Since the pandemic, hygiene has been at the forefront of everyone’s mind, whether it’s by washing our hands more thoroughly and often, or keeping clean in general, many people have been investing in different ways to stay safe.
A new report from Dettol revealed the most searched cleaning related online queries since the outbreak of Covid-19. People have been searching for a greater understanding of how to clean their homes and workspaces during the pandemic. Dr Lisa Ackerley, a Professorial Fellow of the Royal Society for Public Health and prominent hygiene expert, has shared her top tips and advice on cleaning your home, and advised which of our cleaning woes are really important.
Break the cycle of infection
Many people have been searching for ways to deep clean their homes since the outbreak of Covid-19, with an increase of 200% in popularity of these searches. Dr Ackerley states that deep cleaning your home is meaningless unless you’re disinfecting the important things first, such as washing your hands as soon as you get home to break the cycle of infection. For instance, if you deep clean your home and then come back from somewhere and touch objects around your house, you’re bringing the infection back inside.
Dr Ackerley advises to break the cycle of infection with targeted cleaning and not a constant deep clean. By cleaning specific and key areas which are frequently touched by yourself and other members of your household, such as door handles, handrails, taps and the toilet flush. Keeping these areas clean will help break the cycle of infection and eliminate bacteria spreading around your home.
The importance of disinfectin
Queries around how to disinfect areas and items around the house were also revealed in the top most popular cleaning related online searches. ‘How to disinfect door handles’ increased in popularity by a whopping 556%, surface disinfection by 586%, while laptops by a similar 457%. In general, ‘how to disinfect’ online searches grew in popularity by 430% the past year.
Similarly to the above, Dr Ackerley suggests breaking the cycle of infection by disinfecting key areas of your home and to avoid passing the infection to other members of your household. One of the best ways to disinfect an area is with a disinfectant spray or antibacterial wipes as this helps kill bacteria.
The outbreak of Covid-19 has made more people alert and aware of how crucial it is to stay safe and clean and many have looked up different ways to keep themselves and others safe from germs. Due to more people disinfecting vital areas of their homes, this has resulted in people focusing less on other ‘traditional’ areas of cleaning, such as getting rid of mould on walls, which decreased in popularity by 75%, ‘how to clean a burnt iron’, which decreased by 55% and ‘how to remove wax from clothes’, down 18%, as people shifted their cleaning priorities.
The importance of cleaning shared spaces and devices
Not only is disinfecting crucial in our homes, but in other areas too such as your car and workspace. For instance, there has been an increase in people searching ‘how to clean an ipad screen’ (+160%) and their phone (+300%). Dr Ackerley’s guidance is to wash your hands when you enter your workplace and to wipe down surfaces with disinfectant sprays and wipes to ensure that the area is clean. In a shared space it is important to clean shared devices or gadgets and work areas/ surfaces to ensure the infection isn’t being passed from one person to the other.
The research by Dettol has suggested that people are looking to keep their homes and devices clean and disinfected since Covid-19. Dr Ackerley’s expert advice is that people should continue to clean and disinfect the key areas and items in order to break the cycle of infection. This doesn’t have to be time-consuming and focusing on small areas can help kill bacteria and stop it from spreading.