A Guide to Keeping Your Home Clean and Germ Free in 4 Easy Steps

By Puja Chandra Nanda

Make Cleaning a Daily Routine

With the COVID-19 pandemic far from over and dengue cases still on the rise, hygiene and sanitation has taken centerstage in our lives. Since most of us are staying home these days, we cannot be complacent about cleanliness in our homes. It’s important to make cleaning a daily routine for good health. This is a guide on what should be done on a daily basis:

  • Vacuum the house regularly taking special care of the nooks and corners such as behind curtains and doors.
  • Mop the floor using an anti-bacterial floor cleaner.
  • Wipe-down high-traffic and high-contact surfaces such as kitchen platforms, sinks, table tops and bathrooms that attract germs and microbes using disinfectant or sanitizing solutions.
  • For surfaces that are frequently touched by children or pets such as high-chairs, toys, baby cots and other furnishings and items, choose organically formulated safe disinfecting products such as Twinkle Multi-purpose Cleaner.
  • Wash clothes, bed linen and towels regularly using an anti-bacterial detergent powder/ liquid. Use a dryer or let the clothes dry completely in the sun to kill germs. Iron for additional sterilization.
  • Keep flower pots, plant trays and bamboo poles dry to prevent collection of water and mosquito breeding.
  • Open all windows in the house for few hours everyday to allow fresh air and sunlight to circulate through the house. This will not only keep the house smelling fresh, it will also eliminate harmful bacteria and viruses. You could additionally use a disinfectant spray such as Twinkle’s Anti-Dust Mite Room & Linen Spray around the house.

De-clutter Your Home

Many of us would have been tempted to do a “Marie Kondo” in the circuit breaker period, if only so our professional spaces could look cleaner in that zoom call! However, for decluttering to be effective, it has to become a way of life rather than a onetime activity done on a whim. A clutter free house is naturally easier to clean as there is more open space and less dark, difficult spots for bugs to hide in.

The de-cluttering gurus propound the following simple rules to guide de-cluttering:

  • Use the 6 month rule: If you did not use something for 6 months, it can and should go (exceptions being travel mementos, photo albums, favourite books, toys – decide on the number of favourites family members are allowed to keep)
  • Find a new home: Throwing away things only adds to the landfills. Try to find a new home for things you have to let go -sell or donate rarely used items. Recycle what you can’t give to someone, upcycle at home if you are crafty!
  • Digitize: Wherever possible, digitize stuff to clear up space while retaining memories
  • Evaluate “real value” of things: If storing, maintaining and cleaning things takes a lot of effort and time, it is time to let go.
  • Choose present over past: If holding a lot of clutter from the past is preventing you from pursuing your present hobbies and interests as there is no more room, it is definitely time to let go.
  • Be a wise shopper: Finally, buy what you need, as buying whatever you fancy over times leads to wasteful accumulation & clutter.

Pay Attention to Oft-Neglected Germ Hotspots

There are several oft-ignored germ hotspots in our very own house, it is important to focus on these, especially nowadays. These include:

  • Tech Gadgets such as laptops, TV remotes, keyboards, mobile phones, headphones and other electronics. Researchers say mobile phone surfaces are one of the dirtiest high-contact daily use surfaces, some concur mobile phones carry more bacteria on them than the toilet seat! It might not be possible to wipe these gadgets and electronics with normal cleaning solutions or water. Sanitize them using disinfecting alcohol rubs or wipes.
  • Fabric and other soft surfaces such as mattresses, sofas, curtains and carpets. It is difficult to clean these items as they cannot be washed frequently. It is important to deep clean mattresses as they harbor dust-mites and other bugs and germs. One should air the mattresses, pillows, cushions and sofa seats often. To keep them clean and smelling fresh one can also use disinfecting products such as Twinkle’s Anti-Dust Mite Room & Linen Spray that repels and kills dust mites and other bugs effectively! Being organically formulated Twinkle Anti-Dust Mite Room & Linen Spray can be sprayed on all bed linen including children’s sheets and blankets.
  • High-Contact Surfaces such as doorknobs, doorbells and switchboards are often neglected. In the times of COVID-19, when surface contamination signals a red flag, it is important to wipe down these high-contact surfaces often. You can use disinfecting wipes or sprays – either alcohol based ones or organically formulated anti bacterial ones such as Twinkle Multi-purpose Cleaning Spray.

Don’t Let What You Bring from Outside Contaminate Your Home

  • In most homes, footwear is not allowed to be taken inside the house. This is a good practice as shoes often carry germs along with dust and dirt into the house.
  • With COVID-19 lurking amidst us, it is also a good idea to drop things we are carrying from outside such as handbags, grocery bags, umbrella and other packages at an outer platform, wiping down, washing or sanitizing what we can, throwing outer packages and then washing our hands properly.
  • For courier packages and food delivery it is best to use contactless delivery wherever possible and sanitizing one’s hands after handling these.
  • Finally, don’t forget to sanitize yourself! Wash your hands thoroughly using an anti-bacterial soap, drop your mask carefully into an airtight container, change your clothes and shower or wash all exposed body parts immediately.

Keeping our homes clean and germ free is an important part of winning against COVID-19! Safe practices begin with us and our homes.