The importance of personal hygiene is just as important as your home environment hygiene. With all the surfaces we touch on a daily basis, maintaining proper cleaning habits are not only beneficial to you, but to your family household as well.
Here are 6 important hygiene facts you should be aware of:
1. Viruses and bacteria can live on some surfaces longer than others
Cleaning up and wiping down all surfaces may be pretty self-explanatory. However, some surfaces can hold onto viruses more actively than others and it's important to ensure that all frequently touched surfaces are cleaned regularly. In a recent study, aerosols containing the virus were sprayed on plastic, stainless steel, copper, and cardboard surfaces, and the decay rates of the virus upon each surface were examined. The results showed that surfaces such as plastic and stainless steel were subjected to hold more of the harmful virus than copper and cardboard.
Keep in mind bacteria can live longer on frequently touched surfaces such as countertops, remote controls, light switches, and door knobs (just to name a few), for several days. Ensure proper cleaning methods are used regularly, if not more often, on all surfaces and devices.
2. Hand washing and cleaning underneath your nails is of utmost importance
Hand washing should and always be practiced regularly. Much like our dirty dishes, we want to ensure our hands are mess and gunk free. We touch a lot of surfaces on a daily basis and without proper hand-washing etiquette it's fair to say that bacteria and viruses are more prone to spreading. In a recent article, it's stated that “The most common mechanism for transmission is related to hands, because we’re using them all the time, constantly touching things, and we aren’t even aware of it.".
Remember to not only wash your hands properly but to also scrub around and underneath fingernails, as a lot of hidden virus and bacteria can reside in the little crevices. If your nail polish is starting to chip, be diligent about deep cleaning the areas where the polish has chipped. While it may not look suspicious, the tiny chipped surfaces are where a lot of unwanted virus and bacteria can collect.
3. Be mindful when wearing accessories
If you're washing and sanitizing your hands more frequently, it might be a good idea to stop wearing rings. When washing your hands you might overlook thorough cleansing where your rings have been placed, leaving viruses and bacteria more prone to staying on your hands.
If you're using hand sanitizer, it's important to remember while it does kill bacteria, it also contains alcohol. Alcohol is known to dry out gems such as coral, pearls, opals, and turquoise, making your rings prone to surface damage and cracking.
To preserve the quality of your jewelry, opt to remove your rings before washing your hands or to stop wearing jewelry altogether. If you choose to take off your rings before washing your hands make sure you're disinfecting your rings right after. No point in practicing proper hand washing if you're taking off and putting back on your dirty rings, right?
4. Frequently wash clothes to kill lingering bacteria
A virus can transmit through respiratory droplets from sneezing or coughing. CDC suggests that a virus can also remain viable on clothing surfaces for hours or even days. While these particles can dry out over time and inactivate the virus it does not mean that it will happen quickly. During that time, infection is more prone to happening. Factors such as heat, humidity, and natural fibres can all have an affect on the survival of the virus on these surfaces.
In good practice, frequently washing your clothing can help as a preventative measure. Change and wash your clothes anytime others have touched them or you have been in large group gatherings. Wash your clothing under the hottest water possible recommended for that material, and give it extra time to heat in the dryer to kill any possible traces of the virus. If possible, it is also recommended that you use a detergent containing a bleach compound.
5. Remove and sanitize all outdoor items
Are you coming back from walking your dog? Make sure you're removing your shoes, wiping down your pets, and keeping all home entrance areas clean and sanitized. As mentioned earlier, these surfaces may not be the strongest surfaces for viruses to cling onto, but they are prone to collecting viruses over time.
Ensure that you are not bringing any outside germs and viruses into the household. Try to keep hand sanitizer and wet wipes close to the entrance door, and make sure you are washing your hands as soon as you get home.
6. Floor surfaces should be cleaned more often
The surface that is most frequently touched but often forgotten about is the floor. Specially if you've got young ones crawling around and furry friends that love to play, you know the home floors can get a bit... messy. Dirt and germs can cling to carpet, and viruses tend to stay longer on smooth hard surfaces. It'll be hard to keep your children from touching all these floor surfaces, but cleaning and sanitizing the carpet and floors more often will lower the chances of unwanted transfer of germs and bacteria.
Sweep, mop, and clean the floors more regularly to keep the constant foot (or hand) traffic at bay. If you're looking for an easy, hassle free solution to cleaning the floors try a robotic vacuum cleaner & mop.