Since school has been in session for about a month.  Chances are your live is "whizzing" by and your doing the best you can to get those lunch boxes and back packs out the door each morning.  But, without a little TLC these items can get germy if we aren't careful.

Lunchboxes:

  *   Wash metal or plastic lunchboxes like you would wash dishes, in the sink or dishwasher if they are dishwasher-safe.

  *   For soft-sided lunchboxes, check the label - you may be able to wash them with your clothes.  If not, use a soapy rag, or disinfectant wipe to clean out the inside surfaces.

  *   Get in the habit of washing lunchboxes weekly and cleaning spills or spots as soon as you see them.

Backpacks:

  *   Empty the backpacks completely at least once a week.  Give them a good shake outside to get rid of unwanted pests, dirt or trash.  Remember back packs can bring home bed bugs, so leaving them near the front door and not in bedrooms is best.

  *   Be sure to check every pocket - some backpacks have several. Use a small vacuum attachment to completely empty them.

  *   Check the label and use the washing machine if possible. Otherwise, hand wash. If the fabric doesn't have a care label, test a small part of the fabric first before you wash the whole thing.

  *   Pre-treat any stains using a pre-treatment stain remover.

  *   Let the backpack air-dry with all the pockets open.

These daily use items need your attention, but with a little effort we can keep them clean all year!

Source: Clean and Happy Nest, Cleaning Institute

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