Keeping a germ-free home for the holidays

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(KTVI) - The holidays won't be merry if you're sick so we're giving you some good habits to get into, especially in the kitchen where lots of people gather and lots of food is being prepared.

Germ expert Donna DuBurg from SLU explains.

**Germ-free move No. 1: Wipe down surfaces.

"Cold and flu viruses can live outside of the body for up to two days," To avoid transferring those germs to your own eyes, nose or mouth, disinfect and sanitize common areas daily: Besides countertops, make sure to clean doorknobs, light switches and remote controls.

**Germ-free move No. 2: Wash linens and towels.

After your houseguest leaves, make sure to launder those towels and bedding. Also assign each person his or her own hand towel, so you won't pick up germs while drying off.

**Germ-free move No. 3: Disinfect fabrics.

For fabrics that you can't toss in the washing machine, such as cushions and curtains, use a disinfecting fabric spray to neutralize microbes. Bonus: You'll freshen up the room in the process.

**Germ-free move No. 4: Use trashcan liners.

Used tissues are teeming with viruses. To avoid accidentally touching one as you're empting the trash, line all of those containers with trash bags and sanitize them regularly.

**Germ-free move No. 5: Sanitize hands.

Washing your hands is the best way to fend off colds and flu, but alcohol-based hand sanitizers can also do the trick. To encourage your guests to keep clean, place bottles of sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol in common areas and place a small travel bottle in their room.

**Germ-free move No. 6: Make your health a priority.
-Get sleep...Falling short on shut-eye weakens your immune system, which may leave you vulnerable to viruses...