When cleaning at home, it's often easy to overlook cleaning and disinfecting high traffic areas. These places and items often look clean but could be covered in nasty viruses or bacteria. Even though a surface looks clean, sometimes germs can sit quietly, waiting for someone to come along and pick them up.
If your you have a family it is extremely important to keep up with good hygiene and cleanliness. I have two daughters, one in year 10 and one at college, she gets the train three days per week. I also have a 8 year old step daughter who stays at the weekend. Mike is also still out cleaning carpets and I'm still out cleaning, so our household has to take extra care.
So far so good. We have had a minor cold so far but that's all it was. There have been a few covid cases close to home but luckily everybody close to us has had minor symptoms.
What Products to Use
There are many products on the market today designed to get rid of germs such as antibacterial cleaners and disinfectant. It is especially important to always read the label and follow the instructions. Some products require you to clean before you disinfect, others need to be left for a few minutes to get to work before rinsing. Whatever product you are using, whether it be a disinfectant or an antibacterial cleaner (they are different), always read the label to make sure they will kill what you need it too. Check out my blog, disinfectant vs antiseptic vs antibacterial vs sanitiser here.
I have also written a blog where I look into some of the UKs leading cleaning products, which will be available soon.
To properly disinfect, remove all virus and bacterial cells, you will need to clean, then disinfect. Some products need to be left on a surface for up to 10 minutes so they can get to work. Always read the label and follow instructions. Never mix chemicals and if it says to rinse, always rinse.
What is important to realise is that there is a difference between disinfectants and antibacterial cleaning products. You can find out more about these differences on my blog here. It is also important to note that viruses and bacteria can become immune to certain products over time. Make sure you change your products regularly.
Door Handles and Frames
Door handles are often overlooked when it comes to daily cleaning. If you think about it, how many people touch the bathroom door. If you have young children, can you be sure they have washed their hands correctly. In an ideal world everybody would wash their hands after using the toilet or when they arrive home, but not everyone does.
We need to turn our door handles, but many doors open with a slight nudge. This is why it's important to disinfect the frame as well. The quickest and easiest way to do this is by using a damp cloth soaked in disinfectant, after cleaning it with warm soapy water first.
Handrails / Banisters
Handrails are touched a lot, and unless they look dirty, they are often overlooked when it comes to disinfecting. The handrail on the left is a bit grubby so I cleaned it with some degreaser, rinsed it off with warm soapy water and then disinfected using some Fabulosa disinfectant spray. Remember it's dangerous to mix chemicals, this is why I always rinse off harsh chemicals, which degreasers usually are.
If you find yourself, like me, forever shouting 'its like Blackpool illuminations in here' (I think it's a british thing), then your light switches will need some attention. Unless you are fancy and can turn them off on your phone.
I find using a damp cloth soaked in disinfectant does the trick. Remember to cover the whole switch and gaps in between. Dry with some kitchen roll or a microfibre cloth to buff out smears and use cotton buds (q tips), to get in between the switches.
Controllers and Remotes
To be honest I very rarely pick up a computer remote, or the tv remote. I do notice that everybody else has been using it with grubby hands or whilst eating doritos, or chocolate cake.
In holiday lets I clean we keep remotes in a plastic zip bag and change them between guests. I also go over with some disinfectant , just in case it has been taken out, as you never know. In my home we don't go this far and i clean it with a slightly damp cloth and wipe over with a cloth with a small amount of disinfectant applied directly to it. If your remote is like mine and filled with crumbs, use a cotton bud to get in between the buttons.
Mobile Phones and Tablets
How often do you clean your mobile phone screen? Or even your tablet. In all honesty I don't think anyone does it enough. If you think about it too long it will make your skin crawl, it does mine. We use our phones when we are out and about, we touch things, then pick up our phones without a thought. I'll leave it there, its not worth thinking to much into, my ocd will kick in.
It is best way is to take your phone or tablet out of its case and wipe it with a slightly moist cloth (only a few drops of water on a small area of cloth), and drying immediately after. Then add a few drops of disinfectant to the cloth and wipe both front and back. Don't forget to read instructions and also don't forget to clean and disinfect your case. I would do this daily but for a quick fix whilst out, purchase some cleaning wipes that kill viruses as well as bacteria. If you have one buff up with a glasses wipe or a dry microfiber cloth.
Laptops and Keyboards
Now we are all spending more time at home, a mind a lot of us working from home, its extra important to keep your laptops and keyboards clean. If you sit eating at your makeshift desk, crumbs are likely to get wedged in the keyboard. There are many ways to get crumbs and dust out of the keys. My favourite toy is the compressed air. If you use it correctly it works wonders. Once you have blown away the mess it's time to clean and disinfect. You can also use cotton buds to dislodge and bits under the keys.
It's best to do this when your laptop or computer is switched off by the way. Now using the same method as with cleaning the screens, take a very slightly moist cloth and clean all the keys and the spaces inbetween. If you have a touch pad, gently clean that too. Sometimes I use a cotton bud (q tip) to get into all those hard to reach places.
Once the keyboard is clean it's time to disinfect using a few drops on a cloth. It would be best to use a product that doesn't need to be rinsed. Buff with a glasses cloth or dry microfiber to stop streaks.
Whilst it is important to keep things clean and sanitised it is also important to note we still need certain bacteria in our lives. Getting poorly every now and then is great for our immune system. I hope everyone has found this useful and slightly interesting, Trying to make cleaning fun isn't easy.
Take care and stay safe
Till next time, Kerry L