Regular cleaning is one of the most basic ways to keep your Portsmouth rental home a safe place during flu season. But you may be neglecting a lot more areas if you are only cleaning the visible dirt. Doorknobs, light switches, computer keyboards, smartphones, tablets, television remotes, and game controllers are all easy to miss when cleaning the house. If you do not sanitize these on a regular basis, these things may harbor more harmful bacteria than even your toilet.
Common Dirty Devices
Ideally, you should be cleaning your smartphone, tablet, keyboard, mouse, television remote, and gaming controller regularly. Because these electronic devices are often touched each day, especially phones, controllers, and remotes, they can have around ten times the amount of bacteria compared to other surfaces in your home! Think about it: each time you touch something and then touch your phone or computer keyboard, you have transferred bacteria from one surface to the other.
The more often a surface is touched, the more it will collect bacteria and quickly become a serious health hazard. Flu season is also the time when it is easier to pick up germs and unknowingly pass them on to others when using shared devices, controllers, and even the TV remote. This is why you have to clean your devices. If you don’t have the habit of cleaning your devices every day, or after every use, you increase the chances of getting you and your family sick.
Try keeping track of everything you touch around your house each day. You would be surprised! High-touch surfaces are the areas that are often used but generally do not make it onto your cleaning lists. Take your doorknobs, cabinet handles, window blind controls, and light switches, for example. These are all touched at least once daily, some even multiple times in a day.
If these surfaces are not wiped down with a germ-killing solution, they could be 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.
During flu season, it is even more important to clean and sanitize high-touch surfaces in your home. But a lot of these surfaces cannot just be sprayed with liquid cleaners or disinfectants. Spraying anything on your tech devices will probably damage them. There are wipes designed to clean electronic devices that you can purchase instead. Since these wipes usually have some alcohol content, they are able to kill harmful bacteria.
For other high-touch surfaces around the house, you can use a microfiber cloth, but remember to spray the disinfectant solution on the cloth, not directly on the light switch or doorknob. There are commercial cleaning solutions that state it will kill bacteria on your home’s plastic or other durable surfaces. Remember also to not use harsh chemicals on painted surfaces, wood, or natural stone to avoid damaging them.
Additionally, the CDC recommends washing your hands frequently and cleaning all surfaces in your home with an appropriate disinfectant in addition to cleaning high-touch surfaces. Maintain proper ventilation at all times when cleaning and make sure to follow the label directions regardless of what cleaning agent you choose. These extra precautions will help ensure a germ-free flu season and all year round as well.
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