria, viruses, fungi, and protozoa. All three bacteria, fungi, and protozoa can prosper by taking nutrients and moisture from their environments. The virus is the only exception that will need a living cell to grow and reproduce. Without a host, the virus will not survive for very long. Regardless of the types, all germs can invade biological species body cells, including plants, animals, and people.

References

NPR

MBL

Max Fernandez

A loving father and a dedicated reviewer for airfuji.com with more than 1000 air purifiers under his belt. Max Fernandez is also one of the million patients currently suffering from asthma. Feel free to nudge him if you have any questions.
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