April 2020

How Clean is Your House? 7 essential tips to protect your home from Covid-19

How Clean is Your House? It’s probably not clean enough, according to Dr Javid Abdelmoneim and Dr Lisa Cross who will be fronting a revamped one-off coronavirus special of the Channel 4 classic tonight.

The 60-minute lesson is an essential watch to kick the Covid-19 crisis from the comfort of your own home.  Javid and Lisa guide viewers through two homes, each with their own unique circumstances, with simple instructions to keep you and your family safe. Fear not, you’re already well equipped: bleach, soap and water is all the armour you need and if you’re washing hands thoroughly, you’re more than halfway there.

But we can all do a little bit more to get this virus to jog on and escape this lockdown as swiftly as possible. Metro.co.uk caught up with Javid and Lisa ahead of tonight’s How Clean Is Your House? and took us through some of their top tips to protect your house during the coronavirus pandemic.  You’ve got this, guys.

What should I be doing when I walk through the door?

This is arguably the most important step because without taking the right precautions from the moment you return after food shopping or exercise, there’s every chance of spreading bacteria across your home. ‘The most important thing to disinfect is not an area but it’s the utensils you use or the actual sink where you perform your first-hand wash when you come indoors,’ explained Javid. ‘Until those utensils and that sink itself and the towel from which you dry your hands have all been cleaned and disinfected you haven’t completed that chain of infection prevention control.  ‘You come in and wash your hands, but those splashes from droplets can potentially have virus on it. If you were using a bottle of soap there’s the bottle itself – those items needs a disinfected too because the next person who comes along they’re going to get cross contaminated.’

How to protect someone with coronavirus symptoms in your home

Javid breaks us down into three categories: the isolators, people who are self-isolating because they have symptoms of Covid-19; the distancers, people without symptoms who are in the same home; and the shielders, the extremely vulnerable adults at severe risk from coronavirus through medical conditions. Keeping high risk loved ones safe in such tight proximity is tough but it can be done. It’s all about preparation, which Javid talks us through below:

Should I be wearing gloves at home?

The simple answer is, no. In fact, unless you’ve been trained how to remove gloves you probably shouldn’t be wearing them at all.  ‘The thing is with gloves people might tend to wash their hands a bit less,’ stressed Lisa. ‘The glove will protect you but it’s how you take them off. In a lab, we’re trained in a way to take our gloves off so it doesn’t come in contact with any part of our skin and not everyone will instinctively know who to do that.’ Javid added: ‘No, there’s no use wearing gloves if you don’t perform all the proper precautions. If you’re catching a sneeze or a cough with a gloved hand that’s still a dirty hand. So it’s utterly pointless. If you’re going to wear gloves to remind yourself not to touch your face that might be useful.  ‘I wouldn’t recommend wearing gloves indoors because if you wear gloves for very long it becomes a warm and sweaty environment, and if you haven’t washed your hands before putting gloves on, any other bugs might like that warm sweaty environment so then it becomes a hot mess.’

Keeping the loo seat down is essential

Keeping the loo seat up isn’t just a bit rank, it’s potentially very dangerous. Currently, the coronavirus is only spread through the respiratory route, but in the SARS epidemic, there was evidence of fecal-oral transmission. As it stands the virus hasn’t mutated to follow suit, but we should be prepared in case it does.  ‘The main thing is if it does change transmission to fecal to oral is the loo seat,’ insisted Lisa. ‘And you think your toothbrushes are always near, or at least often, to your toilet seat and if the aerosol from the toilet… I knew that before because my Ph.D. was in Norovirus so I’m a very stringent put the loo seat down sort of person.’

Spend more time disinfecting your hallway 

While your kitchen and bathroom may be the obvious areas to scrub down everyday, it’s actually the hallway which is vital to keep spotless from germs. ‘I think in terms of the bathroom, you’re used to getting the bleach out there and going to town,’ Lisa told us. ‘But the hallway is where the outside comes in so the should be targeted place there. If you’ve got a washable floor then wash it.’

How to bring your food shopping home safely

Bringing anything from the outside world into your home is risking a brush with the virus, but there are ways to limit the bacteria spreading while unpacking your food shopping.  Lisa guides you through simple steps to safely unload your food shopping here:  https://youtu.be/Jk3_tChA21k

Should I take these measures after the pandemic? 

‘Some of it will be ingrained into us but hopefully, when the pandemic is over, we don’t know when that will be,’ said Lisa. ‘I don’t know if we’ll be disinfecting our houses the whole time but a good level of sensible and targeted hygiene because as we all know we all need a level of friendly bacteria on our skin. It will go back to normal, it will, but it will just take time.’

Javid stressed: ‘Good hygiene and good cleaning everyone should be doing anyway. I think what we’re trying to do is give extra care in those spots. It’s probably a bit much doing this for the rest of your life but why not take those extra measures when the flu comes around every year or if someone comes down with diarrhea and vomiting bug every year?

‘These things come around and are connected by people. I’d take these measures if someone comes down with any infection, but I wouldn’t be doing a daily disinfect of that door or that door handle for every day for the rest of my life.’ How Clean Is Your House? airs tonight at 8pm on Channel 4.

By Adam Miller, Thursday 9th April 2020

Source: Metro Online

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