(ARA) - Germs and bacteria are everywhere, including the place you strive to keep the cleanest: your home. To shield against germs, consumers are spending more than $1 billion annually on antimicrobial products, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
"Because of viruses like H1N1 and other household germs, consumers are taking every precaution necessary to keep themselves and their families healthy, and that starts at home," says Jackie Cooper, senior director of marketing and communications for Eureka. "With consumers looking for products that will help keep the germs and bacteria at bay, there are now many options available to create a healthy living space."
Cooper suggests the following tips to achieve a clean and germ-free home:
* Don't let them in. Many germs and bacteria make their way into your home by tagging along with you. Once in the house, these microorganisms have a nice, safe place to grow and multiply. Cut germs off at the door by keeping antimicrobial wipes or hand sanitizers near the entrances to your home. This way you - and your guests - can fight bacteria on the spot.
* Vacuum often. Tackle the germs that already have been tracked into your home by using a vacuum with a bacteria-fighting solution to not only suck up dust and dirt, but prevent bacteria from growing in or on the vacuum as well. Eureka's FilterAir vacuum is treated with On-Guard Antimicrobial which inhibits the growth of bacteria on the brushroll and in specific parts of the dust cup. Areas treated with On-Guard include the filter basket and dirt tube within the dust cup assembly. The vacuum's sealed HEPA filtration system also removes 99.97 percent of dust, dander and other allergens as they pass through the filter.
Be sure to change your vacuum filter and bag regularly to reduce the number of allergens and other particles released back into the air. If these items are not changed regularly, the vacuum's performance can be compromised and dirty air can be expelled back into your home. Filtrete antimicrobial accessories feature Ultra-Fresh to provide advanced protection from odor-causing bacteria in the vacuum's bag or filter, while providing superior filtration for the home. This also protects against unpleasant odor and stain-causing microbial growth to keep bags and filters cleaner and fresher.
* Beware of the kitchen and bathroom. Don't forget that germs also like to hang out in places like the kitchen sink where pathogens such as salmonella and E. coli can be found. Although well-intentioned, the kitchen sponge you use to clean is only helping to spread those germs throughout your kitchen. To kill germs on the sponge, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommends microwaving it on full power for one minute. To protect your hands from germs, keep bacteria fighting soap such as Lysol Antimicrobial Soap near the sink to use when working in the kitchen.
* Another popular germ hangout is the bathroom where they can be found in toilets, showers and sinks. One simple step to cut back on germs in the bathroom is to make good use of the toilet lid. When a toilet is flushed, spray can land up to several feet away from the actual toilet, allowing viruses and bacteria to land on items such as a toothbrush or hand towel. Take a few extra seconds before flushing to close the lid and trap harmful bacteria inside.
For more information on Eureka's FilterAir vacuum visit www.eureka.com. For more information on Filtrete's antimicrobial filters and vacuum bags visit www.filtretevac.com.