Safe Sanctuary: How to Disinfect your Home and Keep your Family Healthy
As restrictions on going outside are lifted little by little, our cleaning routines and housekeeping habits also have to be upgraded! Look through these tips on how to keep your home safe for the entire family.
As we return to work and everyday errands, let’s continue to make sure that our home will always be a clean and germ-free
The year 2020 will always be remembered as the year we were reminded to wash our hands. Rubbing Alcohol has never been more in demand, along with bleach, surface cleaners, and hand sanitizers. We have learned it’s not enough just for an object to appear clean. We disinfect and sanitize to kill germs and bacteria, and lower the risk of spreading infection.
Ironically, this is a very familiar routine for new moms. Weren’t we all this careful with our newborns? We washed and sterilized everything our babies used, so this “New Normal” simply means applying our Mommy Standards to ourselves and our homes.
As we return to work and everyday errands, let’s bring the lesson of “Health and Safety First” and continue to make sure our homes are always clean and germ-free.
Let’s start at the door!
You spent the whole day outdoors, and you’re about to walk through the door. How do you make sure that you don’t bring home a pasalubong of germs?
First, the good news: washing and disinfecting hands can already make a big difference. “So far, evidence suggests that it’s harder to catch the virus from a soft surface (such as fabric) than it is from frequently touched hard surfaces like elevator buttons or door handles,” says Lisa Maragakis, senior director of infection prevention at the Johns Hopkins Health System. “But if you suspect you got too close for too long, or someone coughed on you, there’s no harm in changing your clothing and washing it right away, especially if there are hard surfaces like buttons and zippers where the virus might linger.” (source: WebMD)
You can take additional precautions as well. Aside from a sanitizing floor mat, leave any shoes that you used in public areas outside the door. Just keep house slippers near the entryway—a very common Asian practice, by the way, that also makes it easier to keep your floors clean!
Another routine you can follow is to wear a second layer of clothing. A PPE is not necessary. If the weather is not too warm, you can put a rain jacket, pants over leggings, or simply wear a swimsuit underneath your clothes. Remove your outer layer as soon as you step inside. Place them in a plastic bag, and let it sit outside before washing so that no one else needs to come into contact with it for several hours.
Disinfect boxes and packages
When coming from the grocery store, or when having packages delivered, disinfect what you can before putting it away. Anything wrapped in plastic or is packaged in boxes can be wiped down or sprayed with an antibacterial cleaner. New clothes should definitely be washed before being worn.
Wash produce, too!
Remove bacteria and dirt from fruits and vegetables too with produce washes. You can buy these in health or organic stores – you can even make your own! Combine 1 part vinegar with 4 parts water and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Place in a spray bottle and spray your fruits and vegetables in a colander over the sink before placing in the refrigerator.
Upgrade your daily cleaning routine
Aside from the ‘usual’ areas like floors and tables, disinfect light switches, doorknobs, faucets, toilet handles, appliance control panels and handles (ex: refrigerator, microwave), drawer and closet handles, stairways, and handrails. Do the same for kitchen countertops or any area where you prepare food.
And as important as it is to sanitize these items, make sure to remember your cleaning materials such as mops, kitchen towels, and other cleaning tools.
The extra cleaning efforts kill bacteria and viruses, and also remove any dust and impurities that can trigger allergies or skin reactions.
Regularly disinfect personal belongings that are frequently used. Electronic gadgets top the list: cellphones, tablets, laptops, keyboards, earphones, and TV remote controls.
Regular bleach can kill most germs, but if you want to take it a step further, check out these gadgets and appliances which can actually improve your home environment.
A humidifier cleans the air within your home, and adding moisture to the air relieves certain flu symptoms such as dry cough, sinus congestion, and headaches.
A water filter attached to your kitchen sink is quite advantageous as well. Many are comfortable drinking water straight out of the filter. But if you aren’t, you can always use the filtered water to boil pasta, make hot beverages, cook rice, and wash your fresh produce. This gadget can aid in avoiding stomachaches, diarrhea, and other gastro-related illnesses.
Etiquette for the New Normal
While we’ve taught our kids to greet elders and loved ones with beso and mano, it’s best to impart that for now, a wave and a simple hello will suffice.
We also need to tweak their concept of sharing. Nowadays, it is better to not share utensils, water bottles, food or drinks with anyone—including parents, siblings and members of the extended family.
Practice what you preach!
When it comes to our children and even our kasambahays, it is always easier to teach new rules when we follow them ourselves. If they see you constantly washing your hands, wearing masks when you step out the door, disposing of things properly, only leaving the house when it is absolutely necessary, and doing your part when it comes to staying safe, they will follow your lead.
Through these precautions, we stop being fearful of what is outside. What matters is we have done all we can to turn our homes into a clean, safe, healthy, and happy sanctuary.
Let us all keep our homes clean and healthy, and stay well together!
About The Writer
Georgia Schulze – Del Rosario
Georgia Schulze – Del Rosario is a bit of a cliché – the woman who wears many hats. But to her, that is just what all mothers are – individuals that have mastered the art of multi tasking. The writer and mother of four shares with us her experiences and insights as a working mom, a wife, and what it is like to raise a family in today’s modern world.
The views and opinions expressed by the writer are his/her own, and does not state or reflect those of Wyeth Nutrition and its principals.