The home clean-up guide
In these uncertain times, doctors suggest handy tips and tricks to help you keep every room in your home clean and safe
From billboards across the city to advisories before every phone call, coronavirus has left the world concerned and common people on guard. Here, doctors share tips and tricks on how to keep different areas of your home clean to prevent the onset of infections. They agree in saying that hand-washing is the first step. To make things easier, Dr Amit A Saraf, consultant physician, Jupiter Hospital suggests a simple trick. "It's difficult to keep time while you wash your hands since you remove your wrist watch. Try humming the 'Happy birthday' song, which lasts 20 seconds," he says.
1. Living room
When looking at your living space, the size is not the biggest concern. "The number of hidden spaces that collect dust and mould, the traffic [people coming in and out], natural light and ceiling height are all important factors," says Dr Dillon D'souza, ENT specialist. The use of disinfectant floor cleaners can considerably reduce the bacteria load in the house. "Sofas need to be vacuumed once a week and fabric covers washed. If your sofa is made of other materials like leather, use a leather cleaner," he adds. Besides that, he suggests deep-cleaning the living area every three to four months and avoiding heavy cottons and carpets that tend to collect dust. "A number of disinfectants contain chlorine and hypochloride, which act as disinfectants but are bad for the lungs. It is good to use them once a week, lock the house and get out so that the house gets fumigated. Once you come back to the house, open the windows to let the chlorine gas out," he explains.
Dr Saraf suggests mattresses and pillows be vacuum-cleaned every week and bedrooms aired out to let the sun in. Bedsheets and covers should be changed every two to three days. "We release bacteria and dead skin cells when we sleep," he says. As for air conditioners, Dr Saraf and Dr D'souza suggest regular servicing and filters being washed out every week. "Avoiding air-conditioners altogether may be a good idea, since most viruses are cold-weather viruses. You are allowing them to thrive," he says.
Don't forget to clean the tap," says Dr Indira Hinduja, obstetrician, gynecologist and IVF specialist at Hinduja Hospital. "The same applies for corners behind the shower and hand-wash dispensers," says Dr D'souza. While chlorine-based floor cleaners or disinfectants can be used, Dr Hinduja explains that the number of people using the bathroom is also a factor to consider. "If it is a single person, you can do it once a day. But if there are several people, two to three times or after every use is recommended," she says.
Crowded counter-tops and damp areas can be a breeding ground for microorganisms and doctors suggest that keeping every part of the kitchen clean can go a long way in promoting overall health. "Use regular counter-top and glass cleaners for different surfaces. A vinegar-water combination also does the job," says Dr D'souza. He also suggests disposing all packaging that has been brought in after turning it inside out. "Packages should be cleaned and hands washed before touching the actual item," he says. Dr Saraf also suggests the use of hot water for utensils that are often shared.
Dr Amit A Saraf
Dr Indira Hinduja and Dr Dillon D'souza
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