More handwashing, cleaning and disinfecting at home has become the norm, but is there a step you’re overlooking?
Home cleaning has probably never been taken so seriously before in our lifetime. It’s best to get a good routine going that becomes habit for everyone in your household. Here are some frequently used items and spots in the home you might miss.
1. Your reusable water bottle
You are the only one using it and it only contains water, but you will be shocked at how dirty and full of bacteria water bottles can become. Use antibacterial washing up liquid and hot water to clean it every day, or pop it in the dishwasher if suitable.
2. Your keyboard
Wipe down your desk and keyboard at least once a week. We’re touching it constantly throughout the working day, and probably in the evenings to watch programmes online or to check the news. You use it way more than you realise.
3. Your rings
You may want to consider the safety of continuing to wear rings when we have to wash our hands so often. You should keep jewellery clean with mild dish soap. Remember that hand sanitizer and lotion might harm organic gems like pearls and porous stones.
4. Your phone
You can clean your phone with soap and water. Turn it off, and remove its case. Don’t use wipes, hand sanitiser or harsh chemicals as they may damage the screen’s protective coating. Lightly dampen a microfibre cloth with water and soap and wipe carefully. Don’t get moisture in any of the openings, and dry the phone with a clean microfibre cloth.
5. Your bank card
Yes, we’re sure you didn’t think of that one. You use it at the supermarket, after touching the trolley or basket, and all the shopping that other people may have touched. Disinfect it once a week.
6. Steering wheel
Keep disinfectant wipes in your car to clean your steering wheel, gear stick, handbrake and radio buttons after each trip.
7. Your workout mat
More home workouts means your workout mat is getting a lot of use. Mix equal parts white vinegar and water, and add some drops of essential oils like lavender or tea tree. Spray and wipe down after every use.
8. Kettle and coffee machine
Clean and disinfect the handles and buttons of kettles and coffee machines every day.
9. Kitchen sponges
Your sponge touches all your dirty dishes and then sits in the damp environment of your sink until next time, which is unpleasant to think about. Stick them on the top shelf of the dishwasher, and the heat will kill anything lurking on your sponges.
10. Your remote control
It’s probably not far from your hand most evenings, and so it’s probably dirtier than ever. Clean and disinfect it depending on use – and how many hands are grabbing for it.
11. Doorknobs and light switches
Disinfect these as often as necessary depending how busy your household is. For example, your front door handle may need to be cleaned more often as you come and go to exercise and shop.
12. Your keys
You may be using your car less, and locking you door less too as everyone is at home all the time. But when you are going to do your grocery shopping your keys are one of the items you touch, and it is an easy thing to overlook in your cleaning routine. Ensure they get wiped down with antibacterial solutions or wipes.
In the kitchen, your sink is getting a lot of use, cleaning dirty vegetables, washing hands and washing up dirty dishes. Not all that grime and bacteria will wash down the drain, and will continue to grow on the surface of your sink. Ensure you clean it everyday.
In the bathroom, you will notice grime accumulating as well as residue from toothpaste and beauty products. It’s also the case that with more frequent handwashing, we are touching taps more often too. Give it a wipe daily, and thoroughly clean it weekly. You’ll be surprised how quickly murky gunk builds up around sink plugholes and taps.
14. Dish rack or dishwasher
We’re all eating at home more often and it’s going to have an effect on how dirty your dish rack and dishwasher are.
Yes, you’re putting your clean dishes on the rack to dry but grime will still accumulate. Give it a quick clean every time it is empty, as it is easiest to rinse it off. But you need to give it a thorough cleaning once a week as you will see that grey gunk starts to accumulate.
You should clean your dishwasher filter and drain at least every three months, but if yours gets a lot of use, it may need to be done every month. Food debris can build up which will cause a smell, and can also reduce the efficiency of your appliance. You do not want your dishwasher to act up during lockdown!
15. Kitchen counters
Again, all this home food prep means that your kitchen is getting used more often. Kitchen counters should be wiped down and disinfected daily.
16. Your fridge
Your fridge should get a deep clean every three months, and you should check for gone-off food every week. But think about how often everyone in your household opens the fridge door for some snack inspiration? Wipe the fridge door and handle down with an anti-bacterial wipe daily.
17. Laundry baskets
You put your dirty clothes in them daily, but when was the last time you cleaned or disinfected your laundry basket? This will depend on the material of your basket but consider giving it a clean once a week for peace of mind.
Chances are you aren’t vacuuming enough, especially now that we are all at home more often. You should vacuum the number of times a week inhabitants are in the space. So one person’s bedroom should be vacuumed once a week and a high traffic living room should be vacuumed daily.