Home Hygiene Tips from Biomaster
We come into contact with millions of bacteria each day, and the vast majority of them are essential for our general health and wellbeing.
However, there are some bacteria which can be harmful, particularly for those of us who have weakened immune systems or suffer from underlying illnesses.
Although we might not be able to control our exposure to bacteria whilst out and about, good hygiene can start right at home.
Whilst there are specific places you should target for a more hygienic home, you can also make a huge difference by simply washing your hands with soap and water to reduce the spread of contamination.
Read on for 10 tips from Biomaster for practicing good hygiene around the home:
1. Shoes off at the door
As well as potentially ruining a new carpet with muddy boots, studies have shown that the bottoms of shoes were more like to carry stomach bug inducing pathogens (like Clostridium difficile) than bathroom surfaces. So make sure you and your visitors take off your shoes at the door and clean off any mud or debris outside.
2. Bust the dust
We’ve all seen how quickly dust can build up behind cabinets and furniture. As dust can carry allergens causing fungal skin infections and respiratory issues it’s important to vacuum regularly and open up windows to allow air to ventilate.
3. Take care of the floor
The risks of catching an infection from your floor is relatively low, but bacteria like Staphylococcus aureus and Clostridium difficile can survive in dry conditions. Vacuum cleaning once a week and mopping floors should suffice but be more diligent with spillages if you have pets or infants who are likely to crawl around.
4. Keep a clean sheet
We spent around a third of our life sleeping, which is a lot of contact with our bedding. It’s advised to change your bedding at least once a fortnight, washing bed linen at 40°C degrees. Pillows and duvets should be washed every few months to stop dirt, bacteria or dustmites building up.
5. Keep pets in check
Studies have shown that exposure to cats & dogs early in life can protect against allergies in later life, but common sense and good hygiene practice should still be adhered to. Cats and dogs can carry potentially harmful bacteria like Salmonella and Campylobacter so make sure you wash your hands after petting and wash their bedding regularly.
6. Cleaner gardening
It’s advised to wear gloves if you’re going to be handling soil or compost in the garden as this can harbour pathogens like Pseudomonas and Clostridium botulinum. Always make sure you wash your hands after gardening, paying close attention to underneath your fingernails too.
7. Don't forget your bins
Your kitchen bin can be a hot spot of bacteria with food spoilage and spillage an issue. Ideally you should use a bin with a closing lid and a bin liner which can be tied before putting into an outside bin. Make sure you wash your hands after contact with your bin and wipe down any common touchpoints.
8. Take care of bathroom hotspots
Unsurprisingly, your bathroom can be a huge transmitter of bacteria like Salmonella, Campylobacter, Norovirus and E. coli which can all cause stomach upsets. Make sure you clean common touchpoints like toilet flush handles, taps and lightswitch pullcords regularly, particularly if someone in your house has been ill. Shower heads can also build up water-borne pathogens like Legionella and Pseudomonas so make sure these are free from dirt and limescale.
9. Living room hygiene
Remote controls, tablets and lightswitches can be perfect breeding ground for cold and flu viruses including Norovirus. It’s advised to clean and disinfect these regularly, particularly if there are family members who have been recently ill.
10. Fresher laundry
For items like gym kits, healthcare uniforms and towels you should aim to wash these at 60°C, with most other items suitable for washing at 40°C. Try and avoid air drying within the house as dust particles or moisture can build up with poor ventilation.