While we may have different opinions about what constitutes a “clean” home, there are some standards to consider, if only for your health’s sake.
Bacteria and microbes consisting of viruses, soil, fungi, bacteria, animal dander, pollen, sweat, and skin cells all invade our homes on a regular basis. According to research in Popular Science, the life span of a germ varies greatly depending on the bacteria and the surface. E. coli (intestinal bacteria that can make you sick) can live for a few hours to a full day, while the calicivirus (a.k.a. the stomach flu) can live for days or weeks. We can’t always see these teeny tiny nasties, and if we saw them under a microscope I’m sure we would all be quite mortified. So how often should we be cleaning certain areas of our home? It is probably more often than you think. Below you will find some important guidelines:
How often should sinks be disinfected?
Every day. Even if they look clean, sinks can become covered with invisible bacteria very quickly. The bathroom sink accumulates fecal matter (from washing your hands after you use the bathroom). Also, bacteria from food, like E.Coli and Salmonella, can contaminate the kitchen sink. Clean them daily to keep these spaces clean and healthy.
How often should floors be vacuumed and/or washed?
One to two weeks. Carpets and rugs should be vacuumed on a weekly basis. More often if you have pets in the home. This will help to keep dust, dirt, and allergens from being kicked up into the air. Hard surface floors should be swept and mopped 2-4 times a month based on the activity in the home. Kitchen floors should be cleaned more often as this is where meal prepping and serving is done.
How often should sheets be changed?
Once a week – Beyond dust, bacteria and fungi, along with the dirt and oils sloughed off during sleep, can cling to sheets and your skin. This can lead to skin conditions. To keep your bed clean, change your sheets once a week, or a minimum of every two weeks, and wash them in hot water.
How often should bathrooms be cleaned?
Once a week at least. Bathrooms will need the most attention. It can host a whole swarm of unwelcome bacteria; E.coli can be found within six feet of the toilet and in the sink. To keep this space as clean as possible, disinfect the toilet at least once weekly and scrub sinks daily. Tubs should be cleaned, at the very least, every other week. And don’t forget fabric shower curtains and liners. They should be disinfected on a weekly basis to avoid a build-up of mildew.
How often should towels be changed out?
It depends on the room. Bath towels can become covered with fungi and bacteria (including staph and fecal) and if your towel doesn’t fully dry, that bacteria can grow. Ideally, try to swap out your bath towels every other day. For kitchen towels, washing once a week should do the trick. However, if you have handled raw meat and wiped your hands on a towel, throw it in the wash immediately. Better safe than sorry!
How often should sponges be swapped out?
Every few days. A kitchen sponge can get pretty filthy, pretty fast… with billions of bacteria on every square inch! While most of the bacteria isn’t harmful, it is important to wash these frequently. Soap and water washing won’t do the trick, instead drop them into boiling water for 2 minutes or place them in the microwave for 2 minutes while damp every couple of days, and replacing them when they deteriorate.
How often should doorknobs be wiped down?
Once a week (in some rooms). Though doorknobs can accumulate a lot of bacteria, they need only need to be washed once in awhile. However, doorknobs in the bathroom and the kitchen are used much more frequently and should be disinfected about once per week, especially if there’s an illness in the house.
Following these important guidelines will help ensure a cleaner, healthier, and safer home. Please feel free to contact us regarding your cleaning needs and cleaning questions.