Good hygiene is the No.1 defence against the spread of germs ¨C so how do you effectively cleanse your home to keep nasties at bay?
Preventing the spread of germs is a necessity amid the COVID-19 outbreak.
Maintaining good hand hygiene has been a key health directive and, the federal health department says home cleanliness is of the utmost importance because coronaviruses ¡°are readily inactivated by cleaning and disinfection¡±.
Honey, the germs are home
From the moment we walk inside, we unwittingly bring germs with us.
Author and household guru Shannon Lush recently told House of Wellness Radio that your ¡°first port of call is to remove shoes and leave them outside¡± before heading to a sink to wash your hands and your face.
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How often should you clean your house during coronavirus pandemic?
It¡¯s always good practice to regularly clean general household surfaces and fittings, and immediately wipe soiled areas or spillages.
A recent health expert panel on COVID-19 noted that our frequency of household cleans should now be ¡°more often than usual¡±.
The Organised Housewife blogger Katrina Springer says that in addition to regular household cleaning, it¡¯s advisable to clean frequently used areas ¡°like the bathroom and kitchen every day¡±.
Why cleaning high-touch surfaces is essential
High-touch surfaces such as light switches, door handles, phones, remotes, benches, sinks and toilets are prone to bacteria build-up.
In the health expert panel, La Trobe University Associate Professor and epidemiologist Hassan Valley notes that ¡°paying more attention¡± to cleaning and disinfecting high-touch areas is crucial because coronavirus can survive for extended periods on surfaces.
As for minimally touched areas like floors, ceilings, walls and blinds, the Department of Health¡¯s advice is to continue routinely cleaning these areas.
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Clean, then disinfect
Disinfectant is vital in the removal of germs ¨C but that doesn¡¯t mean you can skip the cleaning and jump straight to disinfecting.
The Department of Health explains that ¡°dirt and grime can inactivate many disinfectants¡±, which is why home sanitisation must be a two-step process.
¡°To start cleaning, remove any dust and dirt build-up from the surfaces by wiping them down with an all-purpose general cleanser,¡± advises Katrina.
¡°Then disinfect the surface with an antibacterial cleaner to remove germs and bacteria.¡±
Cleaning essentials to stock up on
Stocking up your home sanitising armoury?
Katrina suggests an all-purpose cleanser to remove dirt and dust on surfaces, and an antibacterial cleanser to remove germs and viruses ¨C as well as an array of sponges, wipes and paper towel.
There¡¯s an abundance of cleaning and disinfectant products, so always check the manufacturer¡¯s claim on the label to ensure the product is appropriate for killing germs.
Health experts says detergent or soapy water for cleaning, and a diluted bleach disinfectant, are adequate ¨C along with a little elbow grease.
¡°The important thing is?to make sure you cover surfaces properly with disinfectant and scrub with pressure using a sponge or towel,¡± says Prof Hassan.
And while cleaning, always ensure there is adequate ventilation and wear disposable gloves.
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How to make your own home antibacterial products
Shannon Lush¡¯s Home and Hand Sanitiser
- 1 cup of high proof alcohol (methylated spirits, isopropyl alcohol, or strong vodka of at least 60 per cent by volume alcohol)
- 2 teaspoons of glycerine
- 1 teaspoon of tea tree oil
Katrina Springer¡¯s Reusable Antibacterial Surface Wipes
You will need:
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup vinegar
- 12 drops lavender oil
- 5 drops of your favourite essential oil
- 2 teaspoons detergent
- Micro-fibre cloths (about 10-12 cloths)
- Large airtight container (about four litres)
- Place cloths into large container.
- In a jug, combine water, vinegar, essential oil and detergent, mix to combine.
- Pour the liquid over cloths and seal container.
Written by Sharon Hunt.