Keeping your Dr. Phillips rental home a safe place to be during flu season includes regularly cleaning it. But this means you have to clean more than just the visible dirt. Doorknobs, light switches, computer keyboards, smartphones, tablets, television remotes, and game controllers are all easy to miss when cleaning the house. Unless you sanitize them regularly, they can have more harmful bacterial on them than your toilet.
Common Dirty Devices
Ideally, you should be cleaning your smartphone, tablet, keyboard, mouse, television remote, and gaming controller regularly. These electronic devices are touched each day– especially phones, controllers, and remotes– and they can have ten times the amount of bacteria found on other surfaces in your home! Think about it: each time you touch something and then touch your phone or computer keyboard, you have transferred bacteria from one surface to the other.
A surface that is often touched will collect more bacteria, rapidly becoming a serious health hazard. Flu season is also the time when it is easier to pick up germs and unknowingly pass them on to others when using shared devices, controllers, and even the TV remote. This is why it is extremely important to clean your dirty devices. You wouldn’t want your family to get sick just because you didn’t clean your devices every day or after every use.
Have you tried keeping track of all the things you touch around the house each day? You might be in for a surprise! High-touch areas are those that get a lot of use but often do not make it onto your general cleaning lists. Examples of these are doorknobs, cabinet handles, window blind controls, and light switches which are all touched daily or even multiple times a day.
Not wiping these surfaces down with a germ-killing solution would mean these surfaces could be harboring high levels of harmful bacteria. One study found that light switches often have 200 bacteria per square inch, while most toilets have 20 on average.
During flu season, it is even more important to clean and sanitize high-touch surfaces in your home. But a lot of these surfaces cannot just be sprayed with liquid cleaners or disinfectants. Spraying anything on your tech devices will probably damage them. There are wipes designed to clean electronic devices that you can purchase instead. These wipes usually contain alcohol, which can kill harmful bacteria.
You can then use a microfiber cloth and spray a disinfectant solution on the cloth, not directly on the light switch or doorknob, as you clean the other high-touch surfaces around the house. There are commercial cleaning solutions that state it will kill bacteria on your home’s plastic or other durable surfaces. Remember also to not use harsh chemicals on painted surfaces, wood, or natural stone to avoid damaging them.
In addition to high-touch surfaces, the CDC reminds us that it is best to wash your hands frequently and clean all surfaces in your home with a disinfectant appropriate for the type of surface you are cleaning. Maintain proper ventilation at all times when cleaning and make sure to follow the label directions regardless of what cleaning agent you choose. With these extra precautions, your home can be germ-free, not only during flu season but all year round.
We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. See Equal Housing Opportunity Statement for more information.