The pandemic has brought a renewed focus on disinfecting and sanitizing your house. But thorough cleaning to banish germs was important before this current wave of disease hit the United States and will remain so afterward.
Your home should be a place where you can put your feet up and relax after a long day. But if your home is messy, dirty, or making you or your family sick, you can’t enjoy the space.
Bacteria and viruses that cause the common cold, influenza, stomach viruses, and more can lurk on any surface in your home. The best way to avoid these pitfalls is by cleaning, disinfecting, and sanitizing your house to the highest standards.
First, it is useful to understand the difference between cleaning and sanitizing your house.
Are cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting the same thing?
- Cleaning removes dust, debris, and dirt from surfaces by scrubbing, washing, and rinsing, but doesn’t necessarily remove germs. To effectively disinfect or sanitize your home, you must first remove dirt and debris from its surfaces.
- Disinfecting destroys or inactivates bacteria and viruses from hard, nonporous surfaces.
- Sanitizing reduces – but doesn’t necessarily eliminate – bacteria.
Where are the germs in your home?
Any high-touch, high-traffic surface in your home can be a haven for germs. But you might be surprised to learn where most of the germs are. One study found that kitchen sinks have more bacteria than the toilet or garbage cans!
- The kitchen, including the sink, cutting boards, and refrigerator
- Knobs, handles, and switches, such as bathroom light switches and refrigerator and microwave handles
- Makeup bags
- The bathroom, including the shower, bathtub, and toothbrushes
- The laundry room
- The home office and living room, including remote controls, computer keyboard, and phones
- Pets’ bowls, toys, and beds
Cleaning and sanitizing tips for every area in your home
Before sanitizing or disinfecting any area, be sure to wear protective rubber gloves. Use sanitizing wipes to clean all high-touch surfaces at least once a week.
Here are 14 expert tips for sanitizing your house:
- Clean the kitchen sponge every day by heating it in the microwave for two minutes
- At least once daily, use disinfecting wipes to clean every kitchen surface, including handles and switches.
- To clean food prep surfaces, first wipe them down with hot, soapy water and then use one cup of bleach in one gallon of water to clean all food prep surfaces. Alternatively, use a store-bought EPA-approved disinfectant cleaner.
- For stubborn refrigerator odors, use a mix of half water and half white vinegar or wash with baking soda and water and then let it air out for a few hours
- Use a multi-purpose disinfectant spray to clean all hard surfaces
- Use electronic-safe alcohol wipes for computers and other electronic equipment. Wipe your computer screen with a damp microfiber cloth.
- A disinfectant spray can keep germs from proliferating on soft surfaces.
- For materials such as mattresses that can’t be tossed in the washing machine, use a disinfectant spray that is safe for soft surfaces.
- Wash dirty clothing separately from bed linens.
- Use hot water to launder sheets, pillowcases, and comforters at least once a week.
- Don’t share bath towels and wash them at least once a week.
- Wash hand towels every few days or after guests visit.
- Wipe down tubs, sinks, floors, and showers at least once a week. Use a homemade all-purpose cleaner (two tablespoons of dish liquid, two tablespoons of ammonia, and one-quarter cup of water) and then rinse with clean, warm water, or use an EPA-approved disinfectant cleaner.
- To clean your toilet, start by emptying some of the water from the toilet bowl into a bucket to reduce the water level. Spray or pour disinfectant into the bowl and use a clean toilet brush to scrub out the interior. Be sure to replace your toilet brushes at least every six months.
Weekly house cleaning is a must
One of the best ways to ensure your home is free of illness-causing germs is by sticking to a weekly house cleaning schedule. If life is too busy to squeeze in weekly cleanings, consider hiring professional cleaners to take the load off.
Companies that provide house cleaning services not only have the proper equipment and expertise, but they can also free up some of your time so you can spend more time doing the things you enjoy with the people you love.
Professional house cleaning in San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley, Albany, and beyond
If you are in need of deep house cleaning services or any other type of house cleaning for your Bay Area home – we got you!
“The team did a very thorough job on my house which needed a deep cleaning. I was very pleased with their eye for detail in cleaning some difficult areas. I can certainly recommend Superclean 360 to take care of any household spic and span needs.”