Keeping your Raleigh rental home a safe place to be during flu season includes regularly cleaning it. But this does not mean you only get rid of the visible dirt. Doorknobs, light switches, computer keyboards, smartphones, tablets, television remotes, and game controllers are all easy to miss when cleaning the house. When not sanitized regularly, these things may harbor more harmful bacteria on them than your toilet.
Common Dirty Devices
Regular cleaning is recommended for items like your smartphone, tablet, keyboard, mouse, television remote, and gaming controller. As these electronic devices are heavily touched each day, phones, controllers, and remotes can often have ten times the amount of bacteria found on other surfaces in your home! Think about it: each time you touch something and then touch your phone or computer keyboard, you have transferred bacteria from one surface to the other.
Surfaces that are often touched are more likely to collect bacteria and quickly become serious health hazards. Flu season is also the time when it is easier to pick up germs and unknowingly pass them on to others when using shared devices, controllers, and even the TV remote. This is why it is extremely important to clean your dirty devices. You wouldn’t want your family to get sick just because you didn’t clean your devices every day or after every use.
Do you know all the things your touch around the house each day? You might be in for a surprise! High-touch surfaces are those areas that are used a lot but rarely make it into our general cleaning lists. Some of these are doorknobs, cabinet handles, window blind controls, and light switches. We touch these items daily, sometimes even multiple times a day.
Not wiping these surfaces down with a germ-killing solution would mean these surfaces could be harboring high levels of harmful bacteria. One study found that light switches often have 200 bacteria per square inch, while most toilets have 20 on average.
Especially during flu season, it is important that you sanitize high-touch surfaces in your home. However, these surfaces can’t simply be sprayed with liquid cleaners or disinfectants. Spraying anything on your tech devices will probably damage them. Instead, you can get those wipes that are specifically designed for cleaning electronic devices. Containing alcohol, these wipes are able to rid surfaces of harmful bacteria.
You can spray some disinfectant solution on a microfiber cloth –not directly on the light switch or doorknob– and use this cloth to clean other high-touch surfaces. There are commercial cleaning solutions that state it will kill bacterial while also being suitable for your home’s plastic or other durable surfaces. Remember also to not use harsh chemicals on painted surfaces, wood, or natural stone to avoid damaging them.
In addition to cleaning high-touch surfaces, the CDC also recommends washing your hands frequently and cleaning all surfaces in your home with a disinfectant appropriate for the different surfaces you are cleaning. Be sure to also have proper ventilation and to always follow the label directions regardless of what cleaning agent you use. Taking these extra precautions can help keep your home germ-free during the flu season and all year round.
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