Tips for Tackling Household Germs

May 11, 2021

Maintenance-free living in a Life Plan Community has its obvious perks. But that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re off the hook for taking care of some of the simple chores around the house—especially when it comes to the ongoing battle being waged against germs. After all, keeping household germs under control is one of the most effective ways to keep colds, flu, and other infectious illnesses from spreading.


So, when it comes to hand-to-hand combat with these unwelcome intruders, what’s the best way to protect yourself—and your castle—from an unwanted siege? Here are a few tips to help you secure and maintain advantage.


Where do germs lurk the most?

When it comes to your home, any areas with high traffic and surfaces that regularly get touched are the hot spots worthy of routine cleaning attention. In fact, studies have shown that the kitchen sink often has more bacteria than the toilet or garbage can. Additionally, don’t just concentrate your efforts on the toilet either. Anything near it should not be overlooked, since flushing emits a fine spray of mist. And let’s not forget the often-ignored things, like light switches, that get pick up plenty of germy fingerprints throughout the day.


What’s the best way to kill the germs?

Nothing beats good old-fashioned soap and water. Cleaning with soap and water has been shown to not only remove grime and dirt, but it’s also usually enough to get rid of most germs. However, it’s never a bad idea to disinfect the more common hot spots in your home.


The fast option: A product that is both a cleaner and disinfectant is great for speed-cleaning since it combines the two steps in one.

Cheap disinfectant options: Bleach, ammonia, hydrogen peroxide, and vinegar are all good disinfectants. Mix up to three teaspoons of one of them with a gallon of water. Just be sure not to mix any of the disinfectant options together.

The drawback: most disinfectants need to be applied and left for 3-5 minutes to effectively do their job. You may also want to wear gloves and a mask to avoid contact with skin or breathing in the chemicals. Some disinfectants may cause discoloring on surfaces, so be sure to test it first.


Daily cleaning tips:

Taking down germ strongholds on a daily basis doesn’t have to be a drawn-out, arduous process. Here are a few steps to keep it quick and effective.

  1. In the kitchen

Clean and disinfect countertops, sink and faucet, refrigerator handles, cutting boards. Replace towels and dishcloths. Use dishcloths you can put in the washer when done. Be sure to clean any spills on the floor so they don’t attract more dirt and bacteria.

  1. In the bathroom

Empty wastebaskets and spray containers with disinfectant spray. Clean and sanitize sinks and faucets. While it may not be necessary to clean the toilets daily, be sure to wipe the flush handle regularly.


Weekly cleaning tips:

Daily speed-cleaning certainly makes weekly cleaning a breeze. However, once a week, it is generally a good idea to take out a few more germs by doing this:

  1. In the kitchen

Wash or replace any dish/sink aids, such as: dish brushes, sink strainer, etc. Clean stove top surfaces and stove knobs, as well as any drawer or cupboard knobs/handles. Sweep/mop floors.

  1. In the bathroom

Gather towels and washcloths to be washed (in hot water). Clean sink, bath, and toilet. Sweep/mop floors.

  1. Other areas of the home

Mop or vacuum any other flooring surfaces. Disinfect light switches, phones, remote controls, computer keyboard and mouse with a wipe or washcloth that won’t damage or discolor items.


Monthly cleaning tips:

With regular upkeep on the daily and weekly cleaning, monthly chores hardly take any time at all. Here are a few other areas to think about:

  1. Pet toys and beds

Be sure to use hot, soapy water and disinfect. Rinse well and let dry. For beds and soft, plush toys, wash on hot with other laundry.

  1. Drains and sink disposals

Pour white vinegar or a solution of one tsp bleach with one quart water down drains to sanitize.

  1. Free-standing appliances

Don’t forget to clean the blender, coffee maker or any other regularly used appliances that may get overlooked on daily or weekly cleaning routines.


Cleaning shortcuts:

For ease of use and speed, here are a few helpful shortcuts.

  1. Keep cleaning products together in a basket or bucket for easy retrieval
  2. While a disinfectant is sitting (3-5 minutes), move on to another chore
  3. Use plastic liners in trash cans to eliminate unwanted spills and leaking.
  4. Clean and sanitize any spills as they happen to avoid bigger messes later.


At Summit Vista, we realize safety, health, and well-being are an important consideration when exploring your retirement living options. That’s why we make our community the maintenance-free experience you desire with the peace of mind you’d expect for a happy, healthy future that’s free of concern.