Hygiene: Five tips to maintain a clean, healthy home

By Dr. Charles-Davies

It may look like a topic people should already know about but the truth is that there are many activities many of us carry out in our homes that aren’t ideal, and can, therefore, make germs grow easily.

Also, there are things we need to pay more attention to, especially if we want our homes less susceptible to preventable diseases.

In this article, we would be looking at some tips you might be overlooking in ensuring your home is clean, safe, and healthy.

1. Close Your Toilet Lid When Flushing

Many people are guilty of this and perhaps don’t know that they should close the lid of the toilet when flushing.

The fact is that when you flush after peeing or taking a poo, the pressure and rush of water releases jets and aerosols containing fecal matter. This can then cling to materials nearby, and grow bacteria.

A practical way this works is when you store your toothbrush very close to the toilet and flush, the aerosols contaminate the brush, and increase the amount of germs on it. So, next time, you should keep your toilet lid closed when flushing and tell everyone in your home to do same.

2. Ventilation Is Super-Important

Having a aerated home is very vital in keeping your house from unnecessary pathogens. How does this work?

A well aerated room (preferably with cross ventilation) helps to carry out possible germs in the air and keep them from building up in your room. This can make a huge difference especially if there are multiple people staying in the same room.

If one person has a cold or chest infection and sneezes, the free flow of air is able to ensure that the viral particles are taken away from the room. If this doesn’t happen, there is an increased chance that other people in that room will come down with the same infection.

3. Handwashing Is Still Necessary

You can’t talk about hygiene without mentioning handwashing. Everyone living in a home should be properly taught how to wash their hands for the sake of their own health and every other person in the home.

Handwashing is a major activity that can significantly lower the chances of the spread of an infection in a home. It should be done after visiting the toilet for any reason, before and after cooking, before and after eating, after playing with pets, and after touching an injury or broken skin.

4. Remember Door Handles and Light Switches

I am pretty sure you have rarely or never cleaned your light switches or door handles. Surprisingly, these are home to more bacteria than your toilet seat!

Many of the germs found on these frequently-ignored parts of our homes do not cause diseases but still should be cleaned from time to time. When next you’re cleaning any room, remember to wipe the door handles and light switches, so that germs don’t hide there.

5. Clean Your ‘Cleaning Tools and Equipment’

Sounds funny but you should not forget to clean the tools you use to clean places. Two common places where germs love to hide and multiply are in kitchen sponges and dishwashers.

If you have the best 18-inch dishwasher that helps to clean off your dishes or a steel-made one that is reliable, you should still remember to make them clean.

Vinegar is a common cleaning agent that works well to clean your dishwasher without damaging it.

As for your kitchen sponge, you can clean it by placing it in the microwave for some minutes at least once a week. This should temporarily remove the germs hiding in it.

Guest article by Dr. Charles-Davies, a medical doctor based in Lagos.

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