Keeping your Georgetown rental home a safe place to be during flu season includes regularly cleaning it. But this does not mean you only get rid of the visible dirt. Doorknobs, light switches, computer keyboards, smartphones, tablets, television remotes, and game controllers are all easy to miss when cleaning the house. When not sanitized regularly, these things may harbor more harmful bacteria on them than your toilet.
Common Dirty Devices
It is recommended that you clean the following items regularly: your smartphone, tablet, keyboard, mouse, television remote, and gaming controller. As these electronic devices are heavily touched each day, phones, controllers, and remotes can often have ten times the amount of bacteria found on other surfaces in your home! Touching something and then touching your phone or computer keyboard is just like transferring bacterial from one surface to the other.
Surfaces that are often touched are more likely to collect bacteria and quickly become serious health hazards. During flu season, it is easier to pick up germs and unknowingly pass them onto others by sharing devices, controllers — including the TV remote. This is why it is extremely important to clean your dirty devices. Chances of your family getting sick increases if you don’t clean your devices every day or after every use.
Have you tried keeping track of all the things you touch around the house each day? It might surprise you! High-touch areas are those that get a lot of use but often do not make it onto your general cleaning lists. Examples of these are doorknobs, cabinet handles, window blind controls, and light switches which are all touched daily or even multiple times a day.
If these surfaces have not been wiped down with a germ-killing solution recently, chances are, they are harboring high levels of harmful bacteria. One study found that light switches often have 200 bacteria per square inch, while most toilets have 20 on average.
Regular sanitizing of high-touch surfaces is especially important during flu season. However, these surfaces can’t simply be sprayed with liquid cleaners or disinfectants. Spraying anything on your tech devices will probably damage them. You can, instead, buy wipes that are made for cleaning electronic devices. These wipes usually contain alcohol, which can kill harmful bacteria.
You can spray the disinfectant solution on a microfiber cloth –not directly on the light switch or doorknob– and use this cloth to clean other high-touch surfaces. There are commercial cleaning solutions that state it will kill bacterial while also being suitable for your home’s plastic or other durable surfaces. Keep in mind that harsh chemicals can damage painted surfaces, wood, or natural stone.
In addition to high-touch surfaces, the CDC reminds us that it is best to wash your hands frequently and clean all surfaces in your home with a disinfectant appropriate for the type of surface you are cleaning. Proper ventilation is very important when cleaning as well as following the indicated label directions of the cleaning agent you choose. These extra precautions can help keep your home as germ-free as possible, not only during the flu season but all year round.
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