With the coronavirus health crisis still going strong, hygiene and cleanliness are at the forefront of everyone’s minds. And with everyone still spending a lot more time at home, now more than ever it’s important to know how to ensure your home is clean, hygienic and properly sanitised.
Deep cleaning your home is all about going beyond the normal vacuuming and dusting. It’s about comprehensively and deeply cleaning all areas of all rooms throughout the house. While it’s time consuming, it should be every 6 months or so. It will help you maintain a good level of cleanliness and hygiene through the house and will help you identify any issues like mould or mildew before they get a chance to really settle in and do some damage.
We have some hints and tips to help you get that thorough clean and keep your family healthy.
Go room by room
First things first, you need to have realistic expectations for yourself. Deep cleaning your house like this is a big job. Break the job into smaller tasks and try to tackle it room by room. Don’t rush your cleaning; if you can, give yourself multiple days to get it all done or even space the cleaning out over several weeks.
Gather your supplies
To get this job done right, you’ll need the correct supplies. Make sure you have the following:
- Disinfectant and cleaners
- Scrubbing brushes
- Cleaning and dusting cloths
- Steam cleaner
You’ll also want to make sure you have the necessary access and reaching equipment so you can clean those high and tough to reach places.
If possible, use natural, eco-friendly cleaners where you can to reduce your impact on the environment and to reduce the amount of chemicals you’re putting into the air. However, it’s also important to make sure you’re regularly using disinfectant. While most cleaners have a level of disinfectant, you may just end up transferring germs from surface to surface if you’re not disinfecting as you go.
If you use a disinfectant though, the germs, including those that cause viruses like COVID-19, are killed. But you need to clean before you disinfect to get the best results.
Clean away clutter
Before you start cleaning or disinfecting a room, you’ll want to get the space ready. Remove all clutter from benchtops, cabinets and cupboards. It’s important to be able to easily access the surfaces, so you don’t want to be trying to clean around the clutter.
This can be a good time to declutter your cupboards and other storage areas. Throw away or recycle anything not needed and when you restock the cupboards you’ll have much more room.
Focus on high-touch areas
In every room, focus your efforts on high-touch areas. Look around the room and think about what gets touched the most. Things like door handles, light switches, taps, even the TV remote should be given an extra good clean and disinfected.
The most important high-touch surfaces are those you touch first when you enter the house. If you’ve picked up germs and bacteria from outside, then surfaces like the front door knob, hallway light switches, even your house keys will be the surfaces most likely to transmit those germs.
Consider placing some hand sanitiser just inside the front door. That way you can cleanse your hands of any nasties you picked up outside and not risk spreading those germs around the house.
Clean hard surfaces
When you’re ready to start tackling the bulk of the cleaning and disinfecting, start with the hard surfaces. You’ll soon realise just how many surfaces there are in your home. Kitchen counters, tables, bookshelves and appliances, make sure you get to each one. Don’t forget to do the fronts of cabinets and the sides of appliances.
Clear off the surfaces before you start cleaning and make sure they are thoroughly dried and disinfected before putting everything back. Also take the opportunity to clean off, dry and disinfect any appliances, glassware or anything else that usually lives on the recently cleaned surfaces.
Steam clean fabrics
With surfaces taken care of, you can move onto the fabrics. This includes cleaning the carpets, rugs, upholstered furniture and curtains. Start by vacuuming as much as you can to remove any loose dirt and dust.
After vacuuming, it’s time to get onto the carpet steam cleaning. It’s an excellent way to get stubborn stains to budge as it penetrates deep into the fabric’s fibres. But, more importantly, the high temperature of the steam kills off harmful bacteria, viruses and mould that may be hiding in the fibres. Steam cleaning your carpet also helps to remove dust mites which can aggravate respiratory issues. With a steam clean, you can get deep into the fibres to get rid of insects like dust mites and others.
Typically, anything more than 60°C will kill off most germs and bacteria, but you could consider going hotter for a more thorough clean. Just make sure the fabric can handle the hot temperatures. It’s always a good idea to check the manufacturer information before steam cleaning.
For linen, blankets and clothes, you can put these in the washing machine rather than steam cleaning. Ensure the water temperature is set to at least 40°C (ideally 60°C) and you use a good quality detergent to get rid of any viruses or bacteria.
Mop tiles and floorboards
Finish your deep clean by sweeping and mopping any tiles and floorboards. Remember to clean first and then disinfect. It’s not as common for viruses to be spread via shoes and feet, but if you have small children, they are potentially at risk. Ensure any cleaners and disinfectants you use won’t harm your flooring, like removing floorboard polish.
Keep up good hygiene
To make sure your hard work doesn’t go to waste, do what you can to minimise how viruses and bacteria can enter your home. Even remembering to wash your hands with warm water and soap as soon as you get home is a great strategy.
Deep cleaning your home is one way you can help prevent the spread of harmful viruses. Maintaining good personal hygiene and limiting contact with others are also good methods. And as the curve flattens, you can continue to enjoy a clean, safe home.