Is your house a breeding ground for the cold or flu bug?
Here’s a great way to keep germs out this winter. This is not designed to turn you in to a germophobe, it is designed to give you the confidence in knowing what to clean so that you don’t need to sweat ’em!
In the cleaning world, we have certain zones referred to as points of contact…they sound so insignificant, however, they are the breeding grounds for germs in your home. What is a point of contact you ask? Well, it is technically any surface that you (or others) touch frequently. While some may seem obvious to you like door knobs or light switch plates, there are many that we tend to ignore like drawer handles, keyboards and soap pumps.
Just take a quick second to think about how many things you touch, and then consider the fact that you eat, scratch your eye etc. with that same hand. You increase your chances of transporting something if the point of contact is dirty.
It goes without saying that properly washing your hands is really important too…that is super helpful when it comes to keeping the bugs away during the winter.
So, what’s the right way to clean a point of contact?
The technique is simple and can be applied to all points of contact. Begin with a good quality cloth (I prefer microfiber), because you don’t want it to leave any residue behind. Then, take a disinfectant and spray the point of contact. Let the product sit, wet on the surface, for 5-10 minutes. Then, wipe away with the cloth ensuring no water marks are left behind (you want to take everything with you). This may not always be possible depending on the surface (i.e. light switch, keyboard). So if that is the case, your best line of defence is to spray your cloth with disinfectant and thoroughly clean the area. If you wish to make your own homemade disinfectant, check out this post which teaches you my favourite recipe!
If you just ‘clean’ these surfaces, you may not be doing the kind of job you need to in order to rid the house of said bugs. Remember, there is a difference between a disinfecting and cleaning – I made a post and video that explains this all in detail – which you can find here!
And, if someone brings home a cold or flu, consider some additional cleaning mid-week to bust those germs up. All you need to do is focus on the key points of contact (especially the ones that the sick person has used) and you will reduce the spread of germs in the home. It’s quite simple and very effective!
So where should you be doing this? Well, here’s my top 10 points of contact to get you started:
Throw these ten spots into your cleaning routine; it adds next to no time and has a huge impact on the overall health of the home.
Door Knobs & Locks
This goes for all door knobs in the house, even the insignificant ones. Although we didn’t discuss it in the video, I would recommend giving an alarm keypad a wipe down too.
Light Switch Plates
I’ve seen some of these that have black and brown marks on them since they haven’t been cleaned in so long. Pay attention to these germ hotbeds! If they are really crusty, use a cleaning toothbrush to remove any built-up gunk stuck between the grooves.
Cupboard Handles & Drawer Pulls
There are tons of these around the house: bedroom, bathrooms, kitchen. Don’t forget to add in the handles and pulls on kitchen appliances too!
I think people believe these are self-cleaning. I don’t know many people that clean these, but they are so important because we are always touching them!
This should be a no-brainer and even though we wash hands after using the toilet, it can greatly reduce the spread of germs by keeping this zone clean.
Kitchen or bathroom, doesn’t matter. These get grimy and dirty and require continual disinfecting.
With the advent of touchless soap pumps we may not need to do this anymore, but until soap pumps become a thing of the past, the ‘pump’ part of the bottle must be cleaned to keep the germs away.
No matter what kind of phone you have (I actually don’t have a landline) they must be kept clean. We touch them and hold them close to our mouth. They get germy, believe me! Check this post out to learn how to clean a smartphone.
Keyboards & Mice
These are possibly the worst offenders when it comes to being harbingers of germs. We have posts designed to teach people how to clean their electronics and disinfect them safely and properly. Check the post out here!
We do all kinds of things while watching TV and the traces are left behind on the remote control. They are actually quite dirty and quite communal, so keeping them clean will help the family stay healthy. Learn how to clean a remote control properly here!
So, if you take good care and maintain your points of contact weekly, you will greatly reduce cold and flu transmission around the house.
So this winter you can focus on shovelling, de-icing your windshield, not slipping on icy patches and other great winter activities…yeah, I’m no fan of the white stuff. But either way, you won’t be fighting off a cold or flu!