Household Cleaning Tips & Tricks
While spring might help us get into a cleaning state of mind, concerns of health and safety during the coronavirus pandemic is another strong motivation to keep our homes clean. A clean home can make us feel good during our time indoors and aid in the prevention of spreading germs. Here are some general cleaning tips and tricks to get your rooms looking great.
Understanding Cleaning Terms
Understand the difference between common cleaning terms to determine how your rid of germs in your home.
Cleaning involves the removal of dirt, dust and debris from a surface through the use of detergents, water and physical scrubbing. Germs are not killed, but they are removed from the surface being cleaned onto a cleaning tool (like wipes, cloths or paper towels) and helps prevent the risk of spreading. The CDC recommends cleaning a surface before disinfecting in order to wipe away any dirt or debris where germs can hide.
Sanitizing lowers the number of germs on a surface to a safe level. Sanitizers reduce the number of microbes on a surface to a safe level (99%), while disinfectants kill practically everything on a surface (99.9%).
Disinfecting kills germs with chemicals to eliminate them on surfaces. Chemicals registered by the EPA that are labeled as a disinfectant or antibacterial product (they are one in the same) kill nearly all germs, up to 99.9%, on the surface.
Antimicrobial: A product with built-in antimicrobial protection is only claiming protection for the surface in order to help inhibit the growth of microbes which may help the surface stay cleaner and fresher longer.
Task vs. Zone cleaning
Save time and energy with the proper cleaning strategy. Most people clean with a zone mentality, meaning that they move from room to room to get the job done. While this works, cleaning with a task mentality can offer a more efficient way to clean. Clean with a specific task (like dusting, vacuuming or surface cleaning) and do that task throughout your entire home before moving to the next task. This helps you keep moving and stay focused to get the most out of your cleaning time.
Clean Top to Bottom, Right to Left (or Left to Right)
Don’t just attack dirt and grime without a focused approach. Rather than moving randomly through your rooms, use a logical, spatial approach. That way you can make sure that every part of the room is clean. Clean from the top-down, cleaning floors last, since dirt and debris can get moved around during cleaning.
No Stress When You Use an “S”
When cleaning hard surfaces, wipe in an S-shaped pattern. When wiping, move from clean to dirty and do not go over the same area twice. This helps prevent recontamination of surfaces after you’ve cleaned them.
Germiest Places in Your Home
While these cleaning tips and tricks will help keep your home clean and healthy, don’t forget to pay extra attention to areas that are germ magnets:
- Kitchen surfaces (sinks, countertops and sponges)
- High-touch areas (knobs, handrails and switches)
- Bathtubs/Shower Stalls
- Electronics (keyboards, remotes, touch screens and game controllers)
- Washing machines
- Pet items (dishes, beds and toys)