While lockdown will eventually be eased, it doesn’t mean we should ease up on cleaning. It’s important to remain vigilant of potentially contaminating indoor living spaces when returning home from outside. Cleaning our homes efficiently is more important than ever – with certain cleaning tasks even more so.
Proving the nation is conscious of how best to clean our homes during the pandemic, Google trend data reveals an uplift in related cleaning related searches.
‘How to disinfect shoes’ has seen a 370 per cent uplift in searches. While ‘Do I need to disinfect mail?’ is up 10,000 per cent, worldwide in the last month.
Susan Seabert, cleaning expert at the health and wellness brand GearHungry, offers her expert advice to answer each question and reveal the best practise for cleaning post-lockdown.
Cleaning tasks to keep up after lockdown
1. Wash hands
Speaking of coming in from the outside into your home, Susan says,’You’ve heard it a million times, and are probably tired of hearing it, but you’ll lower the risk of contracting virus’ by washing your hands regularly’.
‘My rule is to wash hands whenever I go from one place to the next when outside. Always wash your hands when you return home even if you have not touched anything. Even when you complete tasks such as walking the dog.’
2. Double clean most-touched surfaces
According to Seabert, cleaning is a two-step method – clean first and then disinfect. ‘This is important on areas such as dining tables, bathrooms and kitchen worktops,’ she explains.
‘Spray the surface with distilled white vinegar and then wipe down with a clean cloth or simply use a microfibre cloth with warm water. When it comes to disinfecting you should use an alcohol-based product (with a strength of at least 70 per cent).’
‘Surfaces that are often forgotten about are light switches, banister rails on stairs that children frequently touch, toilet flush handles and leather sofas. So make sure you give these items extra care when cleaning.’
Adding, ‘every household is different through, so before cleaning think about the surfaces you interact with daily’.
3. Leave shoes at the door and wash floors regularly
‘Shoes can be problematic, as they don’t just carry dirt but germs and bacteria that can contaminate your home,’ Susan warns.
‘I suggest leaving your shoes by the front door when returning home, as well as washing your floors frequently with disinfectant. You do not need to mix disinfectant with bleach.’
She adds, ‘There’s no harm in disinfecting your shoes, but if you follow the rules of leaving them in a shoe zone and washing your hands after taking them off then it’s not vital.’
To effectively clean floors Susan suggests a homemade cleaning solution. ‘If you can find any disinfectant spray, I suggest an easy alternative – 4 teaspoons of household bleach mixed with 2 pints of water. Pour both into spray bottle, shake vigorously. Spray on surface to disinfect, let sit for 10 minutes, wipe away with wet cloth.’
‘Always patch test, as bleach can take colour out of surfaces.’
4. Take due care with post
While it’s been suggested the threat of contracting the virus from post and packages is low, it hasn’t deterred the search ‘Do I need to disinfect mail?’.
Sue advises, ‘The virus transfers via water droplets, so from sender to receiver its very unlikely that there would be any on your post. Though once again if you’re unsure, arm yourself with your trusty sanitiser spray and wipe over.’
5. Don’t overlook potential hotspots
Sue advises us not to overlook out of reach places, these need cleaning properly too. ‘It is important to note that Covid-19 is a strain of coronavirus that holds the potential to survive on hard surfaces for up to 72 hours. For this reason, it’s vital that we don’t overlook areas that aren’t so obvious.’