Quick and simple cleaning tips to ensure your home (and family!) stays germ free during the cold and flu season.
As winter is approaching I usually like to pay attention to a few areas of the home, as this is the time of year that nasty germs tend to get shared with other family members. When I say I try to keep the home clean, I don’t mean by dusting the top of units or keeping the coffee table clutter free, I mean ensuring that particular areas stay germ-free. Kids easily pick up germs from school and bring them home, and the last thing I want is for everybody to feel unwell.
Below I have listed surprising areas where germs like to sit. It is impossible to keep the home completely germ-free, but a few simple wipes and wash cycles will help.
Give the following items a good wash regularly using vinegar, which is a natural antibacterial way to clean bedding, linens and more.
BEDDING – Plenty of rest is good when feeling unwell, however nasty germs are left behind when we rest. Wash pillow cases regularly so you are resting your head on fresh clean linens at night.
CUSHIONS – Resting your head on the decorative cushions on the couch while watching TV can easily transfers germs onto the next person that uses the cushion. When my kids are unwell and lying on the couch, I prefer they use their pillows from their bed, as this saves me washing more items.
BATH TOWELS – Despite using the bath towels when we are clean, they can still capture germs from a simple cough and especially when kids have runny noses.
READ MORE: How to make linen cupboard deodoriser.
Wipe over areas
These following areas are commonly used by everybody in the household. The dirt and germs from our hands are transferred onto these surfaces when we touch them, and over time this bacteria will grow. Wipe over these areas with antibacterial wipes – there is a good variety of ready-made varieties or consider making some Reusable Homemade Antibacterial Wipes.
SOAP DISPENSERS – Soap dispensers are always touched with dirty hands, so you can imagine the amount of germs, dirt and soap that are building on top of the pump which will be transferred to hands the next time the pump is used.
BATHROOM TAPS – The bathroom taps are touched with dirty hands but turned off with clean hands, so those clean hands may pick up a few germs along the way.
COMPUTER KEYBOARD – It’s important to keep a keyboard clean from dirt and crumbs to ensure that it stays in good working order. If you work at the computer regularly you could pick up germs from the keys and then touch your face with your hands, easily transferring germs from the keyboard to your face.
TV REMOTES – Kids and adults both like to relax watching TV, and over time dirt, grime and germs build up. This is especially true if you’ve had a sick day on the couch, changing channels and volume. You don’t want somebody healthy to then pick up the TV remote and touch those nasty winter germs.
SHOP: Remote Control TV Holder
DOOR HANDLES – Door handles are another breeding ground for germs and a common area that usually gets missed in a regular clean. Ensure you regularly clean bedroom, bathroom and toilet door handles.
LIGHT SWITCHES – You may find there is already a build up of dirt around the light switches. Light switches are more than likely used daily, and they have hands swiping at them leaving behind nasties that then transfer to others hands.
TOILET BUTTONS – Toilet buttons are usually pressed with dirty hands, so remember to always clean the buttons during your regular clean every week throughout the year.
FRIDGE DOOR HANDLES – Aah, the fridge door handles! Opened and closed regularly through the day and touched by many different hands wanting a snack or cold drink. On the fridge door you may find food smudges or sticky spots which are areas that germs like to be. Wipe up any spills as soon as they are made, and get in the routine of wiping down the door handles when you wipe your kitchen bench.
KITCHEN SPONGE – The kitchen sponge can harbour the most bacteria in your home. If left wet it is an ideal breeding zone for bacteria that can cause illness. It’s important to wipe the kitchen benches properly with All Purpose Cleaner that will kill the germs, and to use a sponge or cloth that can be easily washed in the washing machine or dishwasher.
TOOTHBRUSH – Ensure that the toothbrush is always properly rinsed, cleaned, and allowed to air dry after each brush.
READ MORE: How to clean a toothbrush after being sick.
Lots of germs are harmless, but by regularly cleaning your hands you will prevent the transfer of germs throughout the house and to others.