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covid-19 Archives - TOD

The what’s and how’s of home disinfecting

By | Cleaning

Our homes are a safe haven where we can relax and recover from the outside world. Unfortunately, we wind up bringing home the world and all its germs too through dirty hands, shoes, clothing, and phones.

Good household hygiene means cleaning and disinfecting the same areas you tackle in normal times, but now at this time of heightened awareness of one’s hygiene – we have to level up our cleaning a bit more frequently or with industrial-strength type products. 

First up: cleaning vs disinfecting

Cleaning shouldn’t be confused with disinfecting. The former means you’re removing germs but not killing, while the latter means you’re actually killing them. This difference is important because you might clean surfaces effectively but you might not be disinfecting, leaving germs and bacteria to fester and grow. 

The where’s:

For a more comprehensive ‘where to clean’, check out our article on “Cleaning the forgotten areas of your home” here

But generally, pay attention to food preparation surfaces and other high-touch surfaces, including light switches, remote controls, doorknobs, refrigerator door, and microwave handles, and your computer keyboard. You don’t need to panic-clean. Smart, targeted hygiene throughout the day and week is the best way to go.

The tried and trusted disinfectants:

  • Before disinfecting, remove any visible dirt and grime; this will help the disinfectant do its job. 
  • The tried-and-trusted disinfectants such as bleach, hydrogen peroxide (hydrogen peroxide expires six months after opening but can last up to three years unopened), chloroxylenol (the active ingredient in Dettol) and rubbing alcohol. Look for any product that has an alcohol content of 60 percent or higher.
  • Also, any soap is good soap – for hands, body and, clothes washing – but for deep household cleaning, we recommend chemicals a bit stronger. 

The method:

  • When using any type of disinfectant, emphasize the importance of waiting 30 seconds to a couple minutes for the product to effectively kill a germ or virus. 
  • Bleach is one of the most economical disinfecting agents. Create a bleach/water solution using the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommended recipe of a quarter-cup bleach per 2L of water. 
  • Safety tip when using bleach: Never mix bleach and ammonia together, as it creates a dangerous and potentially deadly chlorine gas. Generally, don’t mix chemical products. 

Let’s get disinfecting!

– TOD

Useful things you can do at home during lockdown

By | Home

Okay, so we’re all stuck at home for a good while, and it’s important to find meaningful ways to spend your time during the long days at home. New routines are a necessity to stay healthy and maintain a high level of productivity whilst maintaining a sense of order and peace.

The tasks below will lighten your home by helping you organise and get to things that have been long overdue.

Move the furniture into one room and do a deep clean

Get your family to help you move all the furniture from one room into another and clean. As you move each item back, vacuum and clean them. Don’t forget the cushions too.

Renew your bookshelves

Take all the books down from one bookshelf in the house. Take all the books from that pile that you no longer want and store them, sell them or pack them in a bag to donate. Wipe down the shelves and configure the books you do want on there.

Get your bill payments streamlined and up to date

If you’re not all set up with online bill paying it can take some time to set up, but you don’t have to do it all in one go, and time spent on it now can save you hours and hours later on.

If you’re already set up, take a look at your beneficiaries and make sure they’re up to date, and add any that aren’t on there yet. Alternatively, contact all the companies you pay every month and set up debit orders through them.

Review and set goals for the rest of 2020

You may have started a list at the beginning of the year, but if you didn’t, now is a great time to start. It’s never too late to set intentions for how you’d like the future to unfold. If you already have a list, it might need some review and what a perfect time to do that. Start by visualising what the rest of the year will look like after the lockdown has ended, think of your home, your family and professional goals. Stay optimistic, we’re all going through this hard time together and we will come out of it, failure is never fatal.

Organise and reduce the size of your inbox

Spend half an hour decluttering your inbox by archiving important emails and deleting ones that don’t need to be kept. You’ll be amazed at how much lighter your inbox will become with just a little time spent doing this.

Meal prep

No more packed lunches and so easy to get everyone fed now that we’re all at home. You might’ve felt this way at the beginning of lockdown but you’ve probably gone from a quick breakfast, a packed lunch and cooking supper to cooking 3 meals a day. Meal prep might come in handy. Spend 15 minutes at the start of the week and think about and plan lunches and dinners. This will help you be prepared by having everything you need in advance and make mealtime less frantic.

Organise photo albums

Do you have a pile of family photos you’ve been meaning to organise for a while? Use this time to plan what you want to do and finally get round to putting them in albums.

Wash reusable bags

When was the last time you washed your gym bag, your reusable shopping bags or the kids schoolbags? For most people, the answer is never, and, sure, this might not change your life but it’ll give you and your kids a fresh start when things go back to normal.

Refresh your kitchen cabinets

This might be a bigger task, but you could break it up into smaller chunks by doing a little each day. Empty each cupboard and wipe down the inside before packing all it’s contents back neatly. Get rid of things you don’t want to keep, such as tupperware without lids, and make sure to throw out that expired food.

There are a number of us that have longed for more time at home to get things done. Using this time at home to do some organising and cleaning will save you time later and give your home a fresh feel and give you a sense of accomplishment.

– TOD

Cleaning those forgotten areas of your home

By | Cleaning

So you’ve got the basics covered by now, right? Hands, cell phone, remote controls, keyboards – touch heavy goods – cleaning these daily, or even double/triple daily for your health should really play a major role in staying healthy during the age of a rampant virus. 

In that case, at TOD we have compiled some useful and generally overlooked items that need a good scrub every now and then (read: NOW). A general cleaning tip before we get started can be to clean from top to bottom; let gravity do a bit of the work for you. 

Kitchen:

Dishwasher: it may leave your dishes sparkling, but your dishwasher isn’t self-cleaning. If it’s been a while since you cleaned your dishwasher, you may need to dedicate some time to scouring the filters and loosening up old food and grime. 

Dish rack: this needs a clean every couple of days to prevent mould from the stagnant water.

Coffee maker: different machines have different cleaning mechanics, but stay safe and DO clean it every week or so, hot water and general washing soap will be best. 

Sink: you should actually be doing a daily scrub of this after you’ve finished up with the dishes – potential leftover food particles can become a danger zone if left for too long.

Can opener: stop putting it back in the drawer after each use! 

Garbage can: a strangely overlooked no-brainer. This should be done with some industrial strength anti-bacterial as well as hot water, a couple times before letting it dry. An incredibly useful hack for odour control is sprinkling baking soda on the bottom of the can before you insert the trash bag. 

Fridge drawers:  They may look clean and transparent, but there could be any number of bacterial strains lurking in the corners. Because e. Coli often covers the surface of fresh fruit and vegetables, it’s important to wash out your refrigerator drawers often.

Bathroom:

Toothbrush holder: surprisingly dirty – this should be cleaned as frequently as you do your toilet/bathroom. 

Toothbrushes: surprise, surprise! These get real dirty real quick and need to be replaced every month. 

Shower curtain: Ideally done once per month because shower curtain liners harbour mould, especially at the bottom of the curtain, where it absorbs a lot of moisture. To clean the liner, remove it from the rings and put it in your washing machine with a half-cup of baking soda and a couple of towels. Run it through a normal cycle with warm water. The baking soda and towels work together, scrubbing the liner to get rid of the grime and soap build-up. Hang dry.  

There you have it! Stay safe, stay clean and stay tuned for more useful and efficient household tips. 

– TOD

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