The coronavirus pandemic has opened many of our eyes to the importance of maintaining household hygiene, so that we are not allowing the transmission of dangerous bacteria and viruses. And even with the pandemic beginning to recede, it is worth maintaining these habits, since homes can be a breeding ground for a wide variety of common germs that can cause health problems for you and other members of your household. It is also important that we remain vigilant in regards to COVID-19 prevention, even though things now appear to be improving. Here are a number of tips to keep your household clean and safe from potentially harmful germs.
Preventing Germs from Entering Your Home
Of course, the most ideal form of action in terms of protecting households from harmful germs is to stop them entering your home at all. Naturally, getting rid of all possible viruses and bacteria from your home is not realistic, especially when many of them originate inside. However, there is plenty you can do to mitigate the amount of new, harmful germs that get introduced into your home. Regular hand washing, especially upon entering the household, is one of the most simple and effective ways of doing this. This is especially true if you have been in contact with the ground, because soil can harbor a variety of potentially harmful germs.
You should therefore ensure that everyone in your household, and especially children, are following all hand washing steps as well as practicing proper technique. You may also consider purchasing specific antibacterial hand gels to make sure that you are killing as many foreign bacteria as possible.
Disinfecting Common Household Touchpoints
Many harmful germs are transmitted by touch. Everyday objects and part of your house that people touch more are therefore more likely to come into contact with bacteria and viruses, as well as transmit them to other members of your household and guests. Examples of these common touchpoints include door handles, stair rails, television remotes, cabinets, and chairs. It’s consequently a good idea to pay extra attention to these touchpoints when cleaning them. If you share electrical products with other members of your household, attend to these too. Not only would these also be examples of common touchpoints, things like laptops can accrue dirt and germs in places that are difficult to access. Beyond using standard cleaning supplies, it is a good idea to use disinfectant sprays and cleaners to remove as many germs as possible. Widely available household disinfectants are now able to remove 99%+ of all germs. Dusting these items regularly is also good practice, because while not necessarily a cause of germs, large amounts of dust can reduce household air quality and be potentially harmful to those with respiratory conditions.
Pets and Household Hygiene
Pets can be a huge source of comfort for us, but, like people, they also invariably carry germs. And, unlike people, you may struggle to instruct them on proper hygiene! While many of the specific bacteria, fungi, and viruses pets carry are not harmful to humans, there are still a number of them which can cause us severe illnesses. Fortunately, however, a few simple steps can dramatically reduce the risk of transmission of these germs. Periodical visits to the vet will help you stay informed of any potential illnesses that your pet may have picked up, which can benefit the health of both your pet and your household. Cleaning your pet after they have been outside of your home will also reduce the chance of them introducing foreign bacteria and microbes into your home. Finally, it is good practice to avoid close contact with your pet’s mouth, and you should also always try to wear gloves when handling pet waste. This is because saliva and excrement are two of the places which carry the most germs.
Of all your rooms, unsurprisingly, bathrooms are the ones that probably need the most attention in terms of maintaining good household hygiene. Specifically, bathrooms can be a dangerous transmitter of germs, including ones like Salmonella and E.coli, which can both cause severe illnesses. You should therefore try to focus on removing as many of these as possible. Common touchpoints like toilet seats, handles, and taps should all be disinfected regularly. One area you might not anticipate as harboring germs is your shower head, though. Recent research suggests that shower heads home a huge amount of bacteria, and while much of this is harmful, some of the bacteria present can potentially cause severe lung infections. If possible, you should therefore also remove your shower head and clean that, periodically, too.