Here's another series I am starting this year; it's called "Top Spots." The first post in this series will be "Top Spots To Clean To Stay Healthy This Winter." Yes, I know; who wants to clean, right? But it is necessary to keep your home environment healthy and, in turn, keep you healthy. First, let's talk about the difference between cleaning, disinfecting, and sanitizing. Did you know there was a difference between cleaning, disinfecting, and sanitizing? Here is the simple definition of each.
Cleaning doesn't remove all the germs, but it does lower the number of germs in your home.
Disinfecting uses chemicals to kill germs on items though it doesn't clean surfaces.
Sanitizing is the process when you cleaning or disinfecting an area to reduce the number of germs on it to a safer level.
- BATHROOMS spots to clean and how to clean them
- KITCHEN SURFACES areas to clean and how to clean them
- KNOBS AND HANDLES GALORE spots to clean and how to clean them
- FABRICS areas to clean and how to clean them
- SWITCHES AND PULLS areas to clean and how to clean them
- TECHNOLOGY areas to clean and how to clean them
- OTHER INFORMATION
Wasn't that interesting? We will be focusing on cleaning today. So, here we go.
Routine cleaning works best to help you keep germs at bay. If you don't have time to clean from top to bottom in your home, focus on these areas. And, updated in 2023, I added some ways to disinfect the different areas of your home.
BATHROOMS spots to clean and how to clean them
Toilet - ½ cup of bleach and pour it into your toilet bowl, using a toilet brush to scrub it, let sit for five minutes before flushing.
Tub - Mix ⅓ cup of bleach with 1 gallon of cold water. Using a sponge, wipe the walls and tub and let sit for 5 minutes. Then rinse.
Bathroom Sink - use nonabrasive soap and let sit for a few minutes before rinsing and wiping down.
The floor around the Toilet - wet this area, then use disinfectant spray and wipe the area to remove germs.
KITCHEN SURFACES areas to clean and how to clean them
Kitchen counters - Clean with isopropyl rubbing alcohol (at least 70%) wipes and let dry.
The Kitchen sink - plug the sink and fill will 1 part bleach and 3 parts water and let sit overnight to reduce the germs
Cutting boards - scrub the cutting boards with soap and hot water. Keeping meat on plastic cutting boards works well to stop cross-contamination.
Updated 2023 - Spice jars - As people cook, they can easily spread bacteria between picking up and handling meat like chicken and pickup spice jars to use them.
Updated 2023 - Kitchen sponges - soaking a sponge in a diluted bleach solution or placing it in the dishwasher on high heat.
Update 2023 - Refrigerator handles - Use a disinfectant wipe to remove germs from the handles.
Update 2023 - Waste Baskets - use a bleach spray or all-purpose cleaner spray and let sit for 5 minutes, then rinse and dry with a paper towel.
KNOBS AND HANDLES GALORE spots to clean and how to clean them
Door Knobs - Use disinfectant wipes and allow them to dry.
Cabinet knobs - use disinfectant wipes and allow them to dry.
Toothbrush handles and the bristles - use a mouthwash that is a disinfectant like Listerine or place the toothbrush handle in the dishwasher.
Faucet handles - disinfect these handles by using rubbing alcohol and a microfiber cloth.
Oven knobs - remove and wipe with a mild soap, dry, and reattach. Do not soak.
Update in 2023 - Microwave handles can easily spread germs. - Use a disinfectant wipe and let dry completely.
FABRICS areas to clean and how to clean them
Sheets / Bedding - machine wash on the hottest water using a detergent and Bleach or color-safe bleach in a high-efficiency clothes washer. Be sure that it soaks for 10 minutes.
Dishtowels - boiling your dishcloths in a saucepan to sterilize them. Read more here.
Tablecloths - use quality color-safe bleach in a permanent press cycle.
Bath towels / Hand towels / Wash clothes - Machine wash on the hottest setting and add nonbleach or bleach depending on the color.
Throws - use a small amount of detergent and use it in a gentle cycle to protect the fabric.
Winter gloves - wash with anti-bacterial soap or solution and warm water
Winter Coats - Put in the washing machine on a delicate cycle. with cold water and delicate soap.
Visit our Laundry Room Cleaning Tips and Tricks for more information!
SWITCHES AND PULLS areas to clean and how to clean them
Light switches - Use a disinfectant wipe after cleaning with a window cleaner sprayed on a paper towel.
Pull strings for fans and ceiling lights - use disinfectant wipes by wiping them down and letting them dry.
Update 2023 - curtain cords - use disinfectant wipes and let dry.
TECHNOLOGY areas to clean and how to clean them
Laptop keyboard and mouse - Use microfiber clothes and spray with window cleaner. Let dry and use a disinfectant wipe over the keys and mouse.
Phone display and case - use a disinfectant wipe and let dry.
Tablet display and case - use window cleaner or electronic cleaner and dry with a microfiber cloth.
Television remote controls and buttons - use electronic cleaner wipes
Calculator keys - Use a disinfectant wipe and let dry.
Telephones - use a disinfectant wipe and clean all raised keys.
Updated - 2023 - Game controllers, of course. - using a disinfectant wipe, be sure to clean all the control buttons, even the ones on the sides and the bottom of the controllers.
Check out my post about The Most Important Places to Clean in the Office for even more tips!
Washing your hands often, of course, is crucial to keeping yourself healthy this winter as well.
"Handwashing is like a "do-it-yourself" vaccine—it involves five simple and effective steps (Wet, Lather, Scrub, Rinse, Dry) you can take to reduce the spread of diarrheal and respiratory illness so you can stay healthy."
If the pandemic taught us anything, it is washing your hands for 30 seconds with soap (cold or warm water is fine) when you enter your home will significantly reduce the amount of germs you bring into your home.
Did you know there is a Global Handwashing Day? It's on October 15th.
I hope this helped you get your home clean so you can stay healthy this winter. Let me know if I missed other areas in your home by leaving a comment below. I would love to hear from you.
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