Heloise Shares Hints on Creating a Flu-Free Home

HeloiseHeloise, who writes the syndicated advice column Hints from Heloise, offers suggestions for keeping your home flu-free. Image: The Home & Remodeling Show

Syndicated advice columnist Heloise chats about how to make your home a healthier place during flu season.

Like everyone else in America, I’ve been trying to stay healthy during the current flu epidemic. So, when I heard that Heloise, aka Hints from Heloise, is speaking this weekend at the Home and Remodeling Show in Chantilly, Va., near my home, I grabbed the chance to contact her and ask how to make my home flu-free.

Hand-washing is key, says the Texan columnist and advisor on all things domestic; and vigorous hand rubbing is more important than water temperature or type of soap. Also, place paper towels or napkins at the sink that you can use and toss, don’t use hand towels that just absorb and pass along germs.

More Anti-Flu Tips:

  • Line trashcans with plastic bags from the grocery so you can throw away used tissues without touching them.
  • Clean door handles and faucets with inexpensive rubbing alcohol — 70% or 90% — rather than commercial anti-bacterial wipes.
  • Don’t forget to sanitize TV remote controls, especially if a sick person has touched them.
  • Crack a window or door to let in fresh air, rather than just breathing the same stale, germy air.
  • Wash sheets on sick beds at least twice a week in the hottest water they can stand: add a splash of chlorine bleach.

After we chatted about the flu, Heloise shared some remodeling advice — she’s all about advice — on how to approach DIY projects.

Her top hint: Always assume a DIY project will take longer and require more skills than it looks on television. Then sit down with the directions a day or two before you begin. That way you’ll know what tools and skills you need before you’re knee-deep in nuts and bolts.

Heloise will be sharing more home hints at the Home and Remodeling Show on Jan. 18, 4 p.m.; Jan.19, 12:30 p.m. and 6 p.m.