Hygiene is currently the top priority. Sabine Haag explains in an interview what is important now when cleaning and disinfecting.
During the corona pandemic, something that is actually taken for granted appears even more important than ever: hygiene. Regular, thorough hand washing and disinfection are now the order of the day. We should not only free our hands and Co. from germs when we are out and about, hygiene is also important in our own four walls. Sabine Haag, author of “My Household – Naturally Clean” explains what you have to pay attention to when cleaningTOPP Verlag), in an interview with the news agency spot on news.
Hygiene and cleanliness are more important than ever this year due to the corona pandemic – even in your own four walls. Which places should be cleaned more often in times of the pandemic?
Sabine Haag: Regardless of whether it is a pandemic or a normal wave of colds: There are a few places in the house that we should clean particularly often during this time. This includes doorknobs and light switches, but also the faucet, which is the first thing we touch when we get home to wash our hands. Viruses and germs wait patiently for a “taker” – and so they stay at the door for the time being.
The smartphone is a carrier that always has a large number of bacteria attached to it. We use our cell phone around 85 times a day. These are enough opportunities to bring germs directly to the display. It can be cleaned with a cloth slightly moistened with a mixture of vinegar essence and water. Please never spray directly on the mobile phone!
In addition to the items just mentioned, most germs can be found in the kitchen. In fact, more germs live in the refrigerator than on a toilet seat. Most germs collect on all handles in the kitchen, for example on the refrigerator, kettle, toaster or faucet, and not only in times when there is a lot of viruses. Dishcloths, sponges and kitchen towels are particularly bad. I change them every two to three days and wash them hot in the washing machine – this kills all germs and bacteria. What you should also change frequently at the moment are towels.
How should we proceed with cleaning in times of the corona pandemic?
Haag: As long as we don’t have any sick people in the household, we can wipe all surfaces as normal with a household cleaner, washing-up liquid or a diluted vinegar essence. That is completely sufficient. If you want to be on the safe side, you can make your own mixture of essential oils and water. Lime and tea tree oil, for example, have antiviral effects. It’s better for the environment.
If someone in the house is ill, a household cleaning agent is usually sufficient. Every day, all surfaces such as toilets, light switches, door handles, bedside tables, bed frames and other bedroom furniture that the sick person comes into contact with must be thoroughly wiped off. In our current situation, however, I can definitely understand if you resort to a disinfectant when cleaning.
What should you watch out for when cleaning with disinfectants?
Haag: The preparation must always be at least “limited virucidal” so that it works and it should not be used beyond the illness, as its ingredients can harm the body and the environment. When using disinfectants, it is also important to always follow the instructions on the packaging so that the disinfectant really works.
Hand disinfectants should not be used on surfaces as they can leave additives and residues on the surfaces. And: not all disinfectants for surfaces are suitable for all surfaces. You can attack them and in the worst case even destroy them.
Spray disinfection actually only makes sense if you want to disinfect things that are difficult to reach. Because when spraying, you often have the negative side effect of inhaling the atomized disinfectant. And don’t forget: Always leave it on for a long enough time – at least 20 to 30 seconds. And then wipe it off! Because with this “mechanical” process, germs are also removed.
Should we clean more and more thoroughly when there are many people in one household?
Haag: I would say: yes and no. The more people, the more dirt, the more cleaning. This applies in normal times as well as in the pandemic. But that’s also clear: a household with small children and pets makes more dirt than a single household. But in Corona times, the effort doesn’t really increase, because you don’t have to constantly clean after every single person.
Should we change the bed linen more often at the moment?
Haag: Usually a weekly change is enough, but we should change the bed linen at least every two weeks if we don’t sweat so much. When we are sick and feel really terrible, the bed is the perfect resting place – unfortunately also for viruses and bacteria that stay in the tissue. So pillow and duvet covers need special treatment. If the worst is over, the bed linen must be washed, preferably at 90 degrees. This is important not only because of the infection, but also because the sick body sweats a lot. It is best to wash contaminated laundry separately. And don’t shake the dirty laundry and avoid direct skin contact.