A Guide To Cleaning And Disinfecting Surfaces

A clean home provides an environment that is safe and healthy for all. But how do you get there? Here are effective tips to clean your home like a pro.

By URLife Team
05 May 2023

Are you tired of constantly worrying about the cleanliness and safety of your environment? Don't worry, we've got you covered. Our guide will walk you through the best practices for keeping your home clean and safe, so you can breathe easy and focus on what really matters.

When it comes to keeping your home or workplace clean and safe, there's nothing more important than proper surface cleaning and disinfection. 


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Maintaining a clean and healthy home is crucial, and one of the most effective ways to achieve this is through regular cleaning of high-touch surfaces. Not only does this help keep your home free of pesky dust, but it can also prevent the spread of harmful germs and microorganisms that can lead to illness. However, it is important to note that the level of cleaning depends on certain factors such as age and health status and the level of exposure to potential pathogens.

You may be living with young children, elderly family members, pets, or someone with a compromised immune system. All of these factors can impact how frequently and thoroughly you should be cleaning. 


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How To Clean Various Surfaces

There’s no denying the importance of regular cleaning for a healthy home environment. But cleaning does not necessarily mean disinfecting or sanitising every corner of your home. Sanitising or disinfecting your home should be done when someone is sick when contaminants are present, or at regular intervals depending on the external environment. 

Firstly, it is important to figure out when is the right time to clean the surfaces in your home. Clean the areas which are visibly dirty or haven’t been cleaned in a while. From the kitchen to the bathroom, having a solid cleaning routine is vital to prevent the spread of infections.

Whether you're trying to prevent the spread of illness or simply maintain a healthy environment, knowing how to clean and disinfect surfaces effectively can make all the difference. Let’s explore the best practices for cleaning and disinfecting surfaces, so you can stay healthy, happy, and worry-free.

Cleaning different surfaces in your home requires different cleaning methods and products. Here are some tips on how to clean various surfaces in your house:


1. Keep kitchen countertops clean: Your kitchen has seen the best and worst of your cooking experiences. Countertops are usually stained with specks of spices, sauces, milk, and foods that we prepare. No doubt, it attracts lots of dust and bacteria which later can give off a foul odour when left unattended. To clean the countertop, use a mixture of warm water and dish soap or a kitchen cleaner to clean your kitchen countertops. For stubborn stains, use a mixture of baking soda and water.


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2. Wash vegetables with a DIY solution:  Fresh produce can pass through many hands before it reaches your home, and it's important to handle it with care to avoid potential contamination from harmful bacteria or viruses. To clean them, there are several vegetable washes available in the market which mainly contain chlorine. According to a 2021 study issued in the Journal of Food Protection, washing fresh produce with such potent chemicals can affect your digestive tract and lead to gut-related issues. 

Hence, it is always wise to clean any vegetables either with plain water or a homemade solution. Washing vegetables at home without chemicals is actually quite easy. Here are some simple steps you can follow:

  • Fill a large bowl with cold water and add a tablespoon of salt and baking soda (optional).
  • Place the vegetables in the water and let them soak in the solution for about 10-15 minutes.
  • Gently scrub the vegetables with a brush to remove any dirt or debris.
  • Rinse the vegetables thoroughly with cold water.
  • For leafy vegetables, such as spinach or lettuce, place them in a colander and rinse them under cold running water.


3. Don’t forget about the grout: Grouts are generally the most overlooked part of most floors. Over time, grout can become discoloured, stained, or dirty due to spills, dirt, and grime. This can make your tiles look dull and unattractive. Dirty grout can harbour bacteria, mould, and mildew, which can lead to health problems, especially for people with respiratory issues. To clean grout in between tiles, you can use a variety of methods such as baking soda and vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, or a commercial grout cleaner. Or, you can make grout cleaner at home easily. 

Use a mixture of equal parts vinegar and water to clean bathroom tiles and grout. Scrub the surface with a brush and rinse with water.


