3M's guide to keeping your home sanitised

The maker of the in-demand N95 mask and other disinfectant tools puts together a guide on how best to keep your home germ free, and a primer on keeping your tools disinfected too

Sanjit Satapathy
Updated: May 6, 2020 10:01:59 AM UTC
Image: Shutterstock

While cleaning has always been important, the need for it today cannot be stressed enough. The current situation has forced most of us to stay home and ‘flatten the curve’. But the success of this lockdown is equally dependent on us keeping our homes safe, sanitised and hygienic.

And to make your home the safe zone that it should be, we have created a list of simple and easy tips to follow.

Thorough cleaning
It is important to keep all areas and surfaces of the home clean. This includes the kitchen slabs, dining area, floors and bathrooms. These are areas that need to be cleaned thoroughly and frequently to prevent grime and dust settling. Disinfecting them is very important. Cooking and serving utensils need to be thoroughly cleaned to prevent growth of bacteria.

Common areas that we normally miss: Dusting of doors and windows, cleaning and disinfecting doorknobs, appliances, personal gadgets, hard to reach corners of bathrooms, kitchen tiles.

Tips to make the task easier: Create a schedule—this will ensure that you have time for each task. Allocate work amongst your family members and make it a family activity.

Use better tools and agents
It is good to use specialised disinfectants and tools. This will ensure that all areas are disinfected, and the task is completed in no time and thoroughly, without missing any spots.

There are specialised kitchen cleaners with disinfectants that ensure your kitchen surfaces are germ-free. Use kitchen cleaners with absorbent tools, such as sponge wipes. To keep your cooktop clean and scratch-free, use microfiber cloth that removes fine dust and stains.

Floor cleaning need not be back breaking. Use handled mops instead of rag cloths or used towels for mopping. Pair these with disinfectants to remove fine specs of dust and keep them germ free.

Pay special attention to the cooking and cleaning processes. All groceries, milk packets, vegetables and fruits must be thoroughly washed as soon as you get them into the house. It is best to avoid outside food. And since more cooking and eating at home means more dishes—buy tools with a comfortable grip, like a scouring sponge, that ensure totally clean, sparkling and hygienic utensils with minimum effort. Use a trusted dishwash bar/liquid.

Tip: Protect yourself with a good pair of gloves while cleaning your home.

Increase the life of your tools
It is important to also disinfect your tools. Following simple steps will keep your household tools clean and hygienic and extend its life.

Wash all your kitchen cleaning towels and microfiber wipes with good quality detergent (either handwash or machine wash) and dry them. If using a sponge wipe, wash it clean with water and squeeze excess water without wringing. Leave to dry.

Mops, brooms and bathroom brushes tend to trap hair, etc. Remove these as soon as possible. Dip the mops and synthetic brooms in warm soapy water with disinfectants. Clean with fresh water, wring and leave to dry. Wipe the handles with a wipe and disinfectant. Clean the mop bucket with soap and water.

Clean toilet brushes with hot water and soap/bleach. Ensure they are dry before you put them back into the holder.

Keeping your scouring pads and sponges hygienic is of utmost importance. Since they clean food, you need to keep them clean to cut down the bacterial growth. Wash the scrub sponge or scrub pad with dishwash bar/liquid and squeeze dry. Store it away from the liquid/bar. Use an anti-bacterial scrub pad and sponge to prevent bacterial growth.

Despite this, cleaning tools will need to be replaced. We are cleaning more often than before, with chemical disinfectants. Replace your scrub pad/scrub sponges at least once in 20 days. Kitchen cloths needs to be replaced at least once in 4-6 months and sponge wipes every 1-2 months. Mops come with refills that should be replaced at least once in 3-4 months.

Tip: Buy tools with refills, so they last longer. 

The writer is head of consumer business at 3M India

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The thoughts and opinions shared here are of the author.

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