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How to keep your home clean and disinfected: Not only during covid-19

Cleaning our house is a constant that we all know prior to this period of pandemic, but are you also thinking about what are the additional measures we can take to ensure that our home is disinfected and virus-clean? So what are the steps we might have missed out before or what can we do to increase the protection for ourselves?

Read on to find out more about how to keep your home sanitized with tips on cleaning and disinfecting as well as the importance of maintaining personal hygiene in the fight against bacteria and viruses.

Difference between cleaning and disinfecting

Well, if you are thinking whether is there a difference between cleaning and disinfecting, the answer is: Yes. They are complementary and you should not miss out on either one. Let’s define it. Cleaning refers to the physical removal of germs, impurities and dirt from surfaces using soap (or detergent) and water. Disinfecting refers to the killing of germs on surfaces using chemicals. Cleaning does not necessarily kill germs and disinfecting is not as effective without cleaning the surfaces prior to it. Therefore, it is always advisable for you to clean surfaces thoroughly before disinfecting to ensure that the surface remains cleaned and sanitized to lower risk of any infections.

Tips to Cleaning and disinfecting

1. Target The High Touch Surfaces

High-touch surfaces are surfaces that you are in constant contact with on a daily basis. This includes your desks, light switches, doorknobs, kitchen counter, toilet and the list goes on. Electronic gadgets like laptops and handphones are prone to frequent contact and thus vulnerable to bacteria and viruses as well. Everyone has different living habits, so think through the surfaces you touch frequently and ensure that you clean and disinfect them thoroughly and regularly.

Additional Tip: Cleaning and disinfecting chores can be made easier with the right choice of disinfectant. Read till the end to find out more!

2. Minimize The Chance Of Bringing The Bacteria and Virus Into Your Home

Other than keeping your living premises clean, it is important to not make your efforts futile by bringing pathogens (i.e. a bacterium, virus, or other microorganism that can cause disease) in after a day outside. To combat against external pathogens, it is strongly advisable to wash your hands thoroughly with soap upon reaching home as well as wiping and cleaning belongings such as bags regularly.

In addition, pathogens can also be introduced via receiving of mails and deliveries. Even though chances are low, pathogens are still viable on surfaces for hours to days, depending on the type of materials. To protect yourself, minimize your contact with the delivery personnel and avoid putting packages that you receive on table surfaces before disinfecting it. After you have handled the packages, wash your hands immediately and remember to dispose of any packaging properly.

3. Follow Proper Cleaning And Disinfecting Procedures

To ensure your personal safety while maximizing cleaning efficacy, instructions on product labels should be followed diligently. Cleaners and disinfectants are chemicals that require handling with care. Use proper cleaning tools and protective gloves when cleaning to reduce skin contact with these chemical agents and remember not to mix products without checking. For example, bleach cannot be mixed with products that contains ammonia, such as vinegar, as it produces a toxic gas that will cause respiratory issues.

After cleaning, ensure that your cleaning tools are properly and thoroughly washed and dried to prevent bacterial growth on these tools.

Personal Hygiene

More than surfaces, we are the main medium that spreads the bacteria and viruses around. By constantly touching objects and surfaces, we are transferring pathogens from one surface to another, including to ourselves or another person. So how can we prevent that?

1. Wash Your Hands Regularly With Soap and Water

Washing your hands with soap and water still remains the most effective method of keeping your hands clean. It is especially important to do so before handling food or having your meal, and after using the toilet, coughing, sneezing, or coming in contact with high-touch surfaces in public. But do take note, washing hands is not just the running of your hands through the water under the tap. Do not forget the 8 steps of hand washing!

(Image Source: HealthHub Sg)

2. Use hand sanitizers

Use hand sanitizers if the option of washing your hands are not available. Ensure that you rub your hands thoroughly with the sanitizers until dry such that all surfaces are covered, even under your nails!

Additional tip: Sanitizing your hands tends to dehydrate them. Dry and cracked skin are at higher risk of infection, so it is important to keep your hands moisturized as well.

3. Cover Up Your Nose and Mouth When You Sneeze Or Cough

Bacteria and viruses can spread airborne. Remember to always cover up your nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing and dispose of it properly into the dustbin. Do not leave the soiled tissue around and do not forget to wash or sanitize your hands after. If it comes too sudden, cough or sneeze into your elbow to avoid coming into direct contact with the pathogens that might spread more easily if you come into contact with another person or surface through touch.

Switch it up!

With the Covid-19 pandemic, we are all definitely more aware of the importance of keeping our home clean. But cleaning and disinfecting frequently might seem like a chore with our busy schedules. Well, here’s a tip for you. You can always switch up your disinfectant to a long-lasting one to reduce your workload! Silicone quaternary ammonium compound disinfectant that gives an anti-microbial coat is now in the trend for disinfecting. With a single application, the self-disinfecting coat can provide you an extended period of protection with its technology that is able to physically kill pathogens that come into contact with your surface. All you need to do is just to ensure that you still clean the surfaces regularly to ensure the maximal efficacy of these coating as dirt and impurities might hinder the antimicrobial mechanism of the technology. Such convenience!

Now with these tips, please stay safe and healthy everyone!

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