"There's something about a clean house, a clean room. It does wonders for the psyche," says Brian Sansoni, the Senior Vice President of the American Cleaning Insititute. How true are these words! We are wired to think of our homes as a haven that shields us from all the chaos that happens in the world.
Unfortunately, your home is also a haven for many uninvited microscopic guests like germs, dust, dirt particles, and even worse- pathogens. These "guests" sneak in through our clothes, dirty shoes, luggage, and our dirty hands. The only way to show these "guests" the door is to have your home thoroughly cleaned.
We shall tell you how. But first, let's understand some basics about home cleaning.
Cleaning, Sanitising & Disinfecting: The Triad of Home Cleaning
The Covid-19 pandemic was a wake-up call for the entire world to take home cleaning more seriously. In the past couple of years, the English vocabulary has been dominated by words like "cleaning", "disinfection", and "sanitisation", often being confused for the other or used interchangeably.
So, before you get to work with your arsenal of cleaning products and devices, it is important to understand what these terms really mean.
The Art of Cleaning
Cleaning is when you remove germs or dust by sweeping and mopping. However, in this process, you are not eliminating the germs from the surface. Therefore, any traces of bacteria and other germs will likely fester and grow.
Disinfection is done when you use a strong chemical solution to kill the germs on surfaces and objects. A properly done disinfection will kill microscopic organisms, so they can no longer cause harm.
The final process, Sanitising, is the removal of germs to the acceptable safety regulations and public health codes. Sanitisation does not kill viruses but effectively kills bacteria when weaker bleach and chemical solutions are used on contaminated surfaces.
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Effective Guidelines to Clean & Disinfect Your Home
Clean to Cleanse Up
Cleaning is the first important step because it removes the germs and prepares the surface for further processes. If the surface impurities are not removed, it will render the disinfectants useless.
Whether big or small, there are a thousand places and things to clean in a home. It can be overwhelming to know where to begin and where to end if you are new to the process. To simplify things, we've compiled a list of places to clean in your home.
- High-touch hard surfaces like doorknobs switch panels, kitchen countertops, bathroom and dining room wash basins, and kitchen sink
- Electronics like the TV, sound systems, desktops, laptops, keyboards, remote controls, touch screens, and tablets
- Soft surfaces like carpets, mattresses, pillows, rugs, doormats, and curtains
- Laundry items like clothing, towels, and bed linens
It's time to get your hands dirty! Here's how you clean these various surfaces in your home:
- Clean all high-touch and hard surfaces with soap and water or the appropriate cleaning agent
- Dust all electronic surfaces and cover them to make disinfecting easier. You can also vacuum your keyboards to remove the dust between the keys
- Vacuum clean all soft surfaces or get them dry cleaned with a professional dry cleaning service
- Use a good detergent to clean all your laundry items at the recommended water temperature. Remember to wash a sick family member's clothes separately
Disinfect to Decontaminate
Once you are done cleaning, you should step up the process with disinfection, especially if you have young children or sick people at home. Disinfection is imperative when there's a family member who is particularly vulnerable due to the following:
- Chronic or terminal illnesses
- Genetic conditions of the immune system
- HIV or other illnesses
You should also consider people with a weakened immune system and those being treated with immune-suppressing drugs for cancer.
Disinfection is more about targeting the hot spots where germs can accumulate and fester. The following places in your home should be disinfected every day to keep vulnerable people safe:
- Toilet seats, flushes, and handles
- All door and cupboard knobs
- All taps and hand showers
- Fridge, oven, microwave, and dishwasher handles
- Table surfaces and kitchen countertops
- Staircase railings
- All electronic and digital gadgets
- Keyboards and computer mice
- TV and game remotes
- Light panels and switches
We strongly recommend using EPA-registered disinfectant or a strong bleach solution to disinfect. Some of the best disinfectants to pick off the shelf are:
- Clorox or Lysol disinfectant wipes
- Purell, Clorox, or Lysol sprays
- Hydrogen peroxide
- Isopropyl alcohol
All these chemicals and products are powerful and harmful; if you are not careful, you could end up harming yourself, your loved ones, or your pets. It is wise to keep these safety guidelines in mind when using disinfectants at home.
- Keep all disinfectants and chemicals out of reach of children and pets
- Label all the products clearly
- Use the products ONLY as directed
- Never mix the products with other chemicals
- Never use disinfectants to wipe or clean your pets
- Avoid eating, drinking, or inhaling disinfectants
Directions for Safe Disinfection & Cleaning Practices to Follow With Sick Family Members
The objective of disinfection is to eliminate any germs and pathogens on various surfaces inside your home. To thoroughly disinfect these surfaces, it is best to wash or wipe them with water and the disinfectant product of your choice.
Most disinfectants are a concoction of moderate to strong chemicals. Therefore, there is a certain protocol to follow when you start the process. You should:
- Wear the recommended protective gear like gloves, mask, goggles, and clothes with long sleeves to protect your skin and eyes.
- Follow all directions to the T and dilute the product only with room temperature water unless the instructions tell you otherwise.
- Keep all doors and windows open to let in fresh air during disinfection.
- Ensure proper "contact time" by leaving the disinfectant long enough on the surface to kill the germs. The recommended contact time will be given in the directions.
- Ensure the surface is wet during the entire contact time to eliminate all the germs.
- Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds after the process.
Cleaning & Disinfecting With Sick Family Members
In light of the Covid-19 pandemic, the CDC has issued stringent guidelines to clean and disinfect your house when you have a sick family member.
- Sick family members should stay separate from others. They should use a separate bedroom and restroom.
- They should be given a separate set of cleaning supplies to clean their room if they are physically well enough.
- The area around a sick person should be cleaned and disinfected immediately when necessary.
- Shared bathrooms should be cleaned and disinfected after every use by people with illnesses. When this isn't possible, wait as long as possible before cleaning and disinfecting.
Get Help From FastHelp
Cleaning isn't just for aesthetics. You need to do it with a lot more purpose, especially with this health crisis that's enveloped the world. Or you can hire the FastHelp team for all kinds of disinfection services to give your home cleaning that special professional touch. Talk to our team now, and book your cleaning appointment right away!
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