Millions of people across the country are staying at home in a bid to defeat the Covid-19 pandemic.
While many of us have already increased the number of times we wash our hands to prevent the spread of the virus, especially when he return to our homes from outside, it’s important to prevent contamination inside the house.
Lisa Ackerley, trustee and chair at Royal Society for Public Health, has advised Brits to crank up their hygiene habits and wash their hands after daily chores such as loading the dishwasher and handling dirty laundry.
Keeping on top of cleaning duties has also never been as important as it can impact our respiratory functions drastically – especially for asthmatics.
Jame O’Loan, a consultant pharmacist from online medical service Doctor-4-U, is warning us to keep our homes as clean as possible to keep our families safe from nasty illnesses.
Here the experts, as well as Dominic Ponniah, CEO of commercial cleaning firm Cleanology, share their top tips for keeping your homes free of coronavirus with FEMAIL.
Lisa Ackerley, trustee and chair at Royal Society for Public Health, has advised Brits to crank up their hygiene habits and wash their hands after daily chores such as loading the dishwasher and handling dirty laundry. Pictured: stock image
WASH HANDS AFTER LOADING DISHWASHER
Writing on her blog, Lisa said while your household may be well, it still pays for everyone to consider that they could be infected and act accordingly, stopping any unhygienic habits.
‘If anyone becomes ill, then they need to be isolated if possible in their own room to protect the others,’ she said.
As well as washing your hands as soon as you return to your house from a shopping trip or exercise, Lisa suggested doing it more frequently to fight the journey of the germ.
This includes after loading the dishwasher, as dirty plates may be contaminated, and before emptying it or drying washed dishes.
‘Dirty hands will contaminate the clean crockery and cutlery,’ she observed, adding that you should also wash hands before taking drinks or snacks to others in the household to prevent contaminating glasses, mugs, crockery or cutlery.
WASH HANDS WHILE DOING THE LAUNDRY
The same goes for handling dirty laundry – you should wash your hands after coming into contact with it.
Lisa also advised giving hands a scrub before handling clean laundry, because dirty hands could contaminate the clean washing.
DITCH FABRIC CONDITIONER
Although it’s pleasant smelling and adds softness to garments, fabric softeners tend to leave a film on clothing that’s barely noticeable to the eye.
According to Dominic, it buries in fibres and then rains down when we put our clothes on.
‘It may seem a bit strange at first, but ditching the fabric softener can lessen the number of dust particles,’ he explained.
‘That microscopic residue it leaves can cause tiny particles that will contribute to your dust flow. Try doing a few laundry loads without the softener and see if you notice a difference.’
KEEP ANTIBACTERIAL WIPES IN YOUR CAR
If you go out in the car, Lisa recommended cleaning your hands before you touch anything in the interior.
‘If you can’t get any gel, use a baby wipe or make-up wipe or even a moistened disposable cloth and rub really well,’ she said.
‘Leave the wipe on the floor or have a plastic bag for it and collect after three days.
‘These alternatives are not guaranteed to remove the virus but they are better than nothing. Still, keep your hands off your face when driving home! Wash your hands again when you get home and again after dealing with shopping or post.’
VACUUM YOUR CEILING
Jame told how asthmatics are at greater risk from poor air quality indoors – which is heightened at the moment while we are spending so much more time inside.
‘Many common indoor pollutants such as dust are small enough to get in the lungs and make symptoms worse,’ he said.
Dominic suggests vacuuming your ceiling and walls at least once a month, and before you hoover or sweep the floor.
He added: ‘Use a rubber glove on upholstered furniture like sofas and chairs to pull out dust, hair and fur. It’ll create static power which will attract the hairs and dust.
‘Finish by vacuuming over surfaces. Microfibre cloths are great for dusting down surfaces. Dust once or twice a week if you’re prone to allergens.’
SWITCH TO BAMBOO TOILET ROLL
Switching to a non-paper toilet roll may be an ask in the present climate, given you’re fortunate to find any toilet paper in the shops, but there are alternative materials to wipe with.
‘Bamboo toilet paper is a comfortable alternative which doesn’t produce minuscule particles of dust when sheets are torn,’ said Dominic.
‘You can also do the same with kitchen rolls and tissues in general.’
Bamboo paper tends to be slightly pricier than regular tissue but has been rising in popularity because it causes fewer dust particles.
Dominic also recommended keeping plants dust-free by using a compressed-air can to blast away fibres.
‘This is a better technique than using water spray as water can promote mould growth,’ he said. ‘Use the air-spray, normally used to clean keyboards, outdoors so you’re not blowing dust around indoors.’
Exfoliating the skin with an abrasive sponge or loofah will remove dead skin and stop it flaking around the house.
We should exfoliate a couple of times a week to avoid a build up of dead skin cells and keep skin fresh – but an added bonus is that regular exfoliation keeps dust at bay too.
‘It’s estimated around 70 to 80 per cent of dust comes from dead skin we shed,’ Dominic explained.
‘Exfoliating in the shower means this skin is washed away down the plug hole rather than dropping off around us.’
BRUSH HAIR OUTSIDE
Dominic suggests brushing our locks outside to prevent scalp skin shedding indoors
‘We shed skin when we brush our hair, therefore brushing outside will reduce the amount of skin that settles in the home,’ he said, adding that we should do the same with our pets.
APPLY MAKE-UP OUTSIDE
While the sun’s out, applying make-up outside can also reduce the amount of dust that’s created.
‘Eyeshadows, powders and shimmering products are dust contributors,’ said Dominic.
‘When it’s dry and bright outdoors, it’s a good idea to apply make-up outside.’
‘Pets are great causes of dust, but as a nation of pet lovers we have to accept this and be vigilant when it comes to looking after their coats.
‘Regular brushing, especially in the warmer months when they shed, will stop them shedding indoors.’
Oil rich food will also keep their coat glossy rather than dry and less prone to shedding.
AVOID HAIR SPRAY AND DRY SHAMPOO
Hairspray and dry shampoo are major sources of dust particles, so again it’s best to use these products outside when applying, and also when brushing out, so that the particles fall outside instead of indoors.
Dominic added: ‘The same should be considered with hair gels, hair mousse and similar products which will also brush out as dust particles when dry.
For more information about Dominic’s work visit https://www.cleanology.com/