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How to clean your home during lockdown, according to a hygiene expert

This is how often should you should be doing it and the products to use

Louise Whitbread
Tuesday 07 April 2020 11:12 BST
Traditional bleach watered down can be used if you can't get hold of Dettol
Traditional bleach watered down can be used if you can't get hold of Dettol

Regular hand-washing, using hand sanitiser, and self-isolating are all steps we can take to reduce the spread of the coronavirus outbreak.

As schools have closed and most of us are working from home, it’s more important than ever to clean your house more regularly than usual, as households are busier than normal.

Germs can easily be spread by touching unclean surfaces and bringing them from room to room. “Focus on getting everyone to wash their hands at key times and on cleaning the hand contact surfaces. You will know which ones in your household get touched the most, so focus on them,” says Lisa Ackerley, The Hygiene Doctor.

These include door handles, taps, kettle handles, cupboard doors, fridge handles, flush handles, tables, remote controls, the house phone, light switches and cooker knobs.

She advises also to wash your hands more frequently, even if you have minimised your trips outside the house. This means whenever you put contact lenses in, load or unload the dishwasher, after unpacking a delivery parcel or food shop, before taking drinks or snacks to others in the house, before and after handling laundry, after blowing your nose and always when you go out, as you may touch things such as car park buttons or petrol pumps.

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So, what products should you be using to clean your home?

Ecovibe's Bumper Cleaning Box (£34.99) is a subscription service that will deliver all the cleaning essentials to your door once every two months

You may be struggling to buy your typical bottle of Dettol but that doesn’t mean you’re out of options. In fact, if you have a bottle of plain bleach in your cupboard, Ackerley explains that it has a multitude of uses. “Many people only use it neat down the drains or in the toilet, but it is an excellent surface disinfectant when diluted, and before steam cleaning, was used for disinfecting babies’s bottles.”

Keep in mind that bleach is very powerful, however. “You don’t want to splash it around on the carpet and other soft furnishings, use it only according to the instructions on the bottle,” says Ackerley.

Other alternatives such as Zoflora’s multi purpose antibacterial disinfectant – made famous by cleaning expert, Mrs Hinch – comes in 500ml bottles for £5.99 and are available to buy online. It can be used on its own or diluted with water, and it’s suitable for floors, baths, tiles, taps, worktops, drains and toilets, even on hard surface areas like mats underneath pet food bowls.

If you want an easy all-rounder, try Method which has multi-surface cleaning sprays from £3, in pleasant scents such as lavender or passion fruit. All you need is a clean dry cloth to wipe down glass, wood, stone, tile and worktops.

If you’re conscious of waste and want an eco-friendly alternative, try Bower & Collective, which creates refill pouches for washing up liquid, sanitiser sprays and hand washes that start from £2.93. They’re housed in recyclable plastic that once finished with can be posted back to the brand using the pre-paid postage return box, which is then sterilised them and put them back into distribution.

The pouches have a nozzle attached for easy pouring, you can buy its glass dispensers which start from £3.99, but there’s also many cheaply available on Amazon.

Elsewhere, EcoVibe is subscription-based cleaning brand, where you can order boxes of essentials to be delivered straight to your doorstep. We’d suggest the bumper cleaning box, for £31.49 (or £34.99 when bought on its own) you’ll receive a plastic-free package of antibacterial cleaning sachets, dissolvable laundry detergent strips, a coconut scrub pad, compostable sponges twin pack and 50-litre compostable bin bags once every two months.

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