Don't forget to sanitize these overlooked areas in homes
Stay safe during the COVID-19 crisis by making sanitizing the home a daily routine.
You’re sanitizing your hands with a rigorous 20-second scrub and covering your mouth when yawning and coughing. Make sure you wipe down surfaces in the home to keep you and your family safe while staying inside during the COVID-19 crisis, too. It’s good for you, for your family and for the community.
All of that should be part of everyone’s cleaning routine a few times a day, but there are areas in your home you may have skipped in your cleaning schedule. Don’t forget to sanitize these often overlooked areas around your house.
If you’ve noticed that your clothing doesn’t have that lovely freshly washed scent they usually do, your washing machine may need a thorough cleaning. Run a cycle of hot water with two cups of white vinegar added to the detergent dispenser. Then, run another hot water cycle with one half cup of baking soda. After both cycles are done, wipe the drum with a damp cloth. Be sure to leave the door open between loads so you don’t get any mildew or bacteria buildup.
So many are in the habit of just leaving the coffee in the pot for the next day or not rinsing it out properly and thoroughly, but that drip or percolator coffeemaker needs a daily cleaning. Rinsing with soap and water is a start, but also do a weekly deep clean with the white vinegar method for that appliance, too. First use equal parts white vinegar and water in one cycle run through, then with one more cycle of hot water only to prevent mold.
This may seem like an obvious item to sanitize but so many of us concentrate on that toothbrush itself and ignore the toothbrush holder. Right along with rinsing off your toothbrush after each use, give that holder a rinse or wipe with a cloth and soap. Germs do tend to breed wherever we’re performing our daily hygiene habits. Also wipe down the faucets frequently and if you have little accessories like jars of festive soaps and potpourri, do clean those regularly, too.
Another hot spot for mold and mildew is the shower curtain. Even that cloth shower curtain probably has a plastic lining which gets wet and moldy, with a buildup of soap scum and mildew. You can pretreat a new plastic curtain by running it through a wash cycle with a cup of white vinegar, then hang it to dry. Toss your shower curtain into the washing machine on a low rinse cycle at a warm temperature once a month after that.
Light switches and door knobs
Another category of home area to consider putting on a regular cleaning schedule are all those little utilitarian things we touch every single day, multiple times a day, like the light switches and door fixtures. We touch our faces, noses, surfaces and hug it out with family and friends and then go around spreading germs on items that others will soon be touching, too. A daily tour around the home to wipe down all the door knobs and handles as well as light switches should be in the rotation.
Hopefully, you’ve streamlined all your technology so you have one single remote that controls all of the entertainment devices in your home or use Alexa or another voice-operated command system to turn on lights, TV and stereo. If not, those remotes pick up everything those light switches do, so take out the batteries and wipe down with disinfectant every few days as well.
View Pratt Regional Medical Center as an expert for all of your health care needs.