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How To Have a Cleaner, Safer & Healthier Home

Home should be your haven.  You want to be able to breathe easy and take comfort that your house is clean, safe, and your respite from the outside world.  But with so many opportunities for germs to spread, it’s important to stay on top of keeping things clean. Outsmarting germs around the house might seem like an insurmountable task, so we’ve broken it down into a few easy steps to help you come out as the winner of this battle. But before you start cleaning, here are a few important tips to set you up for success. 
 
 Photo of woman washing a dog in the bathroom
 
Choose your products carefully 
To be effective in killing viruses and surface germs you need products with a disinfectant, so look for ingredients such as citric acid, ethanol, pine oil, sodium hypochlorite, hydrogen peroxide and quaternary ammonium compounds.
 
Disinfect effectively
If you’re not sure what that is, follow these guidelines:
1. Before disinfecting, first clean surfaces to remove dirt and grime, so disinfectant will reach clean surfaces. 
2. When disinfecting, be sure to follow directions on the product label.
3. After disinfecting, allow product to sit for a few minutes to give it time to kill germs and viruses. And if the surface comes in contact with children, pets or food, once the product dries make sure to rinse with water.
 
Start in the kitchen
Your first step should be going after the high-touch surfaces in your home and since everyone spends so much time in the kitchen, this is the perfect place to start. Being the hub for eating and entertaining your crew, the kitchen is definitely home to some of the most high traffic touch points.
 
Clean all surfaces
From countertops to tabletops, kitchen surfaces are magnets for bacteria such as salmonella or e-coli, so make sure to wipe them down daily. This should include all faucets, tables, countertops, refrigerator doors and handles, stove and microwave buttons, and any other surfaces that get a lot of use. 
 

Avery Faucet

 
Faucet handles are one of the germiest spots in your home due to cross-contamination, so consider investing in a hands-free faucet, such as the Avery or Beale touchless faucets, equipped with a sensor that allows you to turn the water flow on and off with an easy wave of the hand, or switch to manual operation by closing the sliding door of the sensor. This minimizes cross-contamination by avoiding touching the handle while handling raw meats or other foods that may spread bacteria.
 
 
Clean your sponges
While we use sponges to keep things clean, it’s important to recognize that sponges can also carry germs so they need to be properly sanitized. 
 
Option 1: Set your dishwasher to a high temperature and ensure the drying cycle is on.  Then place your sponge on the top rack and turn the dishwasher on.
Option 2: Make sure your sponge is damp, then place it in your microwave for 1-2 minutes.
Remember to squeeze excess water out of your sponge after use, and place it somewhere that allows it to air-dry overnight. 
 
Cutting Boards 
To prevent cross contamination and ensure germs don’t find hiding places, here are a few tips to keep your cuttings boards clean.
Tip 1: Don’t cut raw meat and vegetables on the same cutting board.
Tip 2: Discard cutting boards with cracks where germs can hide. Instead, use boards made of hard plastic or maple.  
Tip 3: After using your cutting board, scrub with hot, soapy water and let dry.
 
Clean all bathrooms
Handles can host bacteria and viruses, so it’s important to keep the flush handle sanitized to reduce the spread of germs. Wash it regularly with a disinfectant that lists fighting bacteria or viruses on the label.  Virus particles can also be removed by sanitizing with a 60 percent alcohol solution. 
 
Keeping the inside of the toilet clean can also be made easier by choosing a self-cleaning toilet, such as the Acticlean. With a quick and deep cleaning cycle, having a sparkling, fresh bowl at all times is just a button away.

 

ActiClean Toilet

 
 
For added hygiene, consider investing in a touchless toilet. The Advanced Clean 100 SpaLet® Bidet offers an automatic open/close feature for the seat and auto-flushing, for a complete hands-off experience. Spalets® come equipped with additional features, such as self-cleaning dual nozzles for a complete feeling of cleanliness. 

 

 

 

Another touchless flush option is the Studio® Activate, which also features an EverClean® Antimicrobial Surface and a powerwash rim that scrubs the toilet with each flush. Simply wave your hand over the sensor to flush the toilet.

 

Touchless Flush Toilet

 
As an added tip, be sure to dehumidify your bathroom. This means turning on your ceiling fan after a shower, and making sure to leave it on for at least 20-minutes to get rid of the moisture which would otherwise lead to mildew.
 
 
The rest of the house
As you clean from room to room, focus your attention to the areas that are touched most frequently. These include: doorknobs, remote controls, countertops, tables, light switches, railings and keyboards.  Cleaning these areas will help reduce the spread of germs to the rest of your home.
 
TIPS: 
  • Be careful not to put items that carry germs, such as phones or purses, on counters or tables where food is prepared or eaten.
  • Make sure to open the windows in each room of the house for a few minutes each day to change the air.
  • When doing laundry, use gloves when touching soiled laundry, use the warmest water possible to wash items, and ensure items are dried completely afterwards.  
 
KEEP IT CLEAN
A recipe for how to make your own hand-sanitizer
  • Two-thirds 99% rubbing (isopropyl) alcohol
  • One-third pure aloe vera gel
  • 8-10 drops of essential oil (optional for scent)
 
Find haven in your home. With these simple steps you can make your home, and those you love, cleaner, safer, and healthier.
 
Love,
American Standard