Keeping your home clean can be one of the toughest jobs you’ve ever tackled – and often seems like a never ending cycle. No one wants a dirty home though, so keeping your home clean becomes one of those things you just accept and push forward with.
A recent New York Times article talked about the difference in cleaning and disinfecting. While disinfecting has become de rigueur thanks to COVID, the bleach smell that lingers can be enough to make you faint.
The article made this very important distinction: “Cleaning removes things: dirt, crumbs, germs, dog hair, from surfaces. Disinfecting kills things, typically viruses and bacteria.”
So it turns out America has gone way over the top with the microbe busting disinfectants. Some 42% of us identify as germaphobes, according to a survey quoted in the NYT.
We’ve listed a few quick cleaning tips for you to consider to keep your home clean. We’ve also included some of observations from the New York Times article.
- There’s no need to disinfect your kitchen countertops daily unless you’ve been cutting up raw meat.
- Illness is the only good reason to regularly disinfect your bathroom. Most times, soap and water gets the job done. Use a microfiber cloth for a smear free finish on shower glass and mirrors.
- Watch out for products with quaternary ammonium compounds, or “quats.” The Times says these chemicals can increase our resistance to antibiotics.
- If you go hardcore with the chemicals, make sure you have good ventilation. Fumes from using quats, bleach, and ammonia are harmful to us and our pets.
- Don’t spray and wipe away immediately. Let the soap or chemicals do their work. Let the solution sit for up to 10 minutes before wiping it away, preferably with a paper cloth.
- Only mix water into bleach – any other chemical risks a dangerous reaction. Bleach breaks down in water quickly, so you have to use it within hours. Storing it is pointless.
- If you hate the thought of all these chemicals in your home, check out the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for advice on how to create your own botanical disinfectants. The most popular is household vinegar mixed with water.