This guest post was contributed by Maids by Trade – a trusted and reliable house cleaning service for home across the United States, including two new locations in Tucson and Marana.
Kids are a challenge to clean up after and, as busy moms, a lot of the time we feel like we’re doing good if the dishes are clean and most of the laundry has been put away. We don’t have time or energy enough to sanitize everything in the house and, according to professionals, it isn’t usually necessary. However, there are those times when a little germ-defense is certainly a plus. For instance, when you discover that your kiddo has just thrown up all over the couch (probably something fun they brought home from school), it’s time to step up the disinfecting routine. Ick! So, for those times when simply cleaning with soap and water isn’t enough, I’ve put together a list of quick and easy tips for disinfecting the house and stopping germs before they have a chance to infect the rest of the family.
- Cleaners and Disinfectants Are Not Interchangeable!
We know that germs are invisible but sometimes we seem to latch onto the far-out belief that if it looks clean it must be germ-free. Wrong! If you pick up a bottle of all-purpose cleaner, it may wipe away the dirt but it won’t get rid of the actual bug-causing germs. Before you start your disinfectant routine, make sure that you actually have something that is going to kill bacteria.
- Know How to Use Your Disinfectants.
If you’re like most moms, you watch the popular advertisements on television and readily accept the fact that disinfecting surfaces is easy. All you have to do is grab a disinfectant wipe, give your counter or items a quick go over, and your home is safe. Before you pat yourself on the back for having made your home squeaky clean and sterile, take the time to actually read the directions on the label of your disinfectants; generally speaking, to truly get a surface sterilized, you have to let the disinfectant sit wet for 5-10 minutes. This isn’t just a suggestion – it’s the rule. If you don’t let your sanitizer sit long enough, it’s no better than simply soaking the area with water.
- What to Wipe.
To keep viruses from spreading, use your disinfectant on frequently used surfaces such as door knobs, light plates, toilet handles, and countertops. If you’ve got sick kiddos, you can disinfect most plastic toys using a solution of one cup bleach to one gallon water. Remember, even this at-home bleach solution has to sit for 5-10 minutes to truly get things clean.
- Get that Washer Running.
Dirty clothes can be a hotbed for nasty viruses, so it’s important to get them washed as soon as possible if you have someone sick in the house. Bleaching whites is the best way to remove germs; however, any mom realizes that bleaching all the clothes is a definite no…unless you’ve decided you like white spots on your jeans and favorite blue shirt. Since you can’t bleach colored clothes, turn the temperature up on your water; the hotter the water, the more likely the germs are to die. Likewise, the heat from the drier can help with the disinfecting.
- Take Out the Trash.
If you’ve got a sick person in the house, chances are they are throwing lots of nasty stuff in the trash can. From snotty tissues to puke-covered paper towels, the trash can is the collection place for all things disgusting and germy. To eliminate the risk of spreading the contagion, empty the trash cans frequently and use a disinfectant on both the inside and outside of the can.
- Air Out the House.
A lack of air circulation is a breeding ground for bacteria and germs. Sure, it might not feel good if it’s a chilly day, but opening the windows and letting in some fresh air is a fantastic way to get some circulation going and stop bacteria in their tracks. If you have dirty items that you can’t wash such as couch cushions or rugs, put them outside in the sun and let the UV rays help sanitize these hard-to-clean items.
Moms have to expect colds and viruses at some point, but we don’t have to simply welcome them into our homes. By using the techniques listed above, you can reduce the spread of germs in your house. Be the super mommy who kicks bacteria in the butt!