Should we be rethinking our cleaning practices in light of the current pandemic?
While we’re all still navigating these unusual circumstances, some might ask, “what are changes I need to make with my current routine?”
It may indeed be high time to be more mindful when it comes to the precautions we take with our cleaning practices, in light of the heightened need to repel unwanted microorganisms from spreading in our home.
If you’re fortunate enough to be able to shelter in place, this lessens the measures you could be inspired to take in order to minimize the spread of contaminants in your home. If your household has members that do need to venture outside, however, a more stringent approach may be advisable.
For those that do need to go out, whether for procuring essentials, or going to work, here are a few tips we would advise for when you come home.
Leave outdoor shoes by the front door entryway, garage, or store them in a mudroom. Practicing a strict no shoes in the house policy prevents outside dirt from coming in, while protecting wooden floors. This should apply to hats, bags, jackets, raincoats, and boots as well. Doing so also helps to centralize cleaning.
Have individual receptacles for reusable masks and/or face shields. Keep your reusable cloth masks in a clean container, to keep it dust and odor-free. On top of lessening the amount of dust particles that tend to stick to the mask, this lessens the dirt that also gets on your face. Preventing your mask from touching different surfaces also prevents you from accidentally inhaling potentially harmful microorganisms.
Immediately change out of outdoor clothes once you enter the house and change into indoor footwear. Leave dirty footwear outside the main house. Pollution circulates in the air, carrying dirt, germs, and many harmful pathogens. These all settle on the ground, along with many other contaminants, like pet feces, food spills, and other bodily fluids that are best left outside. Seeing as how we cannot avoid these when we walk outside, we should leave these dirty shoes no further than our front doors to minimize the possibility of these contaminants entering our homes.
Wash hands immediately in the powder room or the nearest sink as soon as you enter your house. Have this always stocked with liquid hand soap, clean single-use hand towels, paper towels, and toilet paper. Ideally, before you touch your mask and remove it, you should wash your hands, to limit the amount of bacteria that comes in contact with the mask since this is your main shield from pathogenic infection.
Use towels a maximum of two times before washing. Invest in all white towels if it is available to you, for easier and faster cleaning. Loading towels all at the same time reduces the need to sort and separate, saving you a lot of time and effort, exponentially so if you have a big household.
Use hand towels only once. This may seem excessive to some, and is definitely only a personal practice. However, as hand washing is one of your main lines of defense against personally spreading germs, it may be wise to incorporate this practice into your cleaning routine. If you can also make it all white, all the better, for ease of sorting.
Launder each family member’s clothes separately. Also a personal practice, but advisable especially if one has family members who go out and come in contact with other people whom they do not reside with.
Vacuum once a week. Deep cleaning the home, especially carpets and rugs is a must. This ensures the removal of unseen deep-seated dirt that gets into cracks and corners that would be hard to remove otherwise.
Clean individual hampers used to store dirty clothes at least once a week. Since this acts as the primary receptacle for dirtied clothes, it would be good to have this cleaned once a week as well. Author advises a removable cloth liner to aid in speedy removal: just throw in the laundry and voila!
Whilst this list is definitely not the most exhaustive, they are simple steps that we hope the whole household can get behind and work together on in order to keep everyone as safe as possible.
We’d love to hear your comments! Hearing cleaning tips to make the whole exercise more fun and enjoyable for the whole household are always welcome. Feel free to leave your thoughts below!