The house: a living environment that goes hand in hand with pleasure and rest, tranquility and relaxation. And in this period of containment relating to the Covid-19 pandemic, we spend most of our time there. But like any unmaintained environment, a house can very quickly become inhospitable. Dirt, bad smells, microbes, insects, rodents and reptiles can seriously threaten the health and peace of the inhabitants of a poorly maintained house. And especially in these difficult times of unprecedented health crisis where coronavirus disease 2019 is on everyone’s lips, hygiene rules are all the more important as it is necessary to linger there. Far from being an expert in disinfection, but with our experience as a building company collaborating with cleaning agencies, we come to share in this article some tips and tricks to clean and disinfect your home naturally and efficiently.
1. Clean and disinfect your home: get started every day
With a good method and a little rigor, you will not spend more than 20 minutes a day to make your home always welcoming. Although in containment period, time has become what we lack the least. But if you’re so busy that snatching 20 minutes of your time every morning is like asking you to get the moon 😉 no worries! Divide this time between morning and evening. You’ll find yourself doing 10 minutes of small work when you wake up, and the same in the evening. This will prevent the accumulation of dirt and stains which later make cleaning operations tedious and boring.
2. Involve family
If the whole household can get into it, why not? This would only reduce the time of the cleaning session. However, roles cannot be distributed equitably. Age will have to be taken into account when entrusting someone with this or that other task. For example, children should not be asked to wash the toilet or use strippers to clean surfaces. And the oldest must be systematically excluded. But the most important thing is to wear masks and gloves before getting started.
3. What if cleaning and disinfecting your home becomes fun?
That’s right… We know how the mind adapts better to games than to chores! So why not turn household chores into fun activities? Especially if the younger ones are involved in the clean-up? For example: “Today, whoever wipes the most furniture will have won …” Or “The first to make his bed properly will become the one who will lead the cleaning session” And why not put on music, dance , sing in chorus while you work? You’ll be pleasantly surprised at how quickly time can pass and how efficient the work will be.
4. Take good habits
A clean and healthy home starts with small habits to establish:
- Wash your hands systematically with soap and water when you get home or before going to table
- Make your bed when you wake up and change or wash your sheets regularly
- When coming home, do not throw clothes or shoes anywhere. These personal belongings are very likely to introduce germs into the home. Store them carefully, whether dirty or not in a dedicated place is beneficial
- Dispose of household waste (especially food) directly into a regularly emptied garbage can
- Getting rid of wastewater regularly
- Serve your pet food in a bowl and not on the floor. And wash his paws before he enters a room after a ride
- Do not accumulate dirty laundry; wash it if possible at a high temperature (60 degrees or more) and wash any clothing bought or sewn before wearing it the first time.
5. Air out the rooms
Know this: an unventilated room is a nursery of molds and a concentrator of pollutants that promote respiratory infections. In fact, air is generally more polluted inside a closed room than outside. Moisture, dust, animal hair, perspiration, air fresheners, insecticides, paint, gas combustion, oil or candle, these are just a few factors of pollution inside a house. And there’s nothing better than aerating a room after cleaning, showering or cooking to remove bad smells and renew the air, especially in this containment period when we tend to constantly close doors and windows to snuggle inside.
6. Clean and disinfect your home from top to bottom
When cleaning a room, make a habit of starting with the high ceiling and ending with the floor. In doing so, all the dirt that falls from furniture, appliances and wall surfaces can be completely released by a broom and mop wet with diluted bleach.
7. Start with the living room
The living room is usually the most prominent room in a house and also the most exposed unfortunately. You welcome strangers, friends, relax and even eat there when there is not a dedicated dining room. And that’s where you have to start so you can put enough energy into it for a complete disinfection and cleanse.
8. Without a method, clean bedroom will exhaust you
The bedrooms are a little more complicated to spring clean, it is necessary to establish a routine from the start. Everything must have its place and be put back in its place after use. This way, you will avoid turning your resting place into a bazaar and creating conditions conducive to the proliferation of microbes, mites, cockroaches and others. And when it comes to dusting, sweeping or cleaning the room, you will be at ease and the work will be less strenuous. Warning! Avoid cleaning a floor with a vacuum cleaner during Covid-19 pandemic. In fact, the latter may spread viral particles even more in the room.
