In just a snap, the whole world turned topsy-turvy in 2019. Everyone was left reeling from the effects of a virus that made everyone scamper back inside their homes. Lives were disrupted, and after a year of adjusting and looking for ways to cope, people started looking at this global situation in a new light. While the number of cases seems to be slowly easing up, families are looking for means to adapt to the new normal.
If you’re looking for ways to make your homes safe from this unseen enemy, here’s a roundup of home hygiene tips your family should practice:
1. Clean And Disinfect Your Home
The growth of bacteria doubles every 20 minutes, so what you should do daily is to clean and disinfect your home. The first level of cleaning is usually done by decluttering, sweeping, and dusting around the house. Make sure you also go through the hard-to-reach areas above closets, in between pieces of furniture, and the space under couches and beds. Next is to wipe surfaces, especially high-touch areas like light switches, doorknobs, keyboards, faucets, toilets, and sinks.
To be extra thorough, use warm water with cleaning detergents or natural cleaning solutions like a hypochlorous acid cleaner for the second round of your cleaning process. Do this every other day to make sure you kill germs and bacteria hanging inside your house.
Take note that when using cleaners, opt for the natural ones since strong odors and chemicals can trigger reactions or illness from immuno-compromised people in your families like older people and babies or if you have fur babies.
Other things you should frequently disinfect are your trash bins, hampers, your shoes, and even your mobile gadgets like cellphones and tablets. Disinfect any item you bring with you from outside using disinfecting wipes or UVC lightboxes for extra precautions if you wish to disinfect your car keys, credit cards, or phones.
2. Keep Your Shoes Outside
It may sound odd at first, but it’s better if you keep your shoes outside. Bringing in your shoes that you wore all day and stepping on a lot of things you might not be able to recognize is far from a hygienic practice. You can wear a different set of shoes dedicated for indoor use or consider using a slip-on. If this option isn’t available, try to disinfect your shoes by using disinfecting mats you can wipe your shoes with before you enter the house.
3. Vacuum Regularly
Pre-pandemic, vacuuming your carpet may have been something you put off until your mom tells you she’s in town to visit you. Now that it’s the new normal, you need to make sure you vacuum your carpet and other parts of your house at least every other day.
If you can, try to get a vacuum for your floors and a separate vacuum for your mattress. This is especially useful for families who let their pets stay indoors or for those who have babies, elders, or immuno-compromised housemates.
Often overlooked, your couch and bed mattress can also harbor allergens and bacteria. That’s why it’s recommended to run a vacuum on these pieces of furniture every other week to avoid triggering any indoor allergies.
4. Keep Your Floors Dry
Always keep your floor dry, especially during the rainy season. Aside from causing accidents and injuries, maintaining moist floors can invite sickness inside your home. Bacteria, fungus, and viruses love humid and damp spaces. To ensure you don’t encourage the growth of these elements, keep your floors dry by using drying equipment or fans.
5. Keep Air Quality High
Airing out the house is also an excellent new normal practice. Opening your windows and doors to get the air moving is one of the best things you can do to let your house breathe. You can also use the ventilating mechanism about stoves or inside bathrooms often to bring in the fresh air and redistribute indoor air pollutants from cooking inside or from people who smoke. If you or a family member smoke, now is the right time to cut back or stop.
Other things you may want to check out include your range hood filters and air-conditioning filters. You need to clean these and keep the gunk away if you wish your air quality to improve. Leaving these unattended can lead to the buildup of allergens and bacteria.
If you don’t have the luxury to open windows frequently because you live in a neighborhood with high rates of air pollution, you can crack your windows and use a fan to make the air circulate. If this is still not an option, try to use HEPA filters inside your homes. HEPA filters help trap pollutants, bacteria, viruses, and allergens, mainly if you use them with filtration systems like purifiers and air cleaners.
6. Do Your Laundry
Make sure you don’t have piles of clothes just sitting on chairs or marinating inside hampers. Doing your laundry is essential these days to ensure you don’t harbor bacteria and viruses inside your house.
Here are some of the things you should do:
- Change Your Clothes Immediately: With the uncertainty of how long the virus stays on fabrics, you may want to make it a habit to change out of the clothes you wore outside immediately before you enter your house. You must also practice using a separate laundry hamper for clothes you wore outside or wash them right away. Don’t mix your clothes with theirs to avoid contaminating other clothes worn by family members who didn’t venture out. Make sure you wash your clothes with soap and the warmest, most appropriate machine setting. Make it a point also to clean or disinfect the hamper to avoid any bacterial growth.
- Change Your Linens Frequently: Change your bed sheets, towels, and curtain every week. As mentioned above, wash these in the warmest, most appropriate machine setting to kill bacteria and germs. Invest in them if you have the means to buy hypoallergenic bed sheets, towels, and curtains.
7. Consider Steam Cleaning
Before the pandemic, it’s customary to wipe floors, mop them, and just leave them to dry. Now that everyone is actively trying to keep the virus away from their homes, people are looking into technologies that provide a more vigorous and thorough cleaning method.
If you’re iffy about using a lot of cleansers and detergents because of the ingredients, try looking into deep cleaning using steam. Aside from the benefit of disinfecting parts of your house, steam cleaning is also effective in removing dirt and challenging stains.
Exposure to the COVID-19 virus and its mutations is inevitable. The only thing you can do is accept the situation for what it is and be more vigilant with your actions. Even if you live in a technologically forward world, you can’t hide inside your homes forever.
You have to learn to accept this new normal and begin adjusting your lifestyle accordingly. To keep you and your loved ones safe, you should understand how you can prevent and combat the growth of viruses inside the house.
The tips above are just some of the essential things you can apply to make your family feel safer in your home amidst all the craziness that’s happening outside.