When bacteria is spread by people, cleaning equipment and food, cross-contamination can occur. People spend more time indoors than outside and that increases the opportunity for bacteria to transfer around the home.
Illness and disease is lessened when proper cleaning methods are used, but cleaning properly is actually a detailed process. Think about all of the places bacteria can grow that can be overlooked when cleaning your home. Keyboards, door handles, phones, refrigerator handles, rags and a pet’s bowl can all make you sick if you don’t remember to clean them properly.
When cleaning around the house, one of the biggest mistakes made is to use the same sponge or cloth. This is one of the easiest ways to transfer bacteria from one spot to another. How then, do you get your home as clean as possible to prevent cross-contamination from occurring?
Steps to avoid cross-contamination in your home:
- Focus on cleaning places family members touch frequently. Door handles, faucets, keyboards, light switches, window locks are all examples of easily overlooked cleaning spots.
- Wash hands frequently and use a different rag or sponge when cleaning different rooms. Throw out sponges often and wash rags in the washing machine.
- When cleaning carpet, make sure to clean thoroughly. Throw out any buildup of dirt in the vacuum after each use.
- Pay special attention to entranceways. This is a prime spot for tracking bacteria and other pollutants through the home. Vacuum often, wash baseboards, mop floors, wipe down door handles and take off shoes whenever possible.
- Micro-fiber dust cloths do a great job of grabbing dust. Make sure after dusting to wash the rag for additional use.
- Store cleaning supplies away from places that have a lot of traffic. You don’t want to reach for something near cleaning supplies since cleaning supplies will harbor bacteria from use.
- Consider replacing an older vacuum with a HEPA filter vacuum which can capture particles due to multiple levels of filtration.
- Minimize the use of a mop bucket and water which can spread contaminants around the floor. Consider a steam mop which kills bacteria with hot water and no cleaning solution. When floors are done being mopped, you just throw the cloth from the mop head into the wash so it’s good as new for the next cleaning job.