How to Properly Disinfect Your Home

Always use the correct cleaner for each item or room.
Always use the correct cleaner for each item or room. (Image: glass cleaner image by Randy McKown from Fotolia.com)

Cleaning your home may remove some bacteria by wiping or washing them away and slowing their spread, but properly disinfecting kills bacteria using a solution. Dust and mold can affect allergies and asthma, and bacteria like E. coli can grow in your kitchen. Good times to disinfect your home are when you first move in, after a big party, or after someone has been sick. Properly disinfecting your home will rid the house of germs and bacteria. Using a bleach or other disinfectant solution is the only way to kill germs.

Things You'll Need

  • Bucket
  • Vacuum
  • Bleach
  • Hot water
  • Paper towels
  • Steam vacuum or floor cleaner

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Open all your windows to let fresh air ventilate your home. Organize everything, including clothes, children's toys, papers and dishes. This way you don't have to work around anything. Place all your clothes and washable upholstery in the washing machine with a disinfectant laundry detergent. Cleaning is the first step in disinfecting, because when you clean surface debris, the germs have nowhere to hide. Use paper towels to wipe off all surfaces before disinfecting.

Spray the bathtub, toilet and sink in the bathroom with a bleach solution that is 1 cup of bleach to a gallon of water, and let it sit for 10 minutes. For mold around the bathtub, let the bleach solution sit for at least 20 minutes before beginning to scrub; rinse all the surfaces well after using the bleach solution. Turn on the ventilating system and keep the door open to avoid breathing in fumes. Place any plastic, non-porous items like toothbrush cups, soap dispenser and children's bath toys in a bucket with the bleach solution for 10 minutes, rinse well, and let the items dry.

Clean your next room starting at the top. If you have a popcorn ceiling, vacuum any dust trapped on the textured surface. Take a soft rag and wipe all the dust off ceiling fans and light fixtures. Vacuum all fabrics that cannot be washed like curtains or duvets. Sprinkle mattresses with a disinfecting fabric powder and vacuum; this also repels bed bugs. If you have carpet, use a steam vacuum to wash and disinfect carpets. If you have wood or tile, sweep the floors first and follow with a disinfecting floor solution.

Clean all hallways, stairwells, closets and walls with a soap solution; use a small amount of disinfecting dish soap and water on a lightly damp cloth for walls. Vacuum stairs and repeat disinfecting process with the same method as the regular carpets. Vacuum cobwebs and dust from the corners of closets and take the time to organize anything stuffed away.

Spray all the kitchen surfaces with a strong disinfecting solution. Be careful of spraying solution on granite, which can sometimes be porous. Wipe down all the counters, the stove top and the inside of the microwave going from top to bottom. Clean the oven with oven cleaner and the cleaning setting. Spray the dishwasher with the bleach solution and let it run empty; use extra hot water.

Tips & Warnings

  • Try not to go overboard on the disinfectant all the time; some bacteria can be good for your immune system.
  • If you don't want to use bleach there are many natural alternative cleaners available.
  • Make sure your cleaning area is well-ventilated.

References

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