With the threat of Cov-19/Coronavirus feeling very real at this point in time, personal and home hygiene are top of mind for Mosmanites and indeed all Australians.
As urged by health professionals, we are reminded to be vigilant without panicking and to stay at home for a few days if we have recently returned from overseas or are feeling unwell.
If you are a healthy person, the risk of having lasting health effects from this virus are slim, however the goal is to prevent it from spreading to people who are more at risk.
With this in mind and with the flu season coming up, we are all currently seeking ways to stay free from illness. Here are some tips for maintaining good hygiene at home.
Home hygiene tips
Germs are responsible for illness and infection, and can live on surfaces for several hours. This is why it is important to keep firstly a clean home, and secondly a tidy one. The cleanliness is for obvious reasons and by being tidy you are providing fewer places for germ-spreading bugs or rodents to live. Having a tidy home also makes it easier to keep things clean with less effort.
Some rules to live by if you want to have a tidy house day in, day out are:
Only bring home and try to only keep what you need. The less you have, the less clutter you’ll create. It’s time to get rid of piles of old magazines and materials for projects you may get around to one day. If you must keep them, find a way to store them so insects don’t get in.
Never leave a room empty-handed. As you go, pick up something to put away.
Have a place for everything, from staplers to keys and from shoes to wrapping paper. When everything has a spot, items are less likely to be left lying around.
Encourage your kids to stay on top of mess with a pocket money or treat incentive.
The ‘Sunday bucket’. This is another one for kids. Keep plastic tubs near their rooms or by the stairs and every time you find something of theirs, throw it in the tub. On Sunday, it’s the kids’ job to put their things away.
Get help. As a busy professional, it can feel impossible to stay tidy. Hire a housekeeper to come by a few days a week and ask them to put away all the things that are out.
Hygiene for living areas
There isn’t a huge risk of germs spreading in your living room but regular vacuuming and dusting will help keep these areas clean. You should also mop floors to get rid of stubborn dirt. If you’re concerned about hygiene, Dettol has antibacterial floor wipes.
A robot vacuum left on when you’re out can take care of at least the vacuuming. A cleaner who comes by once a week or once a fortnight can do a thorough job by lifting couch cushions and vacuuming under furniture.
During flu season, look for items which are handled a lot like remote controls, light switches or cords for blinds and give them a wipe with an antibacterial or disinfectant solution every few days.
It is hard but try to keep pets off furniture. Pets love to lick… everything, so ideally they shouldn’t lie where you sit. If this is impossible, have a towel or blanket for them to sit on that is washed often… and don’t forget to wash your hands.
Hygiene for your kitchen
In the kitchen, if you’re concerned about contamination and germs, try having four separate cloths.
- One for dishes
- One for faces
- One for the floor
- One for surfaces
Hang your cloths on separate hooks and label them or use different colours so its clear which one is for what purpose. Have a few on rotation so you can pop them in the wash regularly and get as much use from them as possible before you throw them out.
Ask your cleaner to use antibacterial and disinfectant products to further reduce the spread of germs. In terms of cleaning products, Ecostore’s Multi-Purpose Cleaner Antibacterial is the top rated antibacterial multipurpose cleaner by Choice. Meanwhile, Product Review highlights Coles Ultra Disinfectant Surface Spray as a top rated product.
And of course, your personal hygiene counts as well. Keep some antibacterial hand soap (if you can get it) by your sink and wash your hands before preparing food, and as soon as you get home.
Hygiene for your bathroom
Don’t use cleaning cloths from the kitchen in the bathroom or vice versa.
Again, minimising clutter is the key to keeping your bathroom clean with less stress. Empty your drawers of unnecessary items so they are easier to wipe down.
Have towel rails instead of hooks. These allow more room for air to circulate so your towels can dry without becoming mildewy. If your bathroom doesn’t have good circulation, find somewhere else for wet towels to go, or hire a handyman to fit a good extractor fan. This will help prevent mould from forming due to dampness.
Speaking of towels, wash your hand towels often. These tend to hang around for a while but in these times when hygiene is a huge concern, remember you could be potentially wiping germs onto them.
As a final measure, store your toothbrushes upright and separate from each other if you can.
The benefit of keeping a clean and tidy home (as well as avoiding disease, which of course, is the main goal), is that when it comes time to sell, your property will be in good condition. You will have less work to do and will be able to present a well-maintained home to buyers.