Cleaning and disinfecting your home isn’t just a matter of tidiness: it’s all about your safety! In addition to the Covid-19 virus, other germs and bacteria can cause unwanted sickness, putting your family’s health at risk. Staying on top of a cleaning schedule and creating a plan to disinfect the vulnerable areas within your home is key to keeping everyone healthy in the coming year.
Cleaning, Sanitizing and Disinfecting
Though it may seem elementary, let’s go back to the basics. There’s a big difference between cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting, and you’ll need to prepare a strategy for each. To break it down simply, here’s how the three practices differ:
- Cleaning: Focuses on the removal of dust and dirt from a surface.
- Sanitizing: Reduces bacteria on surfaces and in laundry.
- Disinfecting: Destroys or inactivates both bacteria and viruses on hard surfaces.
During Covid-19, experts recommend disinfecting up to three times a day, depending on the traffic in your home and the level of contact family members have outside the home. Sanitization and cleaning perfectly compliment disinfection practices and together create a holistic approach.
Tips for Cleaning Surfaces
Focus on high-touch areas as you begin to build your overall cleaning strategy. Places like kitchen tables, doorknobs, personal digital devices, toilets, sinks and light-switches are often touched frequently throughout the day. If you only have a finite amount of time to dedicate cleaning, commit to working on the areas where you’ll have the highest impact.
If you are concerned about excessive use of chemicals in the home, research and find cleaning supplies that are both natural and eco-friendly. For starters, here’s a list of fourteen brands that offer cleaning solutions for the chemical-conscious home. If you realize the cost of cleaning supplies exceeds your budget, consider leveraging DIY cleaning supply resources to create your own tools and solutions.
Tips for Cleaner Air
When cleaning and sanitizing the home, it’s easy to forget that the air we breathe needs attention. Poor ventilation systems or dirty air filters are often the leading cause behind bad air quality. Air filters are easy to remove and should be replaced every six to twelve months.
For air duct maintenance, consider calling a professional cleaning service to inspect the heating, ventilation and air conditioning unit for your home. Experts will often recommend strategies that not only improve your air quality, but restore energy efficiency, eliminate odors and reduce potential for mold growth.
Creating a Schedule
Tackling the cleaning and disinfecting in your home can feel overwhelming. When you only have a few minutes to spare throughout the day, it can be difficult to map out an effective approach. Consider breaking down your home chores into a schedule, room-by-room and task-by-task. Enlist members of your family to help you tackle each individual checklist item over one weekend’s time.
For a more day-to-day approach, create cleaning stations around the home to encourage regular and frequent “touch-ups.” For example, instead of waiting to clean the bathroom sink once a week, keep a small box of wipes on the counter for a quick swipe after getting ready each morning. Small adjustments like this can help minimize what feels like a mile-long list of tasks.
The Bottom Line
Overall, cleaning and disinfecting your home is an act of labor and care: it’s not easy to keep everything in top shape! When you place a priority on maintaining these practices, you’re creating a safe environment for future family memories.