4. Mop floors with phenyle: The age-old method of cleaning any floor is mopping. The best way to clean floors depends on the type of flooring you have. Phenyl can be a strong cleaning agent, so be sure to use it in a well-ventilated area. Use a cleaner specifically designed for hardwood floors. For tile and vinyl floors, use a mixture of warm water and a floor cleaner. 


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5. Pay attention to curtains and carpets: Constantly sneezing even though you don’t see any dust? It might just be your carpet or curtains. Rugs and curtains can trap dirt, dust, pollen, and other allergens, which can trigger allergies and respiratory problems. The frequency of cleaning carpets and curtains depends on the amount of foot traffic, pets, and the environment. Deep cleaning them once a month can keep your home environment clean and dust-free. Regular cleaning can help remove these contaminants and improve indoor air quality.

  • Vacuum carpets regularly to remove dust and dirt. 
  • Use a carpet cleaner or hire a professional cleaner for deep cleaning.


6. Change bed sheets weekly: If those stubborn pimples and acne do not seem to go away, then change your dirty bed sheets. Sleeping repeatedly on the same bedsheets, bacteria can accumulate and transfer to your skin, which can cause or worsen acne. Skin oils, dead skin cells, and other debris can build up on sheets and pillowcases, creating a breeding ground for bacteria. When you sleep on these dirty sheets, these substances can transfer to your skin, clogging pores and causing acne.

To prevent acne caused by dirty sheets, it's important to wash your sheets once a week or more often if you have oily skin or acne-prone skin. 

  • Use a gentle detergent and avoid fabric softeners, which can leave a residue on the sheets that can contribute to acne. 
  • You can also consider using a hypoallergenic laundry detergent and adding a cup of white vinegar to the rinse cycle to help kill bacteria and remove odours.
  • Finally, avoid touching your face with your hands while you sleep to prevent any bacterial transfer from your hands to your skin. 


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7. Sinks and toilets are germ hubs: The sink and toilet are areas where bacteria and viruses can thrive, especially if they are not cleaned regularly. Bacteria like E. coli, salmonella, and shigella can live in the sink and toilet and cause gastrointestinal illnesses, such as diarrhoea and vomiting. Viruses like norovirus and rotavirus can also be found in the bathroom and cause similar symptoms. A damp sink can also promote the growth of mould, which can cause respiratory problems, especially for people with allergies or asthma.

  • To prevent illness caused by a dirty sink and toilet, it's important to clean these areas regularly with a disinfectant cleaner or a mixture of vinegar and water twice a week. 
  • Wash your hands thoroughly after using the toilet and avoid touching surfaces in the bathroom as much as possible. 
  • By practising good hygiene and keeping your bathroom clean, you can help prevent the spread of illness and keep yourself and your family healthy.


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8. Take care of indoor plants: Indoor plants can sometimes cause infections and allergies, especially when not properly cared for. Some plants are more likely to cause allergies than others, such as ferns, palms, and snake plants. Also, make sure the plants you choose are not toxic to pets or children.

  • Dust and debris can accumulate on plant leaves, which can harbour allergens and other irritants. Wipe down the leaves of your indoor plants regularly with a damp cloth to remove dust and debris.
  • Overwatering can cause mould and mildew to grow in the soil. Make sure to water your plants only when the soil is dry to the touch.
  • Inspect your plants regularly for signs of pests and use natural or organic pest control methods to keep them away.


Related story: Plant Parenthood: Why You Need Indoor Plants In Your Home


Need all your wellness solutions in one place? A whole new world awaits just a click away.


With the UR.Life HRA, we help you to invest in your well-being through seamless interventions and targeted medical treatments. Our holistic wellness approach caters to all aspects of your well-being. We ensure that you can bring your whole self to work. With our medical professionals by your side, routine health check-ups will never be an issue. Advanced laboratory technologies back UR.Life’s Occupational Health Centers (OHC), and with highly qualified experts/technicians, we’re committed to delivering trusted and quality recommendations, modifications, and advice to you.

Click here to learn more about the UR.Life Corporate Wellness programme and unlock better health. 



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