Spring cleaning has taken on a new urgency this year amidst the corona virus pandemic. With health at its forefront, we are giving extra thought and attention to ways and means of keeping our homes as clean and germ-free as possible.
Here are some steps everyone can take to keep their homes sparkling, especially with many of us spending more time inside.
Clean before you sanitise – Don’t just sanitise – clean first then sanitise. We can be tempted to run through our house with disinfectant wipes or spray in hand and using them on all surfaces. But it’s better to first clean the area with a soapy sponge and/or cloth and then apply any disinfectant. Leave the disinfectant untouched on surfaces for around 30 seconds before wiping. In normal times you would want to clean and sanitise every few days, but these are anything but normal times. Clean and sanitise kitchen counter-tops daily if you have had visitors. The reality is that these are used daily, so you should consider cleaning and sanitising them daily.
Tip – Regularly wash your hands. Get into a regular practice of washing your hands when you return home and before you touch anything else.
Don’t forget cupboards and kettles – While large surfaces like kitchen counter tops get the most attention, don’t forget to clean and disinfect those areas we frequently touch such as the kettle, coffee machine, door and window handles, makeup packaging, remote controls and possibly the most forgotten area in the kitchen – cupboard and appliance handles. Though it is recommended that surfaces that are being frequently touched by hands, yours and others, such as light switches, door handles (your outside door handle especially) are sanitised regularly.
Run your washing machine with nothing in it – To prevent the spread of germs, all underwear, towels and household linen should be washed at 60C or at 40C with a bleach-based, or bio, laundry product. It’s also a good idea to run the washing machine on empty every now and then, either at a high temperature or with a chemical disinfectant to prevent the growth of germs and try not to leave wet washing in the machine as this will only serve to encourage the growth of germs.
Tip – If you are buying disinfectant, check the product information to make sure it says it combats viruses including influenza and human coronaviruses – an example is Dettol surface cleanser
Pay extra attention to the sponges or cloth that you use for cleaning – The very things you use to clean other things is often teeming with germs itself. The Global Hygiene Council found that an average of 19.6 billion bacteria live in the kitchen sponges in British homes. You might not want to think about that too much! The good news is that it’s easy to send those 19.6 billion bacteria on their merry way. Just pop the sponge into the dishwasher or washing machine, or give it a scrub with hot soapy water yourself. You could also put it in the microwave on high for a minute or two – and while you’re at it, put any other sponges or cloths you regularly use such as bathroom sponges. Another tip is to use microfibre cloths because these are easily laundered and dry very quickly.
The whole country is doing its best to stay safe and healthy and we wish you the best in this difficult time.