Hello! I’m Alex and I work for a cleaning company in Dallas. It’s exciting to be invited to NW Maids for a collaboration where we’ll be sharing some tips for keeping your home clean and disinfected!
Nowadays, we are more aware than ever of our environment and how dangerous it is to interact with surfaces and rooms without disinfecting them. COVID has brought tremendous damage, but it has made us more cautious about what we touch with our bare hands and even about the air we breathe.
Now, our home is the place we spend most of our time and this means that we should keep an eye on our cleaning products and techniques. And unless you hire a professional cleaning service, you’re on your own so it’s best to make informed decisions to keep your home clean and safe.
Let’s get right into it! Here are our tips for cleaning and disinfecting your home.
Your home is not easy to clean and disinfect. Source: Josue Michel / Unsplash
Disinfect and Clean Your Home Regularly
The secret to a clean home is, in fact, something really simple: consistency and knowing the right products and techniques.
You should prepare a cleaning schedule whether it’s just for you or all your household members. You could try either cleaning a bit every day after you finish work or leave a couple of hours free during the weekend for cleaning just on Saturday or Sunday (or both).
There are many different cleaning templates available on the internet, for both a weekly and a weekend schedule. Find the one that fits your needs the most, and don’t be afraid to adapt it! Maybe you have an extra room that needs additional care, or you are only available for cleaning every other day. Guides on the internet are just that, a guide. Make it functional to your own lifestyle and schedule.
Even professional cleaning services usually recommend cleaning at least once a month, to ensure everything stays fresh and sanitized. A good cleaning should take no less than 3 or 4 hours, so make sure you fill that quota (more or less, depending on the size of your home) at least once a month.
This can turn into two cleanings per month of two hours each, or 15 minutes every other day, for example.
Look for the Best Disinfecting Products
Read the fine print carefully: a disinfectant is not the same as a sanitizer. A sanitizer reduces bacteria on surfaces up to a level that is considered safe. It doesn’t necessarily mean that it will kill them.
On the other hand, a disinfectant kills nearly 100% of bacteria and viruses that come into contact with it. If you think about it, this is why you hear often “Hospital-Grade Disinfectants” but not “Hospital-Grade Sanitizers”.
Of course, a hospital needs to be sterile all the time, and if you want your home to be just as safe, look for products that are capable of disinfecting, killing the most common household bacteria (such as E. Coli, Salmonella, and Staphylococcus).
Make sure at least one of your cleaning products has disinfecting properties.
Make sure you have at least one disinfectant. Source: Claudio Schwarz / Unsplash
Clean Your Home Using Hot Water
Whether is for doing your dishes, mopping your floors, cleaning your shower, or doing laundry, hot water is always more effective at killing bacteria and other germs.
If you want to remove grease from items that are medium-sized or small enough to fit in your sink, just soak them in hot, soapy water. If you want to deep clean your kitchen towels/cloths, put them in a pot with hot water and one cup of vinegar. Afterward, wash them as per usual. They will come out clean and deodorized!
And naturally, hot water turns into steam, and steam cleaners are effective and popular, especially over the last couple of years. Water at its highest temperature (steam) is capable of killing some germs. Besides, it can soften things like grease, soap scum, and grime.
Hot water will not disinfect surfaces, but it will help with cleaning more than cold water.
Don’t Forget to Do Your Laundry!
Talking about laundry, you really shouldn’t skip doing your laundry if you want to keep your home clean and disinfected.
When doing laundry, keep an eye for delicate fabrics such as linen or wool. They should be washed using only cold water.
If you want to remove stains from your clothing, you should use cold water as well. Heat will only set the stain and make it almost impossible to remove.
Everyone loves pets and many people like sleeping with their dog or cat. Although this is not ideal, if this is the case don’t forget to clean your sheets at least 1 to 2 times a week. Preferably, don’t let them under the covers if you want your sheets to remain clean. They should sleep on the top of the bed.
Don’t forget to do your laundry, especially your bedsheets. Source: Annie Spratt / Unsplash
Choose Safe, Eco-friendly Alternatives
Not only you’d want products that are effective, but that are also safe to touch and breathe around as well. Fortunately, now you can find brands that are created with organic, plant-based, and mineral-based ingredients, as well as safer chemical agents that are less harmful than the regular cleaning products at the store.
