While staying indoors is the most responsible thing we can do to help curb the spread of COVID-19, we also need to make sure that we’re keeping our homes clean and well-sanitized to help safeguard our families and reduce the chance of any infection. Germs can be brought inside the house in many ways, especially if you have family members or house-help leaving and re-entering the house for the purpose of buying groceries or other essentials, or when you’re receiving packages and other goods.
Let’s take a look at some important ways in which you can clean & disinfect your home to keep you and your loved ones healthy & safe!
1. Handwashing is your #1 safety tool
Don’t underestimate the power of washing your hands. It is the best way to protect yourself and your family from the spread of viruses. Why is it so important to wash your hands even when you’re indoors? According to experts, while COVID-19 mainly spreads through respiratory droplets released by an infected person, this virus can also live on hard surfaces for a certain amount of time.
This is why it’s absolutely essential to wash your hands thoroughly with soap & water
- Before and after eating
- After touching any surfaces or items that could potentially carry germs
- Anytime you cough, sneeze or blow your nose
- Every time you use the restroom
- Before and after you clean & disinfect your home
- As soon as you come home after being outdoors
Be conscious about trying to avoid touching your face, eyes, nose, mouth as far as possible, especially if you have touched any surfaces outdoors. If your skin is overly dry or peeling due to the constant handwashing, use a gentle skin moisturizer every time you wash.
2. Clean. Disinfect. Repeat.
To properly rid your home of infection-causing germs, follow this simple two-step process:
(a) Clean: First, clean the area with soap/detergent and water to remove dirt and messes.
(b) Disinfect: Then, use surface-appropriate disinfectant to ‘kill’ germs that are present on various surfaces. Always dry surfaces properly with a clean, dry cloth or napkin afterwards.
Here’s a list of commonly-touched surfaces that you should clean & disinfect daily. Look around your house to see if there’s anything else that you use and touch often that might require disinfecting.
- Door knobs and drawer handles
- Light switches
- Remote controls
- Refrigerator, microwave and oven handles
- Kitchen counters
- Table tops
- Faucet handles
- Toilet seats and flush handles
- Window ledges
- Staircase bannister
Areas like the kitchen and bathrooms should be cleaned thoroughly on a daily basis.
Electronics like phones, tablets and laptops are also “high touch surfaces” and are a magnet for germs. Clean these daily as per the manufacturer’s instructions.
Regularly clean & disinfect your children’s toys using antibacterial wipes.
If you receive any mail or outside packages, it’s always a good idea to quickly wipe down the packages with disinfecting wipes.
3. Ask anyone entering the house to remove their shoes and leave them by the door as these can be carriers of bacteria
Designate an area by your door or place a shoe rack by the entrance where you can leave outdoor shoes without walking through the house with them. Your shoes have been all over the place and can thus bring bacteria back into your home.
4. Hang up separate towels for each family member
Using separate hand & face towels for each family member can help prevent the spread of germs & infection from one person to another and is a hygienic practice to adopt regardless of whether someone is ill or not.
5. Wash clothes, linen and towels with warm water
If possible, wash your clothing and other items in the washing machine on the warm water setting to help kill any germs that might be present. When you’re sorting the laundry, try not to shake it out.
If you or any family member go outdoors, throw your ‘outside clothes’ in the washer as soon as you’re back home. Try and wash bedsheets and towels more often as well. Check the instructions on your child’s stuffed animals as many of these can also be cleaned in the washing machine. After washing, make sure that you dry clothes and other items thoroughly. If you have a cloth laundry basket, make sure you wash that from time to time as well.
Following these simple practices daily can help sanitize your home, and lower the chances of any infection. Happy cleaning, moms & dads! Stay safe and healthy.