A safe home is a happy home. Knowing how to prevent germs and sickness is an important part of that. Being able to avoid bacteria that causes you to fall ill is actually easier than you may realise. With simple changes to your lifestyle and cleaning routine, we’ll show you how to prevent germs from causing you and those around you to fall ill more often than you have to.
Top 10 tips to avoid bacteria and prevent germs around your home
It’s easier to avoid bacteria when you’re in your own home, as you can be in control of the different areas around your home, from the kitchen to the bathroom. Here are top tips for how to kill germs in the house and avoid bacteria.
- Avoid bacteria being brought in from outside. Whilst you can control the spread of bacteria within your home, you’re less likely to control the bacteria picked up outside the home. To reduce the risk of bringing bacteria and germs in:
- Avoid touching public stair banisters, door handles and surfaces, at school or at work.
- Consider carrying an antibacterial hand sanitiser with you to clean your hands if you have touched areas often in contact with many different people’s hands.
- Have a no shoes rule. Ensure that everyone removes their shoes before entering the house so that bacteria and germs on the soles cannot be trodden into floors, carpets and rugs.
- Ensure you thoroughly wash and dry your hands. This is especially important at times such as:
- Before food preparation
- After working with raw food
- After using the toilet
- After being in contact with a friend or family member who is unwell
- After being outside, in particular if you have used public transport
- Before eating
- Always keep raw and cooked food separate. A good tip for this is to store cooked food above raw food, so that potentially contaminated raw food cannot drip onto safe cooked food below.
- Disinfect any chopping boards or equipment thoroughly. This is important to do both before and after preparing food. An extra step to avoid bacteria cross-contamination is to use different chopping boards and knives color-coded for raw meat, cooked meat, vegetables, and dairy.
- Make sure that food is always cooked thoroughly. This will help you avoid bacteria most commonly found in raw meat. This is especially important for poultry, pork, and minced meat. While steak and whole pieces of beef or lamb can be cooked rare, these cannot.
- Clean all the surfaces around your home regularly. Ensuring that you thoroughly clean surfaces such as kitchen counters, any sinks where you wash your hands, and other regularly touched surfaces such as door handles and stair banisters will help avoid bacteria build-up. Using a cream cleaner like Cif helps to prevent the spread of germs.
- Thoroughly clean your toilet, especially after use by someone with a stomach bug. Cleaning the toilet with a pure bleach product like Domex as opposed to a detergent–bleach mix ensures a longer contact time between bowl and agent. This makes for total germ kill. Remember to take care when using bleach, and read the safety guidelines first.
- Wash your clothes and bedsheets. This may seem like an obvious point to make, but it is essential you regularly change your clothes and bedsheets over and wash them. This should be done at least once a week and regularly throughout a period of illness to prevent the bacteria making you unwell again once you recover.
- Make sure you wash your cleaning cloths too. The cloths that you use to clean your home, from dust rags to washcloths, all need washing regularly in between uses. Whilst they are more environmentally-friendly than disposable wipes, they are a breeding ground for bacteria.
- Don’t forget to clean your tech. Whilst the places in your home that are most often visited and touched are important to keep clean, so are the things that you use most often with your hands. From laptops to phones to TV controllers, ensure that you regularly clean and disinfect them to avoid bacteria growing and spreading from these areas.
Prevention of germs: 5 ways to prevent germs spreading
When multiple people live in the same space, it's hard to avoid bacteria, and germs can spread quickly and easily. Being in close contact with other members of your household who have fallen ill is why you are often prone to catching colds in cold weather: everyone is inside together.
It has little to do with the weather itself. Thankfully, we have some tips for how to kill germs and prevent them from spreading even if you or someone in your home is unwell.
- Always wash your hands. This is especially important before preparing or eating food, in particular if you have recently been in contact with someone who is unwell, or have coughed or sneezed into your own hands.
- Be careful where you cough or sneeze. Many germs spread through inhalation of fine droplets produced by sneezing and coughing. Instead of doing so into your hands, sneeze and cough into the crook of your elbow or an antibacterial tissue. Throw the tissue away and wash your hands thoroughly afterwards.
- Ensure that you segregate utensils and drinks. Whether it is you or another member of your household that is unwell, it is important that you do not share cutlery, glasses or other items used for eating or drinking. This will help those who are feeling well avoid bacteria being spread to them.
- Wash down toys. An important step in understanding how to prevent germs from spreading is to keep pets' and kids’ toys clean. Pets, babies and toddlers are prone to popping toys straight in their mouths so it’s important to ensure they’re as clean as possible to avoid bacteria contact.
- Get plenty of rest. The quickest way to get better, and therefore avoid bacteria spreading infections around your home, is to get some rest. Rest will help your immune system recover and fight off the infection.
Now you have all the tips for how to prevent germs spreading as well as some great advice to avoid bacteria growing in your home. With this guide, you will be able to ensure that you and your family can remain safe and healthy as much as possible.
- Wash your hands thoroughly.
- Keep on top of cleaning; especially regularly touched surfaces such as the kitchen, bathroom, stairs, toys and door-handles.
- Wash clothes, bedsheets, washcloths and cleaning cloths at least once a week.
- Keep raw and cooked foods separate.
- Cook food thoroughly, especially pork and poultry.