February 22, 2011

To do list -- disinfect your house

If you made the slime from yesterday's post, you may want to read on as today's post is all about cleaning up!  I usually stay on top of common household chores that need to be done frequently: cleaning the bathrooms, dusting, vacuuming, doing the laundry, loading the dishwasher.  But what really makes me feel good is tackling a cleaning project that accomplishes something other than routine maintenance of the house.

I love "to do" lists and always have a bunch of them scattered around the house.  So I thought I would introduce a new post on tasks to put on our to do lists (but that only have to be done every so often).  Since we're still in the cold and flu season, I am starting with an important task: disinfecting your house.

Mr. Chocolate Cookie Teeth says, "Germs?!  What germs??  And why don't you find all my fingerprints on the walls charming?!"

I have had students come to class so far this semester with laryngitis, strep throat, the flu, stomach viruses, and all kinds of colds.  In addition to loading up on the fruits and veggies and taking my vitamins, I try to prevent all these germs from making it too far into our house.  We take our shoes off as soon as we get in from the garage and try to wash our hands after every outing.  I am not a big stickler about carrying around antibacterial gel or only using disinfecting soap.  I routinely catch our four-year-old swapping kisses with the dog, so I don't think the antibacterial soap would do much to fix that problem!

I clean the "icky" germ places frequently, but as I learned from my high school biology lab, those places that we think of as icky (like bathrooms!) are not always the worst offenders when it comes to germs.  (I remember how disturbing the petri dish was that was filled with a swab from the public pay phone.  And, yes, that's how old I am: when we needed to call home we had to beg the office staff or find change for the pay phone!)

So periodically I try to go around our house and disinfect some surfaces that don't get cleaned every day.  You can use a wipe or just paper towels and some spray.  Some options for disinfecting products:

Lysol Disinfecting Wipes

Clorox Disinfecting Wipes

Method Antibac Wipes

Seventh Generation Disinfecting Wipes

Obviously there are a lot of similar products out there, including several all-natural ones with no bleach, in case that's a concern for you.  I have used a few different natural products and only recommend that you give them a sniff before buying; sometimes the smell is less than lovely, though probably no worse than a big whiff of bleach!

Here are a few surfaces that I try to disinfect on a semi-regular basis:

Doorknobs (interior and exterior)

Light switches

Blinds (the little rod used to open and close the blinds)


Laundry baskets and hampers

Washing machine and dryer (knobs, top, and interior)

Drawer pulls and knobs

I chose this project for the first "to do list" post because it takes hardly any time at all and always makes me feel like my home is just a little bit cleaner and safer.  Even if your light switches aren't harboring germs, you may be surprised at how much brighter and cleaner they look after a quick swipe with a damp cloth.

Happy cleaning!


Anonymous said...

Norwex cloths are an excellent addition to your cleaning pail. They contain embedded silver that kills over 99% of bacteria. Just dampen the cloth and wipe; no chemicals or cleaners required.

Anonymous said...

Norwex microfiber cloths are an excellent addition to your cleaning pail. They contain embedded silver that kills over 99% of bacteria. Just dampen the cloth and wipe; no chemicals or cleaners required.

Nikki said...

such a great post! i need to do a good disenfecting...I may have to look into the Norwex microfiber cloths as the person above mentioned.

Nicole @ one half world said...

Anonymous -- thanks for the tip. I hadn't heard of the Norwex cloths but those sound great too!

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