- Stock up on soap and sanitizer
This is pretty straightforward, but it’s always a good rule of thumb, even if we are over a year into the global pandemic. Make sure every sink, every handbag, every surface has soap and sanitizer. Stock up on those cute, tiny bottles, big chunky bottles, anything to get the job done.
This is definitely beating a dead horse at this point, but it’s always good to be reminded: wash your hands. Wash them many times a day, and thoroughly for 20-30 seconds each.
- Scrub those surfaces
Whenever you can, clean and wipe surfaces throughout your home. Keep disinfectant wipes nearby–especially high-touch areas (kitchen countertops, doorknobs, light switches, refrigerator door, faucets, TV remote, children’s toys, etc.) Make sure you follow the directions on the bottle that are imperative to killing bacteria.
- Wash towels and sheets more frequently.
Maybe this isn’t something you think about often, but The Cleaning Institute recommends washing your towels once every 3 uses, and your bedsheets every 2 weeks. It might be a good idea to take these and make them twice as frequent. Bacteria and viruses could live on bedsheets for 2 to 3 days, according to an article in The Chicago Tribune. So make sure you put out fresh, clean fabrics often, to lower the risk of getting sick.
- Reconsider your handbag.
This is an odd one, we admit. What do handbags have to do with keeping your home clean? Turns out, studies show that 95% of all purses and handbags have bacteria growth. The shoulder straps and bottoms are, on average, the most contaminated. The straps are the place you touch the most on a bag, so that is pretty straightforward, but the bottom? If you think about it, it makes sense. How often have you set your handbag down on the floor of a public restroom? Or on public transportation? Probably more times than not. And how often are you then coming home and setting that same handbag on the kitchen counter? Or on the couch, bed, or other surfaces that is touched frequently in the house? Maybe, for now, it would be best to swap out the bag, or, if the label allows it, throw it in the wash!
- Remove shoes at the door
While they may be fashionable shoes or a lovely Christmas gift from a loved one, they also can track in a lot of dirt, germs, and bacteria from the outside world. We aren’t saying your shoes are carrying COVID, but… I mean… it probably isn’t worth the risk. So the next time you come in the house, pop those bad boys off at the door. You’ll be one step closer to keeping your home safe and clean. (See what I did there?)
- Sanitize your kitchen sponge
Sounds silly but sponges over time without being cleaned are like an incubus for nasty bacteria. Get that thing CLEANED and SANITIZED. “How do I do that,” you ask? There are a few ways. You can use your dishwasher, stick it in the microwave, or soak it in bleach. Follow the guidelines here for more details.
You’d think that because sponges can clean other things, they can clean themselves too… But alas, we do not live in such a world. Good thing these cleaning methods don’t cost much!
- Sanitize those bathroom floors
Have you ever heard of “toilet plume”? There are studies that show every time you flush your toilet without closing the lid, microbes disperse out of the toilet and into the air. This is what “toilet plume” is. The tiny microbes, which are invisible to the human eye, fly out of the toilet and land on the floor, on the countertops, and even on your toothbrush. (We wish we were making this up.) Some microbes can travel up to 15 feet in the air, and about a 6-foot distance from the toilet in one flush. So, it’s safe to say that even despite the global pandemic, a good rule of thumb is to flush the toilet with the lid closed. Trust us on this one. Maybe you should double the frequency at which you sanitize your bathroom floors, too, to get rid of those microbes that could be living there from the last few flushes. If you mop the floor with a bleach-based solution once a week, that oughta do it. Wash your bath mats often, too.
- Ditch the toothbrush
While we’re on the subject of toilet plume, remember when I mentioned those microbes can fly out of the toilet when you flush and land on your toothbrush? Yep. This means the tool you put in your mouth twice a day to clean your teeth probably has fecal matter on it. Again, we really wish we were joking. Aside from the nightmares of toilet plume, the same study 100 million microbes per milliliter of saliva live in your mouth on average. This means those microbes are also being transferred to your toothbrush every time you brush. This means the bacteria are then transferred back into your mouth the next time you brush. The cycle continues and the bacteria grows with each brush. Replace your toothbrush often, and flush with the toilet lid closed. This will stop the spread of bacteria and keep your home safe and clean.
- Disinfect your desktop or laptop weekly. Whether you work from home, or not, this is key to keeping your home clean and sanitized. Just bust out a few sanitizing wipes every now and then and get those keyboards spotless.
- Change your air filters
How often do you think about your air filters? Probably not much. Let’s be honest, I didn’t either until I read about the importance of changing them. And how often. This of course varies depending on what type of filter it is, how many pets you have, overall air quality in the home and the amount of outside air pollution is occurring.
We found a guide for you from Safe Shield Inspections, so you know how often you should replace those filters and improve clean air circulation:
- Vacation home (i.e. home not used regularly) and no pets or allergies: every 6-12 months
- “Average” suburban home without pets: every 90 days
- Add a dog or cat: every 60 days
- For a home within the city or near a construction zone: 45-60 days
- Add more than one pet or anyone that has allergies: 20-45 days
Photo credit: HomeSpot HQ
We hope this list of 10 tips for a clean and COVID-free home helps you and your loved ones stay safe. Of course, we do not guarantee that doing the things on this list will eliminate 100% of bacteria, germs, and viruses in your house, but it sure as heck helps stop the spread.
You can always ask one of our home inspectors at your next inspection for more tips, or if you’re unsure about how often you should be cleaning and sanitizing the things around your home. We are here to help in whatever way we can, to educate and ensure your peace of mind. Remember: a clean home is a happy home, which means so are the people in it!