It’s no secret that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought heightened caution in public spaces. Masks are required in most grocery stores, lines are spaced out by six feet, and the number of students allowed in classrooms is limited. But, are you being cautious within the walls of your own house? You can unintentionally bring home germs (besides COVID-19), such as the common cold, which is even more prevalent during the cooler months. Routinely disinfecting your belongings will keep you and your family healthy, so you can enjoy the autumn festivities instead of resting in bed with the sniffles all season long.
Bathrooms are most likely the filthiest place in your home — especially during cold and flu season. Just to be extra cautious, a quick wipe down of every surface at least twice a week will keep bacteria growth at bay.
Disinfect the sink, countertops, and faucet, then rinse with warm water. Wipe down the toilet with a strong cleaner and scrub the bowl thoroughly with a brush and a bleach-based toilet cleaner. Scrub the bathtub and shower grout with a bristled brush dipped in a solution of water and bleach. Launder all the hand towels, washcloths, and towels in hot water and laundry detergent. Sweep, then mop the floor with a sanitizer that not only will kill bacteria but is also safe for pets and young children, if you have them. Lastly, wipe down the doorknobs and light switches with a disinfectant wipe.
Mom was right when she said you should make your bed every day. But, did she also remind you to wash your sheets once a week? Your bed may feel cozy, but it’s secretly hiding bacteria, dead skin cells, dust mites, sweat, and possibly bed bugs. Gross!
Throw your comforter, sheets, and pillowcases into the washing machine on the hottest water cycle possible with a gentle detergent. Wipe down the nightstands, dresser tops, doorknobs, and light switches with a disinfectant wipe. Vacuum the floor and rugs to rid the room of dust and grime. Invest in an air purifier (more information below) to kill 99.99% of germs and bacteria so you can sleep soundly without the discomfort of congestion and allergies.
The kitchen may be known as “the heart of the home,” but it can also become the “germ central” of the home as well. When preparing and cooking meals, it’s important for the environment to be properly disinfected to prevent contamination and food-borne illnesses.
Leaving old food on plates will not only make it more difficult to clean, but it will also begin to mold and attract insects overnight, so remember to do your dishes. If you can’t do the dishes after every meal, at least create a habit to load and start the dishwasher before going to bed. No worries if you don’t have a dishwasher, just be sure to thoroughly scrub dishes with hot water and soap to avoid cross-contamination of bacteria. Slicing fruit on a cutting board that still has raw chicken juices can be very detrimental to your health, as can sharing utensils with others who may be sick.
Wipe down the countertops and kitchen table a few times every day, preferably with a disinfectant spray. Wipe down the doorknobs, light switches, and refrigerator handles with a disinfectant wipe. Sweep the floors, then sanitize the floor with a cleaning product that not only will kill bacteria but is also safe for pets and young children, if you have them.
Products to Keep on Hand
At the end of each day, walk through your home and wipe down any surfaces that are touched often. This includes doorknobs, light switches, keyboards, fridge handles, and tabletops. Leave the wet cleaning film to sit on the surface for at least 5 minutes before wiping away with a dry cloth. Clorox, Lysol, and store-brand wipes have all been proven by the CDC to kill COVID-19 and other sickness-causing bacteria.
While bleach is a great option to whiten your dingy towels or stained shirts, it also is an effective household cleaner. Mix 1 cup of bleach with 1 gallon of room temperature water and disinfect tubs, toilets, sinks, and trash cans. Be sure to use the solution in a well-ventilated space to prevent irritation to the eyes and lungs.
Frequently washing your hands will prevent the spread of sickness to yourself and others. Keep a bottle of hand soap “handy” at the edge of every sink in your home and supply fresh paper towels or hand towels for drying. The CDC recommends that you wash your hands with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds. Remember to thoroughly wash your hands before and after touching your eyes, mouth, or nose.
No need to purchase alcohol wipes! PhoneSoap is a UV-C light sanitizer that will kill 99.99% of germs and bacteria in just 10 minutes. Pro Tip: Keep your PhoneSoap in a high-traffic area, such as the kitchen or by the front door. That way, you can throw your phone in to be cleaned each time you return from running errands around town.
Did you know that washing detergent will remove stains and dirt, but it won’t always kill the bacteria that hide in the fabric of your clothes? The buildup of bacteria can cause odors and even skin infections. This is perfect for deodorizing the hard-to-get-rid-of smells from pet blankets, workout clothes, hospital scrubs, baby clothes, and much more.
Invisible to the naked eye, there are dust particles, mold spores, pet dander, and bacteria floating around in the air of your house. Breathing in those allergens can be irritating to our lungs and cause respiratory and sleep issues. This air purifier will kill 99.99% of germs and bacteria in the air so that you don’t have to worry about getting sick from the air in your home. While other air purifiers require you to purchase filters that you must replace, the AirSoap uses a reusable graphene plate that can be thrown in the dishwasher to sanitize.
Forget those air fresheners that are full of chemicals that could be irritating to your breathing. Instead, invest in a diffuser and high-quality essential oils, so not only will the air smell like a grove of lemon trees or lavender fields, but it will also be cleaned naturally.
While the COVID-19 pandemic has been difficult for much of the world, we can take this opportunity to reform our cleaning and social gathering habits. While there will be changes to travel, shopping, attending school, and dining out, we can also make an effort to be clean at home as well. Consistency with disinfecting and sanitizing will ensure that we can protect ourselves and our family within the walls of our homes.