Your home should be the place where you feel the safest. However, if you don’t spend a lot of time cleaning up, you may be safer elsewhere. Actually, even if you do clean up regularly, you may not be going about the task the right way, and would just be spreading disease-causing bacteria all over the house.
Listed below are six common home cleaning tasks that people aren’t doing correctly and the right way they should be performed.
1. Using a sponge for cleaning sinks, countertops and other kitchen appliances. The nice thing about using a sponge is it’s easier to hold and use dry or wet. Likewise, it’s less tricky to use than a chamois especially if you wish to apply cleaning agents evenly on surfaces. The problem is that a sponge often doesn’t get cleaned properly after every use, making it an ideal breeding ground for disease-causing bacteria.
What to do: After using sponges for anything, clean it with antibacterial soap and then rinse them with hot water. Pop them in the microwave, too (just make sure they’re wet) to further disinfect them.
2. “De-germing” household items and toys in the dishwasher. This is a trick that professional cleaners actually use. You can kill off germs and bacteria in the dishwasher. However, to do this job effectively, the dishwasher has to be really clean.
What to do: The dishwasher needs to get cleaned especially when there’s been a change in the weather. You also want to make sure that the source of water is not contaminated because if it is, the dishwasher may just spread bacteria to your cooking utensils, dinnerware, and other items you sanitize in it.
So, every now and then, clean your dishwasher using bleach, lemon juice, and water. Also, use water testing kits to make sure that the dishwasher is not a reservoir for Legionella bacteria – illness-causing bacteria that naturally occur in areas with low temperature and low chlorine concentrations. Afterward, use a cleaning agent that can get rid of all kinds of bacteria easily.
3. Vacuuming the same areas of the house every day. Vacuuming is definitely an important chore to perform every day. However, if you take the same route each and every time, you’re not doing an effective job of dislodging dirt, especially in the fibers of carpets.
What to do: Carpet cleaning services say you need to dedicate more time to vacuuming in order to get rid of in-ground dirt. You can’t just go in one direction; you need to vacuum in different directions to loosen dirt. Another advantage to this is that it can keep your carpet looking fluffy.
4. Cleaning all surfaces with multipurpose cleaners. Multipurpose cleaners usually contain alcohol and ammonia – perfect ingredients for killing germs. However, these two are actually too harsh for certain surfaces such as your flat-screen TVs and computer monitor.
What to do: Dampen a piece of microfiber cloth to pick up dust from your TV or computer monitor. A microfiber cloth will not leave any streaks once the water dries and it also will protect the delicate surface of both appliances.
5. Soaking your showerhead in a bag of vinegar. While this is effective in removing mineral deposits and also killing off germs, it’s not that effective if contamination is coming from the water supply. The acidity from the vinegar, which “burns” germs, doesn’t last; plus, it’s not potent enough for eliminating Legionella bacteria.
What to do: Use a water testing kit for this and clean your showerhead with something really powerful such as Showerhead Plus, which has been proven highly effective against Legionella bacteria and other illness-causing germs.
6. Stashing bathroom cleaning tools in the bathroom. You’re probably thinking this makes the chore easier to get around to, but storing your bathroom cleaning tools in a damp room can make bacteria proliferate on them.
What to do: After every use, clean the tools (brushes, mops, and others) with disinfecting agents and then dry them under the hot sun before storing them away. This seems like a lot of work, but you can be certain you’re not spreading germs all around your bathroom when you’re supposed to be cleaning it.
You can feel safer and healthier in your home by cleaning up your cleaning act. Don’t just go through the motions of cleaning — make sure that you’re doing every task the right way.
by Duncan Hollis
Duncan Hollis is the Director of AquaCert Ltd (https://www.aquacert.co.uk/)