Cleaning and Disinfecting

On regularly touched surfaces such as telephone handsets, door handles, and light switches, some germs can live for several days. It’s important that germs are removed from these areas so that they don’t become a source of contamination.

Disinfection vs. Cleaning

Cleaning and disinfection are not synonymous. Cleaning entails removing dirt and certain germs with detergent and water, while disinfecting entails actually killing the germs.

Cleaning with detergent and water will remove enough germs in certain cases (for example, for small objects such as cutlery and crockery), provided you thoroughly clean all surfaces, rinse them with clean (preferably hot) running water, and dry them properly. When proper rinsing is not possible (for example, for large or fixed surfaces such as kitchen worktops, taps, toilet flush handles, and door handles), use a disinfectant or antibacterial multipurpose cleaner or cleanser to kill germs, particularly after handling raw food or when someone in your home is sick.

Top Dirty Sites in the House

The areas in your home mentioned below are especially important to clean on a regular basis.

Kitchen

  • Dishcloth or sponge
  • The sink and drain area in the kitchen.
  • Floor
  • Taps.
  • Boards for chopping.
  • Handle on the refrigerator.
  • Work surfaces and table tops in the kitchen.

Bathroom

  • Drains in the bathtub and sink.
  • Handle for flushing the toilet
  • Taps.
  • Drainage field in the shower
  • Toilet bowl (under the rim).
  • Toilet floor
  • Toilet seat

Bedroom/Living room

  • Remote controls for televisions.
  • Switches for the lights.
  • Door handles.

Cleaning and disinfecting germ hotspots should be part of your everyday routine.

Advice on Handwashing

One of the most important ways to prevent the spread of germs is to wash your hands with soap and water. Germs can be transferred to and from your hands any time you touch a dirty or potentially infected surface, but proper and thorough hand washing can help remove germs from your hands. Antibacterial soaps and hand washes offer additional protection against bacteria that cause many common illnesses, such as food poisoning.

You can use an antibacterial soap or handwash if you feel the need for extra protection.

When Do You Wash?

  • Before handling or consuming food.
  • Before handling sterile equipment or preparing a baby’s feed.
  • Before you put on your contact lenses.
  • Immediately after handling raw poultry or other raw foods.
  • After going to the bathroom or changing a nappy.
  • After touching animals, their toys, or their equipment.
  • After contact with blood or other bodily fluids (like vomit, nasal secretions, saliva).
  • After toouching with a polluted field (e.g. cleaning cloth, drain, soil).
  • Before and after dressing a wound, giving medicine, or putting a medical device on a patient (e.g. catheter).
  • When someone in the house is ill, it happens more often.
  • Whenever hands look dirty.

How to Wash

  • Apply a small amount of liquid soap to your hands after wetting them with warm water.
  • To make a lather, vigorously rub your palms together (away from the water).
  • Rub the backs of your wrists, your thumbs, between your fingertips, and under and around your nails with your hands.
  • Maintain this position for at least 20 seconds. The soap and scrubbing operation take so long to dislodge and clear the germs.
  • Rinse your hands thoroughly under running water.
  • Using a clean dry towel, thoroughly dry your hands.

When Soap and Water Are In Short Supply

Even if water isn’t available, you can keep your hands clean. Hand sanitisers are used to remove germs on hands that aren’t clearly filthy and don’t need the use of water or towels.

Your Guide to Keeping Your Home Clean and Safe

Keeping your house clean and safe does not necessitate hours of cleaning every day. You can effectively keep the danger of germs under control by focusing on germ “hot spots” where known risks exist. Many of us, on the other hand, prefer tackling the areas of our home that are mostly unattended because they pose a lower risk. Wiping down walls and skirting boards, shampooing carpets, checking for use-by dates on food packets and cans, and cleaning out the clutter accumulated over the previous year all contribute to a sense of trust and pride in our home.

On a regular basis, here are some fast general cleaning tips:

  • Clean and disinfect surfaces in your home that you often touch with your hands, such as the refrigerator door handle, cupboard handles, taps, waste bin, toilet seat, and door handles, as well as hand-contact surfaces like television remote controls, light switches, and telephones, on a regular basis.
  • Clean up food spills, blood spills, and bodily fluid spills such as vomit or feces as soon as possible to destroy germs and avoid cross-contamination. Disinfecting these areas not only stops germs from growing, but it also prevents them from spreading to other foods, hands, and kitchen surfaces.
  • Get rid of germs! Instead of sponges and kitchen cloths, which can harbor germs and provide a moist environment for them to grow, use paper towels and disposable wipes whenever possible.
  • Vacuum the carpets and soft furnishings on a regular basis to keep dust and other contaminants from accumulating.
  • Remove dust, dirt, and clear mold growth from hard surface flooring on a regular basis.
  • Regularly opening the windows, using a sanitizing spray to remove airborne odours, and keeping surfaces dry to avoid the growth of mould and mildew will keep your home smelling clean and new.
  • After cleaning, always remember to wash your hands.

What are the Benefits of Good Hygiene?

Good hygiene practice, whether it’s part of your everyday routine or a one-time thorough clean, helps avoid the spread of germs and the risk of infection within your family. Keeping your home clean in general is beneficial to your health.

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