Eco-friendly cleaning companies avoid chemicals that are dangerous for you or the environment. As you imagine, residues of these cleaning products end up either in the atmosphere or in the ocean. You should avoid chemicals such as sodium lauryl sulfate, phosphates, phosphorus and nitrogen, formaldehyde, as well as artificial fragrances. They are contaminating during the manufacturing process and after they’ve been used because they hurt the ocean ecosystem.
Products that contain ammonia are mildly dangerous, especially if they come into contact with your skin or if you breathe their fumes. Never mix ammonia with bleach because the fumes are dangerous and can present a serious risk to your health.
Up to a point, this might even increase the frequency of your cleaning and improve the experience by not having to stand terrible chemical fumes and removing the chance of dangerous liquids coming into contact with your skin.
Choose Eco-friendly cleaning products. Source: Ron Lach / Pexels
Keep Your Distance
Besides cleaning regularly, there are measures you can take to avoid coming into contact with potentially infected areas.
If someone in your household is sick, try to keep your distance and maintain separate silverware and dishware, and a separate bathroom if possible.
Always wash your hands! Especially before preparing food and after using your toilet or touching your pets or other animals.
Keep a hand sanitizer nearby all the time. Sanitizing your hands after using your computer or any other tool you use often in your workspace, especially if you share it with someone else.
Remember to disinfect doorknobs regularly. They are high sources of contamination. The same goes for electronics that are shared with several household members such as computers and tablets.
Always keep a hand sanitizer nearby. Source: Naipo.de / Unsplash
You need to fight humidity as much as you can! High levels of humidity can be the cause of both bacteria and mold. Bacteria only need water and organics to stay alive, which is why we find so many types of bacteria in our kitchen.
Remember to wipe your countertops and your kitchen sink after you’ve cleaned them. And, of course, squeeze your kitchen sponges after using them and replace them at least once a month.
Mold and mildew need humidity as well, which is why we often find them near bathrooms or laundry rooms. In this case, sunlight and airflow are your biggest allies. Let fresh air to all your rooms for at least 15 or 30 minutes a day, especially in cold, small rooms (bathroom, laundry room, mudroom, even your kitchen). Remove curtains to let sunlight as well.
Last but Not Least: Be Cautious Around Cleaners and Disinfectants
Even after choosing safe, eco-friendly cleaning products, part of cleaning also includes safety. First, always read instructions, especially warnings to protect your skin, eyes, or lungs. The standard safety measures are using gloves, a mask, and safety goggles.
Second, remember to store them in a safe cleaning products pantry or cabinet.
When you’re using your cleaning products, always keep a window open to let airflow. Some cleaning products might release fumes so it’s important to bring fresh air into the room.
You shouldn’t mix different cleaning products unless instructions specify that it’s okay and/or after checking from several reliable sources. Strong chemicals such as ammonia, bleach, and baking soda are extremely dangerous to mix with other agents.
Don’t forget safety measures when cleaning your home. Source: Towfiqu Barbhuiya / Pexels
That’s it! These tips will help you have a clean, disinfected home. Let’s do a quick recap of these 7 tips that we mentioned in the article.
First, it’s important to create consistency through a cleaning schedule that works for you and your household.
Next, make sure you know exactly what you’re using to clean your home. Take your time to select the cleaning products that are effective at disinfecting (i.e., killing bacteria and viruses) and not just cleaning. On the other hand, they should be safe and non-toxic for your skin, eyes, and lungs. Finding eco-friendly products will be safe for your personal use and for the environment once they are disposed of.
Dare to use hot water for cleaning! This will help soften grease, remove grime and kill viruses that won’t remain alive beyond boiling temperature. If you want, you can try using a steamer as a cleaning tool to work faster and more efficiently, without having to scrub for hours. You can use hot water for doing laundry as well.
And talking about laundry, it’s important to clean your bedsheets often to avoid bacteria from building up as well as other residues from the human body.
Finally, take all safety measures that you need to increase the distance between you and potentially harmful or contaminated areas. This includes sanitizing surfaces and tools constantly and keeping protective gear while you’re cleaning.
We understand this might seem a bit overwhelming, even for cleaning aficionados. Remember you can always look for help from a house cleaning service if you want professionals to take care of your home using the right supplies and techniques.
Once again, thanks to NW Maids for this collab and we hope you enjoyed these cleaning tips!