Spring-cleaning season has well and truly arrived – but with recent events leaving us more aware of germs than ever, there’s no better time to brush up on your everyday household cleaning skills.
Fighting an enemy you can’t see is no mean feat, but with a few expert tips you can keep your space safe without having to schedule an extensive scrubbing session. Here’s how to keep germs at bay on a daily basis without resorting to a deep clean.
Colour-code your cleaning kit
Wipes and disposable cloths are falling out of favour with sustainability in mind – but make sure your eco credentials don’t cause a germ-spreading spree. “Single-use cloths remove the risk of moving bacteria onto different surfaces,” says Victoria Biddle, Senior Health and Environmental Consultant at Navitas. “But reusable cloths can be used, as long as you know what a cloth was last used for and you’re washing them at a high temperature with detergent.”
The easiest way to keep track? Colour-code your cloths in a way that you’ll remember – think pink for sink, blue for loo – and buy a few sets so you can stick to your system when they’re in the wash.
Upgrade your washing-up
After years of doing the dishes, you may consider yourself a pro – but don’t get complacent about the essential ingredients for a thorough clean. “Washing up by hand is effective, as long as your water is hot and you’re using washing-up liquid. However, bacteria can build up on your sponges, so make sure you change them regularly,” explains Victoria.
Better yet, let a dishwasher do the work for a truly hygienic clean. Hotpoint’s dishwasher range has a sanitising option that eliminates 99.9999%* of bacteria, so you can be sure your cups and cutlery are squeaky clean – and you can even put your washing-up sponges in for a cycle to keep them fresh.
Clean up your act
The most likely carrier for germs in the home will be the people living in it. Washing hands regularly with hot water and soap is your best defence, as well as remembering to clean anything you touch throughout the day. “Keep surfaces, including door handles, key fobs and mobiles, regularly cleaned,” advises Professor of Medical Microbiology Valerie Edwards-Jones.
But while rigorous hand washing might be top of your hygiene list, it’s worth thinking on your feet too. “Germs and bacteria can be anywhere, including our shoes,” warns Victoria. “Good habits such as taking shoes off at the front door, as well as regularly cleaning your floors, will help prevent you from bringing them into the home.”
Clear the air
The last year has been a stark reminder that germs live in the air – so when you’re wiping away spills, remember there could be invisible bugs lurking too. “Having good ventilation in our homes helps remove bacteria or germs that may be living in the air,” explains Victoria. “Simply opening the window will increase air flow and ventilation, encouraging the germs to disperse and be replenished with fresh air.”
With enclosed spaces such as cupboards and fridges, keep the interiors clean, and food well wrapped – but for extra peace of mind, Hotpoint has an even smarter solution. Selected Hotpoint fridge freezers feature Active Oxygen technology, a system that cuts bacteria growth by up to 90% and reduces odours by up to 70%**, thanks to tri-oxygen molecules that purify the internal atmosphere. Not only will this banish those unwanted whiffs but it’ll preserve the freshness of your food for longer too, so you can say goodbye to spoiled salads and cut down on food waste.
Spin your way to safety
When washing clothes, towels and fabrics, it’s worth putting them in separately to reduce the risk of contamination. However, if you want to remove germs, Professor Valerie notes that it needs to be at a temperature of over 60°C, though heat in the form of ironing or hanging them out in the sunshine can help, too.
Given our less-than-sunny climate and wardrobes that might not be able to stand the heat, why not put your trust into technology instead, with Hotpoint’s washing machine range complete with a genius Steam Hygiene cycle? Endorsed by Allergy UK, it injects steam directly into the drum at the end of the washing cycle, removing up to 99.9% of bacteria, as well as allergens, without harsh temperatures or detergents. Why do all the hard work when technology can do it for you?
Shop Hotpoint’s hygienic appliance collection of dishwashers, washing machines and fridge-freezers now at AO. AO offers a price match promise, free 100-day returns and next day delivery, seven days a week, so you can shop with confidence and find great deals on trusted appliances.
*Tested and certified by VDE Prüf- und Zertifizierungsinstitut GmbH and Swissatest Testmaterialien AG.
**ISO 9001-2001 certification. Test Performed by Sereco-Biotest Laboratory
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