Bacteria and germs are everywhere and they can contribute to a range of different infections and illnesses if not controlled properly. It is therefore important to take steps to ensure your home is clean and hygienic to reduce the risk of infection.
Exposure to germs is essential for the development of the immune system and no expert would advise people to be obsessive about cleaning and walk around with a mask on. However, it is important to keep on top of cleaning, as bacteria can reproduce very quickly and this can cause infections and illnesses to spread quickly.
Cleaning also helps to remove dust and prevent the formation of mould, which have been linked to respiratory illnesses, such as asthma and an increased risk of allergies.
Ways to prevent and control infection in the home
Personal hygiene: it is important to wash on a regular basis. Most people wash everyday and it is important to do this, even if you think you are fine because you don’t smell or look dirty. Daily washing helps to keep all body parts clean and removes traces of bacteria and dirt. Showering will give you a better wash than bathing.
Washing clothes and bedding: it is important to wash clothing, towels and bedding on a regular basis as this helps to remove bacteria and germs. It is advisable to wash underwear every day and to wash bedding and towels once a week.
Cleaning the kitchen: the kitchen is a breeding ground for bacteria and you can easily ingest bacteria because you prepare the food you eat in the kitchen; make sure you clean all the surfaces carefully with disinfectant spray or cream and always wash your hands before you prepare food. Wash dishes and cutlery with antibacterial washing up liquid and change cloths and tea towels on a regular basis.
Cleaning the bathroom: cleaning the bathroom regularly is very important because the bathroom is a breeding ground for bacteria, thanks to the toilet and shower facilities. Try to clean the toilet on a regular basis and always rinse the shower and bath before and after you use them; use bleach after you go to the toilet and mop the floors and clean the sink with antibacterial detergents regularly. Always wash your hands after you go to the toilet.
Throw tissues away: most of us are familiar with the feeling of having a relentless runny nose and this can cause us to be surrounded by tissues; if you have a cold, make sure you throw tissues away or flush them down the toilet so that the infection does not spread to other members of the family. If you are ill, open the windows to provide ventilation, cover your mouth when you sneeze or cough and try to avoid close physical contact with others. If you are ill, it is a good idea to use sterile services to sterilise equipment and utensils you use, especially if you live with young children or elderly people
General cleaning: try to hoover, dust and wipe surfaces regularly as bacteria can linger and start to collect in areas around the house.