Proper and safe sanitation is necessary for health. There are many ways to keep the surfaces and items you utilize on a daily basis sanitized. From cleaning and disinfecting, laundering, and properly washing your hands, maintaining safe sanitation can seem more complicated than it actually is.
While it may seem like a thoughtless task you do, most people do not wash their hands correctly. Washing your hands should be done after the following times;
- After blowing one’s nose, coughing, or sneezing
- After using the restroom
- Before eating or preparing food
- After contact with animals or pets
- Before and after providing routine care for another person who needs assistance (e.g. a child)
To properly wash your hands, use warm water and soap for 20 seconds. Remember to focus on the back of your hands, your fingernails, and all the way to the wrist to ensure maximum cleanliness. If you cannot wash your hands, you can use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. When using hand sanitizer be sure to follow the 20-second rule as well and rub the gel over all the surfaces of your hands. Be sure to avoid touching your faces if your hands are not washed.
Cleaning refers to the removal of germs and dirt, whereas disinfecting refers to using chemicals to kill germs. While cleaning does not kill germs, it lowers the possibility of germs spreading by removing them from surfaces. Surfaces that are frequently touched should be cleaned on a regular basis. These surfaces include tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks. To properly clean a surface use warm water and soap.
To correctly disinfect and area you can use a diluted household bleach solution, an alcohol-based solution with at least 70% alcohol, household cleaners, or you can create your own bleach solution. To make your own bleach solution you can mix 5 tablespoons of bleach per gallon of water or 4 teaspoons bleach per quart of water. When disinfecting, remember to keep the surface wet for several minutes with the disinfectant solution for several minutes to ensure germs are killed. If someone in your household is expected to have a virus or infection, frequently touched surfaces should be disinfected on a daily basis.
For soft surfaces and other items such as clothing, towels, and linens, be sure to launder items as possible. Dirty laundry from a person who is sick can be washed with other items. Be sure to clean and disinfect your hampers as well. For items that cannot be put in the laundry, clean using soap and water or with the appropriate cleaners.
If someone in your house has an illness be sure to use disposable gloves when cleaning and dealing with infected items. Proper sanitation techniques can help prevent illnesses and germs from spreading to you and your loved ones.
by Mike Cardenas, Marketing Specialist