Home hygiene refers to practices that prevent or reduce the spread of disease in your house. Just from that, it’s easy to see the importance of hygiene and why you need to include it in your daily routines.
Focus on cleaning and disinfecting high traffic areas and high-touch surfaces. This is especially critical is someone in your home is sick or has been exposed to a sick person.
I’m going to share the areas of your home you should disinfect frequently, the best products to use and other tips that will help you to keep your home germ-free.
How To Disinfect Your House Disinfect vs Sanitize vs Clean
Cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting are generally used interchangeably but they each mean different things. Knowing the difference between them will ensure that you’re selecting the right products for the job you need done.
First, let’s define cleaning… When you clean your home, you’re tidying, wiping, washing or brushing surfaces to remove dirt or messes. Cleaning does not kill viruses, bacteria or fungi, which are generally referred to as germs. While cleaners can potentially help to remove germs from surfaces as they lift dirt and debris, their ultimate goal is to make a surface spotless.
Cleaning products can make your home look shiny and like new but if you really want to tackle germs, you’ll need to sanitize or disinfect. So, what’s the difference between the two?
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), sanitizing and disinfecting products are chemicals that kill germs. However, disinfectants kill more germs than sanitizers do. In most cases, you’ll use a cleaning product first and then sanitize or disinfect when necessary.
So, When Should You Sanitize?
Sanitizing is great for surfaces that don’t typically come into contact with dangerous germs or those that come into contact with your mouth. So, cooking utensils and toys should be sanitized.
When To Disinfect?
Disinfecting is important to stop the spread of germs from high-touch surfaces or anywhere in the home that may have been contaminated by body fluids.
To be effective, ensure you follow the instructions of the specific disinfectant you’re using. Most disinfecting products need to be left on a surface for a particular length of time to thoroughly remove germs. Most people make the mistake of wiping the surface dry immediately after applying the product.
Popular Disinfectants You Probably Have At Home
There are several disinfecting products you can use when practicing good home hygiene. Here are my top five and, you most likely have one, if not more, of these at home already:
Bleach Hydrogen peroxide Rubbing alcohol – solution should be 70% or higher Lysol spray – I love this for hard surfaces with lots of little crevices that are hard to clean e.g. door knobs Clorox wipes – excellent for many non-porous surfaces in the home
Here’s a list of EPA registered disinfectants you can use at home that are effective against the novel coronavirus that causes Covid-19 disease.
Is Bleach a Sanitizer or disinfectant?
Good old household bleach can be used to sanitize and disinfect your home. It all depends on the concentration used.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CD) recommends using 5 tablespoons bleach per gallon of water or 4 teaspoons bleach per quart of water to disinfect.
High-Touch Areas You Need To Disinfect Frequently
There are certain areas of your home that people touch often. This means that they’re the perfect spots for transferring germs. So, if you’ve been wondering how to disinfect your house, I’d recommend starting with these top ten surfaces:
Light switches Door knobs Faucet handles Toilets – handle, seat and lid (Learn how to clean a toilet.) Refrigerator or freezer doors and handles Microwave door Cabinet handles and drawer pulls Countertops in the kitchen and bathroom(s) Computer keyboard and mouse Other electronic devices e.g. cell phones, tablets, remote controls, gaming device controllers
Wear gloves while you disinfect your house.
Do not spray cleaning products directly onto electronic devices or light switches. If using a disinfecting spray, place the product on a cleaning cloth, then wipe the area and let air dry.
Ensure the cleaning agent you’re using will not damage your surfaces. Check recommended cleaners that can be used on the various materials in your home.
After Disinfecting Your House
Wash your hands thoroughly using soap and water for at least 20 seconds. This is the best way to clean your skin, remove germs and prevent the spread of disease at home.
Now you know how to disinfect your house and the best way to prevent the spread of disease to your family. Cleaning the top ten high-touch areas will only take a few minutes so you can add them to your daily cleaning schedule especially if someone in your home is ill.
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