cleaning tools
Posted on August 19th, 2019 by Speare Memorial Hospital

A Healthy Home – Maintaining a Healthy Environment

Patients at Speare Memorial Hospital consistently rank the hospital’s cleanliness as high and often comment about it in satisfaction surveys. In charge of keeping Speare hygienic, Jerica Vallie, director of environmental
services, knows best how to clean a home and keep the germs out.

Jerica cleaning mirror

Part of a healthy lifestyle is maintaining a healthy environment to live in. Proper hand hygiene is the best way to prevent the spreading of germs. Disease-causing bacteria is most often transferred to your hands from everything you touch. The best protection is simply to wash your hands with soap and water for 30 seconds before and after activities throughout the day. Using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer is quick and effective when your hands are not visibly soiled. Antimicrobial soaps have not proven to provide additional health benefits and could release harmful agents into your environment.

cleaning tools

Beyond cleaning your hands is cleaning the surfaces your hands come into contact with. The order in which you clean your home is far more critical than the cleaning products you use. Here are a few key points to an effective cleaning process.

  • Cleanest to dirtiest: Start by cleaning the room that is likely to have the lowest bacterial count. The bathroom typically has a higher microbial load than the living room or bedroom. Washing your hands and changing your cleaning rag between rooms can prevent cross-contamination. As I often explain to my staff, you wouldn’t wash the bottom of your feet and then your face with the same cloth! The same goes for cleaning your home.
  • High Touch Surfaces: It is important to remove organisms from the surfaces we touch frequently, like doorknobs, light switches, faucet handles, and TV remotes. Although these areas appear “clean” to the naked eye, when studied under a microscope, they are some of the most contaminated areas in a home.
  • Elbow grease: There is a variety of cleaning products on the market today that claim to disinfect your surfaces. None of these products will be effective without the presence of good old elbow grease! The physical action of cleaning removes the bulk of contamination on a surface. Once a surface is sufficiently clean, chemical disinfectants can be useful in destroying remaining germs.

As concerned as we are about safeguarding ourselves from external threats in our home, we must not discount the preventable harm within our home. So, wash your hands, roll up your sleeves, and fight off infections!

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