We've been washing our hands like pros for months now, and anytime we leave the refuge of home, we’ve got a bottle of hand sanitizer by our side. But as we begin venturing into the world more frequently, there are some spots in our homes that require extra cleaning attention, says Matthew Renfro, who owns home cleaning company the Cleaning Authority in Mentor and Broadview Heights. “That’s where you spend the majority of your time and cleanliness and hygiene start at home,” he says. “You always want to make sure things have been wiped clean and you’re trying your best to live clean and healthy lifestyles.” Renfro gives us some pointers on areas and items in the home that we may overlook when deep cleaning.
As our gateways to the outside world, Renfro says mudrooms and foyers can be teeming with germs, surviving on coats, coat racks and the bottoms of our shoes, as well as backpacks and purses, which are often dropped here. “You just had your shoes out on the pavement and that could bring in germs,” he says. And the area is easy to overlook, as it’s usually a transitional space where we’re rushing in and out. Use a disinfectant to clean doorknobs, flat surfaces and baseboards, and mop the floor regularly. “It’s constant in and out traffic, much like an office building,” says Renfro. “A lot of germs are coming in and out.”
Clean Screens (And More)
While Netflix, Disney+ and Hulu have made channel surfing somewhat obsolete, the TV remote still gets a hefty amount of use by every member of the household. But laptops, video game controllers and, yes, your phone, are often not accounted for when it comes to cleaning the house. “Things like that you really need to wipe down and try to keep them clean,” says Renfro, noting that antibacterial wipes containing peroxide or alcohol get the job done. “It’s never going to be perfection, but we want to lower the numbers and lower the risk of the spread of germs.”
Bathrooms and kitchens get all the germ-fighting attention (and for good reason), but Renfro says laundry rooms can be just as dirty. “You’re out and about, you’re in the general public,” says Renfro. “It’s just common bacteria and germs that are out there [that can get on your clothes].” Make sure you take time to incorporate cleaning and disinfecting around your laundry machines, including regularly running the sanitization option on your washer — especially if they’re in an area of the house that’s easily ignored, such as the basement. “It’s kind of the old adage: out of sight, out of mind,” says Renfro.