5 Home Habits to Keep Your Space Disinfected

Keeping your home free from harmful viral and bacterial matter is more important than ever. Each day, we track more bacteria inside our homes than we realize. It is vital that proper cleaning and precautionary measures are taken in order to keep ourselves and family members inside the home clear from harm’s way. In this article, we tackle how to stop germs at the front door and how to rid your home from the ones that slipped through the cracks.

  1. Stopping Germs at the Door

Step one in keeping your home germ and virus free is to halt viral matters at the door. Items that collect dirt, such as shoes, must be placed at the front door. If the item or items belong in an area inside the home, then it is crucial to take the proper disinfecting measures.

Let’s use groceries as an example. You have just gotten home from doing your weekly grocery shopping routine. One thing you should do before entering your home is disinfect your hands. While shopping in the grocery store, your hands have come into contact with various items, items that hundreds of shoppers have also touched. Whether you can see it or not, your hands are quite dirty after handing the shopping.

A neat experiment to track the amount of dirt you accumulate on your hands while shopping (or when making runs in general) is to wear a pair of surgical gloves. Ensure they are light in color so you are able to see any residue accumulated throughout your time out. When finished making your runs or shopping, you will be surprised to see just how dirty the gloves became.

When coming home, the first thing you should do before opening your front door is sanitize your hands. Be sure the sanitizer you are using contains at least 60% alcolhol, as reccomended by the CDC, and use enough product to keep your hands wet for at least 15 seconds while rubbing the sanitizer into the skin. This ensures that your hands are properly disinfected, thus preventing you from tracking germs from your door knob to various areas throughout your home via your hands. 

  1. Ridding Your Home of Germs

Germs and viral matter that have made their way into your home can last on surfaces for hours or even days. Keeping disinfectant spray and wipes on hand can help eliminate these germs.

The CDC recommends first cleaning surfaces with soap and warm water, and then disinfecting the surfaces with a proper and effective disinfectant. Cleaning with soap and water reduces the amount of germs and dirt. The disinfectant step that will follow next will rid the surface of the germs that were not washed away in ridding the surfaces of dirt and other impurities. 

Important surfaces to cover include high contact surfaces. High contact surfaces are surfaces in which members of the home often come into contact with. Those surfaces include door knobs, light switches, counters and tables, phones, keyboards, remotes, faucets, toilets, etc.

Like when using sanitizer for the hands, it is also important to keep the surfaces of these surfaces wet for a period of time to ensure the disinfect is given the proper window of time to complete its job. The lengths of time needed for surfaces to be wet can vary by product.

With this, it is important to read the directions of each product to ensure you are using it correctly to properly disinfect surfaces. If you live with more than one person, ensuring that you keep up with properly cleaning and disinfecting these high contact surfaces is crucial to keeping yourself and house members out of harm's way, especially during these times. 

  1. Disinfecting the Bedroom of A Sick House Member

If someone develops an ilness in the home, it is more crucial than ever that they are separated from the other members of the home. This ensures that other members of the home are not being exposed to pollutants that could potentially cause them to develop the same illness.

An important factor to keep in mind is that illnesses affects each individual uniquely. Minor symptoms experienced by one could turn into major symptoms for another. It is important to keep this fact in mind in ensuring you take the proper precautionary measures to ensure the health of all members of the home are being properly protected.

The first step to take when someone becomes unwell in the home is to section off the home so that they are in their own space. This serves as the “mask” of the home, creating a protection barrier between the one afflicted with illness and protecting those who are not. When entering the room for important matters such as delivering food and/or medicine, ensure that the person who is ill is wearing a mask along with the person entering.

When collecting dishes, it is important to wash these dishes separate from the rest. Use hot water and ensure you do not use the same towel or sponge with any other dish or piece of cutlery. When removing trash that contains tissue from this bedroom, be sure to wear disposable gloves.

Once the person recovers from their illness, disinfect the space using the methods above. Also be sure to clean all bedding in hot water and use a disinfectant spray on the mattress.

  1. Disinfecting The Bathroom

Cleaning the bathroom isn’t fun for anyone, but keeping a proper and steady routine will make this vital chore a breeze. Although the bathroom is a space for cleaning our bodies, lots of bacteria can be found in this area of the home.

When cleaning the bathroom, it is important to protect your hands with cleaning gloves. This eliminates the chance of you spreading germs to yourself or outside the bathroom in your home, and protects you from getting chemicals on your skin.

Starting with the toilet, apply your preferred cleaning agent that will effectively clean the toilet. Use a good brush when scrubbing the bowl. Once finished, let the product sit for about 5 to 10 minutes then flush.

You can see the pattern of letting products sit on the surface for a while to allow them the space to work effectively. From hand sanitizer to our cleaning products, these products need to be allowed a window of time in order to work.

Next, let’s move onto the sink. As also listed above, the faucet is another high contact surface that is a key spot to disinfect. Apply an effective cleaning agent, scrub and allow the product to sit for a bit. A good way to utilize the time in which a product is sitting is to move on to the next area. Once finished with that area, the previous has already had enough time to get the job done.

Be sure to sanitize all bath mats and clean the flooring by sweeping and mopping with a disinfectant agent as well.

  1. Choosing the Proper Cleaning Products

It’s important to note that not all cleaning products accomplish the job they are advertised to do. How can we ensure that we are purchasing and using aqduete cleaning products to ensure our space is properly disinfected?

Referring to the Center for Disease Control Prevention is the best way to track that the cleaning products you are using are effective. Starting with hand sanitizers, as mentioned above, these sanitizers should contain at least 60% alcohol to properly rid the hands of germs.

Be sure to take note of the information presented on product labels. For example, Germ-X states that their hand sanitizer kills germs “within 15 seconds”. What does this mean? It doesn’t mean use a pea size amount and rub your hands together for 3 seconds. In order for this product to properly sanitize, an adequate amount of sanitizer needs to be used in order to rub into the skin for the required amount of time. If there is visible dirt on the hands, it is best to simply wash them with an antibacterial hand soap if you are able to do so. The motion of rubbing your hands together for 20 to 30 seconds breaks the bonds of the bacteria and the water rinses them away from the surface of your hands. This is why it’s preferred to wash your hands with soap and water versus hand sanitizer if you can. If unable to, use sanitizer according to its specific directions.

Cleaning products for the home also need to be given a window of time to work. It is also important to note that many of these products are water activated. For example, in order for the toilet bowl cleaner to effectively do its job, the toilet bowl brush must be dipped into the water for a few seconds before scrubbing the bowl. If you were to just scrub the bowl “dry” then flush, the product wouldn’t be able to do its job because the product has not been activated. Be sure to read all product instructions to ensure you are using products correctly and creating a clean space for yourself and other members of the home.

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