A SPRING refreshment in the warming weeks of March is standard fare for many families, but what about that deep clean that has you wrinkling your nose?
We need to get down to a microbial level to truly rout the dirt that matters. By getting used to certain practices now, delegating hard, and creating a cleaning kit that fits your style and sustainable principles, you can, with little effort, build a daily/weekly/monthly routine that really keeps the house fresh and healthy.
Covid has taken root as a perennial nuisance. If our guard and masks fall, it could still slip through your front door. Keep infection limited to the person who dragged it home, has close contact with someone with the virus, or is showing suspicious symptoms. The HSE provides detailed guidance on how to easily sanitize the home every day, including bathroom flash point – difficult when there is only one. It’s simple steps. If someone is in their bedroom, they can limit their exposure to everyone else by leaving their laundry outside the bedroom door. This is then picked up (gloved) and held away from the responsible person until it exits the basket and encounters a hot machine. A spray of 1:1 white vinegar in water can kill some – but not all – pathogens and has not been shown to be effective against Covid.
We were intrigued to think that a floral spritz is all it takes to bring some manners to the bathroom. The brutal truth is less fragrant. Every time the toilet is flushed (especially after the unspeakable), aerosol spray and fecal droplets are thrown several feet across the room. These pests stick to surfaces, nest in your towels, and can even smack you right in the face as you bend over the bowl. While invisible to the naked eye, these spatters harbor bacteria and viruses. Cleaning brand Harpic took some high-speed pictures to prove the ghastly point and released results in graphic photographs in November 2020. It was a terrible carnival under blue lights.
It’s those smart spots we touch every day that pick up a largely undetectable and accumulating load of germs — but they’re easy to eliminate. When these items are used by every member of the house, it’s a carousel of possible infections. Staphylococcus aureus, yeast and mold, salmonella, Escherichia coli and (yes, you guessed it) feces can get up to the handle of your kettle if you live it in the bathroom with the lid open.
You might think our bedroom rug was pretty safe in terms of its allergen and germ count. I mean, the flooring is really a stepping stone to the bed. Not correct. A scientific study published in 2020 and sponsored by the English sofa company ScS found that the bedroom floor was ten times dirtier than a normal toilet seat.
We expect a lot from our washing machines. Working at 30°C we were confident the load was spotless and the machine swept through by a couple of liters of detergent-heavy cold water. Hot washes are not only essential for the health and hygiene of your clothes and linens (see our guide), but also as a means of disinfecting the washing machine itself. A dry run with a descaler will keep the drum shiny and largely free of bacteria that can re-grow clothing and connect the appliance or the kitchen.