While a lot has been said about the importance of cleaning and hygiene in the presence of this pandemic, it clearly isn’t enough. The lockdown across India has forced most of us to stay home and ‘flatten the curve’. But the success of such a period is equally dependent on us keeping our homes safe, sanitized and hygienic. It’s something that parents with children at home, and seniors are quickly realising. And we’ve compiled a list of best practices and fun-tips to ensure that your home continues to be an absolute safe zone for you and your family:

DISINFECT YOUR HOME

Use a broad-spectrum disinfectant for your floors and high-touch surfaces like doorknobs, light switches, latches, doorbell switches, toilets, taps and sinks. The important thing here is to use the right tool to thoroughly sanitize the surface. For example: using an old rag cloth across floors & counters won’t help. Use an adsorbent sponge wipe to magically wipe down any type of spills on your countertops and dining surfaces, a microfiber cloth with dust-attracting technology to provide scratch-proof, thorough cleaning for your screens and appliances, and last but not the least a tough pochha for floors.

The biggest pain point for families at home is the daily need for mopping to counter the dust settling on the floors. While most mops available in the market are clunky and very painful to use for people with back problems, there are thoughtfully designed, ergonomic mops and brushes that are built with features to allow you maximum cleaning efficiency with minimum inconvenience, bending and contorting.

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Make sure you wear rubber gloves through the process to protect yourself from infection or exposure to chemical allergens.  

DISINFECT YOUR LAUNDRY

Make sure that you’re running your laundry with the appropriate amount of detergent. Soap is vital in the fight against the coronavirus so make sure you’re using enough. If you are with family members who are under observation for the virus, ensure that you’re doing their laundry separately. Make sure to wear washable rubber gloves while handling laundry of an infected person, and if possible, let the clothes dry out in the sun. Carefully take off the gloves and wash your hands when you’re done.

SANITIZED COOKING AND CLEANING

Irrespective of whether you’re living with a sick person or not, it is important to pay special attention to our cooking and cleaning processes. Make sure you wash your grocery packets, veggies & fruits as soon as you bring them in from outside. Eat warm & cooked food as much as possible.

If you happen to live with a sick person, it is important to keep aside utensils dedicated only to serve them. Ensure that you’re extra careful while washing utensils: wear rubber gloves and use a trusted dishwash liquid/bar. And since we all are going to be doing our dishes for a while, day after day, it pays greatly to buy specialised scrub pads for different dishes (regular cookware, glass, ceramic, non-stick, heavy cookers, etc.) that ensure totally clean, sparkling and hygienic utensils with minimum effort. 

10 PLACES PEOPLE FORGET TO CLEAN

-          Cellphones and spectacles

-          Door and window knobs

-          Under the toilet seat

-          Remote controls (even the ones with the plastic covers)

-          AC and air purifier filters

-          Garbage cans and dustbins

-          Laptop and desktop keyboards

-          Intercom panels and buttons

-          Shoes and shoe rack

-          Dust mats and foot rugs

DISINFECTANTS WORK BEST WITH THE RIGHT TOOLS

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A good test is - if you find yourself working harder at a cleaning chore, then maybe the tools you are using are either ineffective or have deteriorated. Replace them with the right tools and save time, effort and peace of mind.

While your disinfectant solution helps in getting rid of germs, it is most effective when you’re using the right tools for the right job:

-          The wrong cleaning tools can hinder thorough cleaning because of ineffective coverage, reach or function

-          Disinfectants are abrasive and sometimes corrosive - so, the wrong tools or sub-standard tools deteriorate slowly rendering them more ineffective and exposing you to the risk of exposure to residual chemicalst

FUN TIPS YOU’LL THANK US FOR

Play music while cleaning or doing chores. Not only does it take the drudgery of cleaning away, but it also makes it a fun activity that everyone at home can join in at the same time - as if on cue
Get everyone involved - make cleaning a game with the kids, contests of who finishes a task first or little clues they need to find while they clean up, etc.
Declutter not just the outside, but the inside too: While that sounds profound, we are talking of your wardrobes. Organise the inside of your wardrobe with accessories like command hooks to create far more flexibility in your wardrobe than you ever thought possible.
 

In conclusion, remember that this period is going to change the way we approach cleanliness and hygiene forever. Fortunately, there are loads of great ideas to ensure that we can all convert to a cleaner, healthier lifestyle without losing our peace of mind around it.  So, stay safe, stay healthy - we’ll get through this together!

 

(Sanjit Satapathy is the Head of Consumer Business at 3M India)