With safety and cleanliness being stressed more than ever, it’s important for you and your family to understand how to properly sanitize commonly touched surfaces in the home. The difference between cleaning and disinfecting is simple: cleaning removes top-level grime and other visible residue, while disinfecting kills germs and bacteria that can cause illness. How well you disinfect a surface can make more of an impact than how often you do it, so don’t kill yourself with constant cleaning. Below are some tips on top items to sanitize in your home and how to do it properly to keep you and your family safe.
The Cleaning Process
While regular cleaning of a surface can remove some germs, sponges or rags used with basic cleaning products will leave germs or just push them around. The best process for properly disinfecting a surface is to clean it first with a household cleaning product, detergent, or soap and water. Cleaning a surface first will remove overlaying residue which increases the effectiveness of the secondary disinfectant. After a surface is cleaned thoroughly you can then apply a disinfectant to properly sanitize it. Be sure to use skin protection and ensure adequate ventilation when using cleaning and disinfectant products.
Hard (non-porous) surfaces can be cleaned with EPA-registered household products like those provided by Clorox or Lysol, or a bleach solution (1/3rd cup bleach per gallon of room temperature water or 4 teaspoons bleach per quart of room temperature water). You can also use alcohol-based solutions that contain at least 70% alcohol to Be sure to carefully follow manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning and disinfectant products and never mix bleach with ammonia-containing solutions.
Soft (porous) surfaces such as towels, rugs, carpeting and drapes can be cleaned with soap and water, or specific cleaners for the type of surface. Some EPA-registered products can be used on soft surfaces but be sure to read the product label before applying. If it is possible to launder the surface, such as with rugs, pillows and other machine-washable items, do so with the warmest water setting appropriate and allow item to dry completely.
Around the House
Think about all of the things you touch around your house every day – doorknobs and handles, light switches, and remotes and gaming controllers. These surfaces and can accumulate a lot of germs, so they should be disinfected daily with to prevent germs from sticking and spreading to other areas of your house.
The kitchen is considered to be one of the most “high-traffic” areas in your house. Pay attention to the cleaning and disinfecting of counters, tables, chairs, oven and refrigerator handles, as well as other surfaces that come in contact with food like cutting boards. Take care to use the proper cleaning and disinfecting methods for various surface types, as well as using the right products for surfaces that come in contact with food. Food surfaces should be wiped with water after using products on them.
One of the top items you should regularly sanitize is your phone. Since you likely have it with you at all times, you’re basically walking around with a germ magnet in your pocket or purse all day. Some other electronics that get quite a bit of “finger-traffic” are tablets, computers and headphones. Disinfectant and alcohol-based wipes can be used to clean most electronics, including screens and controllers.
As parents, we spend a lot of time walking around picking up after the smallest members of our family. Make sure you’re also cleaning their toys and play areas safely with an appropriate disinfectant for children and following sanitization instructions for children’s toys and eating areas. The CDC provides information on how to clean children’s feeding items, and Clorox and Lysol provide information on using their products to disinfect children’s toys.
The bathroom is probably the most used room in your home, surfaces such as countertops, sinks,toilets and other handles should be disinfected daily. Even other items that are frequently used in like hairbrushes and blow dryers should be sanitized regularly with a bleach solution or disinfectant wipes.
Staying on top of regular cleaning and disinfecting around your house can be overwhelming and while the above tips can be done personally, deeper cleaning methods often require time and equipment to fully get the job done. For hard-surface cleaning like tile and grout, trust Aladdin’s residential services to help keep your kitchens, bathrooms and other high-traffic rooms safe against germs. Call or schedule an appointment with us today.