How clean is your home really? Expert reveals most commonly overlooked areas

Like the majority of Australians, you have no doubt ramped up your cleaning schedule amid the coronavirus crisis in a bid to remove any nasty germs lurking on surfaces and protect the health of your loved ones. But, according to an expert, there are a few areas that quite often go untouched during the regular cleaning routine.

While wiping down kitchen benches, doorknobs and the toilet seat is essential, Lisa MacQueen, co-founder of Cleancorp, says there are other high-touch points to be aware of such as dishwashers and garage door handles. Although Covid-19 has heightened people’s sense of cleanliness and hygiene, Lisa says it’s easy to forget to clean certain places.

“Most people are used to cleaning things like the TV remote, door handles, handles on taps, but around the house there are so many high touch points that you don’t even think about when you go about your normal day,” she tells Starts at 60.

“In apartment buildings some don’t have automatic doors for the garage and so people have to open it manually – that’s a high-touch point. So are the buttons on the dishwasher and the keyboard – especially during lockdown.”

Lisa says all of these surfaces should be cleaned thoroughly using domestic cleaning products first to remove dirt and grime, followed by a disinfectant.

However, Lisa says you don’t need to go overboard and start cleaning everything in the home, with paper items like envelopes being fine to leave, unless you’ve been touching them often with unwashed hands. And if you’ve been self-isolating as recommended, and avoiding leaving the home as much as possible, it’s fine to maintain your usual cleaning schedule – just with a heightened level of awareness in terms of hand hygiene and cleaning high-touch points when returning to the house.

“A hospital-grade anti-viral is best for killing bacteria,” she adds. “This should be left on the surface to do its job for about 10 minutes or so, then wiped off. This gives you a really high level of cleanliness and peace of mind that the germs are gone.”

Towels shouldn’t be forgotten either, Lisa warns, with recommendations to wash the items after every use instead of every few days. The cleaning expert says although it will use up some extra water, germs can thrive on towels and they need to be cleaned regularly, preferably in a hot wash.

With that in mind, Lisa advises people not to panic and stresses that as long as they’re practicing social distancing, being careful with hand hygiene and taking the steps the government and health department have set out, they will help to defeat the pandemic and personally feel safer and more confident.

“Follow those rules and don’t be lulled into a false sense of security just yet,” Lisa says. “Although we’re seeing the curve coming down it’s still too early to be shaking hands with neighbours and doing things like that. Continue to take precautions that have been recommended.”

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