With days getting colder and nights longer, many Britons will be spending most of their time indoors. This means keeping a property clean is more important than ever. Speaking to Express.co.uk, expert in microbiology and technical and development director at Hycolin Dr Richard Hastings shared his top cleaning tips to remove germs and bacteria.
The expert explained why homeowners should make sure to keep a clean home as the coronavirus pandemic continues.
He told Express.co.uk: ““The pandemic has understandably made many people more militant about cleaning their homes. Now more than ever, it’s important to ensure your home is as clean and safe as possible, to help fight off viruses and common germs.
“However, it can be difficult to know where to start – from choosing the right products, identifying ‘hot spots’ and knowing how to clean most effectively and efficiently”.
The expert shared his simple tips to clean a property effectively.
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Identifying germ ‘hotspots’
Some parts of a home may be more likely to harbour dirt than others, the expert explained, and these spots may need extra attention.
He said: “Firstly, try to identify germ ‘hotspots’ in the home which are more likely to carry pathogens. Pathogens (commonly referred to as germs) are essentially any type of microorganism that causes, or can cause, disease – they include bacteria and viruses. The difficulty is that most pathogens are completely invisible to the naked eye so it’s important to be as thorough as possible.”
Dr Richard said homeowners should first find the areas that are most used in their property as these are likely to be hotspots.
“Some areas and rooms are more likely to attract pathogens than others, depending on how often they’re used,” he added.
“Unsurprisingly, kitchens and bathrooms tend to be the most germ-ridden – however, this can vary from home to home and also depends on how many people are in your household.
“With this in mind, it’s important to thoroughly clean all rooms regularly and you should be disinfecting surfaces in the kitchen before and after food preparation and cleaning the bathrooms a few times a week, particularly if you have more than one person using them.”
Use the right products
Supermarket shelves have a whole array of cleaning products available to buy but picking the right ones can make a big difference when cleaning.
Homeowners should look out for certain ingredients in cleaning products and this doesn’t need to be expensive.
Dr Richard continued: “When choosing cleaning products, make sure you select those that contain both antiviral and antibacterial properties which are strong enough to tackle multiple strains of bacteria and viruses.
“Ideally, products should also contain antimicrobial agents (to disinfect), and surfactants and builders (to aid with removal of dirt). This shows that the product can be used for general cleaning as well as thorough surface disinfection.
“You should also look for products which contain a mix of active ingredients, including biocidal active substances which work to target cell walls of bacterial and viral protein coats, completely eradicating over 99.99 percent of all pathogens.
“Lastly, always check that disinfectants have been accredited the appropriate International Test Standard such as EN 1276. This proves that the product has been shown to be effective in infection control against harmful microorganisms such as MRSA, Salmonella, E. coli, Flu Virus (H1N1).”
Clean personal belongings
To stop the spread of germs, property owners should pay attention to the items they use every day.
Dr Richard added: “It’s no secret that personal belongings such as phones, keys, bags and purses can carry germs, particularly if they are used regularly and have been placed on public surfaces.
“To avoid cross contamination, when you get home, try to get into a habit of wiping objects over with disinfectant spray or wipes. This will avoid spreading bacteria around the house.”
After following his top tips, Dr Richard explained they can be put into practice by creating a routine.
The expert commented: “Many people see cleaning as a daunting chore; but it doesn’t need to be that way! It can be therapeutic and rewarding for some.
“Get into a cleaning routine that fits within your schedule – for example, doing little and often daily or carving out time each day to get cleaning done. This way it becomes less stressful and you’re less likely to put it off.
“Cleaning our homes regularly is important, particularly during a pandemic. To make it efficient and as effective as possible, get into a routine that suits you, choose the right products and make sure you clean all areas thoroughly.”