9. The kitchen room: a room that requires special attention
Let’s be clear: a poorly maintained kitchen systematically exposes all the inhabitants of the house concerned to enormous risks. Salmonella, bacteria, parasites, worms, viruses can quickly take control of your plate and therefore your body. Food debris when not cleaned, feeds insects and promotes their development. Rodents and reptiles are then attracted to this gastronomic festival and end up colonizing your home. It is therefore necessary to ensure the daily hygiene of your kitchen room. And here are some gestures you don’t have to compromise on:
- Blocking pet access to the kitchen
- In the absence of a dishwasher, soak dishes after meals in boiling water for a quarter of an hour. Then wash it cleanly
- Dry dishes in the air after washing before storing them
- Regular wash the sponge and kitchen linen in hot water and dry them before reuse
- Take a few minutes each day to clean and disinfect (with white vinegar) worktops, gas grates, sinks and more
- Put away the closets and throw away anything that’s useless
- Always finish by sweeping the ground or cleaning it with a mop.
10. Toilets, showers and sinks: the gauges of the cleanliness of your home
Clean toilets, beurk… will say most! And yet, there is nothing simpler to do when you have a minimum of equipment, techniques and patience. But above all, be aware that a house where you can keep the toilet clean is in itself generally clean. To make your toilets (sanitary or traditional installations) and bathrooms shine without hydrochloric acid or other corrosive products, here are some tips:
- Wash floors (with tiled or not) with a mixture of water, white vinegar and a little dishwashing liquid. If the water can be hot, it’s even better. And don’t forget to put on gloves.
- To descale the toilet, empty the water from the bowl with a brush, for example. Then pour a mixture of hot water and baking soda into the bowl and leave for at least 1 hour before passing the brush and flushing. For traditional septic tanks, pour the previous mixture over the slab at bedtime and let it work overnight.
- Clean the outside of the bowl, sink, faucet and other surfaces with a cloth soaked in diluted bleach.
- To eliminate bad smells in bathrooms, pour a mixture of half a glass of white vinegar and half a glass of baking soda into the shower pipes. Allow to foam and then pour in a bucket of hot water possibly containing a few drops of lavender, mint or lemon essential oil.
- Use lemon juice instead of white vinegar if you don’t have lemon juice in your closet!
11. Wrongly neglected objects and small surfaces
One would be tempted to believe that cleaning and disinfecting a house is to take care mainly of large areas, the most visible ones. Of course not!
Imagine this scenario: once the cleaning was done, you washed your hands cleanly. Super! Then you went to turn off the toilet lamp on during the cleaning. You come back to the living room, check your emails, turn on the TV, turn on the tap to get water and take a piece of bread from the fridge previously filled by your child back from the market! Uh … where is the problem there you say! But take a closer look: between the switch, the toilet and fridge door handles, the faucet, your phone or PC keyboard and the remote control that have all been affected, you have already broken the clean chain. And putting your hands to your mouth would put you at enormous risk, even though they have been washed.
Viruses and bacteria can cling to surfaces for several days. It is therefore important to clean all objects and surfaces that hands frequently touch at least once a day. And to make this task easier, place microfiber rags and vials containing alcohol at 70 degrees or diluted bleach (1 dose of bleach for 9 doses of water) all over the house. Be careful to use only 70-degree alcohol for electronic objects (remotes control, laptops, keyboards…)
12. Other tips and tricks to clean and disinfect your home
From right to left: lemon, baking soda, olive oil soap, badger brush.
Here are some other recommendations and techniques to keep your living environment always healthy and pleasant in an efficient and natural way:
- When cleaning, complete one task before starting another. And move around with a garbage bag. Otherwise, you will lose time and energy.
- At least once a month, clean and disinfect your refrigerator with a mixture of equal proportions of hot water and white vinegar.
- After shopping, remove and throw away all plastic or cardboard packaging.
- Industrial cleaners and disinfectants abound in these times of the Covid-19 pandemic. And they can be super useful when you can afford them. But it would still be necessary to read the labels well and not use for example the disinfectant ground for the hands or vice versa. Therefore, they should be kept out of the reach of children.
- Never mix vinegar and bleach as the resulting vapours are highly toxic. On the other hand, the vinegar and bicarbonate mixture poses no risk although it foams.
- Regularly wash and brush your pets outdoors or in the yard of the house. Baking soda or an infusion of eucalyptus and lemon can be your allies to fight fleas in their coat.
- The mattress: a real bacteria nest. Spray a mixture of hot water, bicarbonate and lemon essential oil regularly on its surfaces and allow to dry.
- And your toothbrush, do you forget? Dip it, hair down into a glass and pour in boiling water. Then add a teaspoon of baking soda and soak for at least 2 hours then rinse.
Beyond the barrier gestures to protect others and oneself from pathogens like the new coronavirus that is currently rampant, taking care of its habitat is all the more important since half of the world’s population is currently expected to stay at home. Simple gestures and tricks to help clean and disinfect your home effectively are useful for everyone to preserve health and lives. And it is up to everyone to take ownership of good hygiene practices because health is priceless, it is said. And let’s sum it all up with this quote:
health depends more on precautions than on doctors.J-B. Bossuet