The end of the global pandemic may be in sight.
With vaccination numbers increasing, COVID numbers decreasing and many businesses opening back up, it looks like ‘normal’ might be just around the corner. The coronavirus pandemic has changed our lives in more ways than one. We’re wearing masks, staying socially distant – and cleaning just about everything in sight.
Cleaning routines are a positive effect of the pandemic. Cleaning well and often has many health benefits, from reducing the risk of the common cold to keeping your spirits up. Below, we break down the reasons that you should keep up your cleaning routine, even post-COVID.
Weekly cleans reduce the spread of germs
Most of us have been cleaning our houses a lot more frequently since the start of the pandemic – and this is a good thing. Weekly cleaning reduces the spread of germs and helps keep families and businesses happy and healthy.
However, in our efforts to keep our homes clean, we may not be doing as good a job as we think we are. Last May, the New York Times published an article with little-known facts about cleaning – we were as surprised as anyone to find out that it’s possible to ‘clean wrong.’ This is what we can do about it:
- Let disinfectants sit on surfaces: it’s tempting to spray and wipe, but some products are more effective if you allow them to sit on surfaces. Read labels carefully for the best results.
- Sanitizer vs disinfectant: some products might say that they ‘sanitize,’ which means that they reduce the level of bacteria, not viruses. A disinfectant implies that the product works against bacteria and viruses.
- You can use one wipe to clean multiple surfaces – but pay attention to the amount of disinfectant that’s still on the wipe: you don’t need to use a new wipe for every surface, but pay attention to how wet each wipe is. When your wipe starts to dry out, it’s time to get a new one.
If this is overwhelming, or you want to outsource this part of your weekly routine, plenty of professional services are available. The professional cleaners at SERVPRO have even developed a COVID-19 specific disinfectant, designed to keep your family and business as safe as possible.
Cleaning reduces allergy and asthma irritants
Regular cleaning can reduce allergens and asthma-related irritants in your home. The Mayo Clinic has broken down some of their best tips for reducing the allergens in your home, room by room:
- Bedroom: the Mayo Clinic recommends encasing all bedding in dust mite-proof covers and washing bedding at least once a week. They also recommend choosing easy-to-clean furniture and avoiding upholstery.
- Living room: experts recommend removing carpet entirely or using washable rugs to reduce irritants and closing windows in favor of the air conditioning during pollen season.
- Kitchen: the Mayo Clinic recommends cleaning countertops and washing dishes daily, as well as installing a vented exhaust fan to reduce moisture – a little-known irritant.
- Bathroom: experts recommend drying the tub and shower after each use and cleaning up any mold on the toilet and sink. They also recommend removing carpeting and wallpaper and replacing them with water-resistant materials.
Cleaning keeps you active
In addition to keeping pesky germs at bay, cleaning can also be a great supplement to your fitness routine – if you know what to do. The experts at Very Well Fit recommend adding these exercises to your cleaning routine to maximize those heart-healthy benefits. We love the multitasking element, too!
- Step into a full lunge each time you reach the vacuum or mop forward for a lower body workout that you can do at any time.
- Stand on your toes while scrubbing surfaces or stand on one leg when wiping to tone your core and lower body.
- Opt to take the stairs if you’re carrying a heavy load of laundry or tools for a workout you can add to your chore list.
Cleaning reduces stress
Did you know that the regular cleaning routine you’ve developed during the coronavirus pandemic reduces your stress? A recent Huffington Post article broke down the reasons why cleaning can be calming:
- Cleaning gives us a sense of control: controlling our environment helps us feel calmer if we’re nervous about something, which makes cleaning a great way to relieve stress.
- Cleaning allows us to practice mindfulness and get those endorphins flowing: for the experts at Huff Post, “cleaning is a form of ritual, or repetitive behavior that’s repeated and predictable.” What does this mean? It allows us to practice mindfulness – and if you scrub hard enough, you can get those endorphins pumping, too.
- Cleaning makes us feel accomplished: when you finish cleaning, you feel a sense of accomplishment – you’ve completed the activity you set out to do, which gives confidence. This confidence can spill over into other areas of life, giving us the boost we need to tackle even bigger things after we’ve cleaned the kitchen.
Cleaning can boost confidence, reduce the risk of disease, and prevent the spread of a global pandemic – who knew that all of those benefits were in a bottle of antibacterial gel!? This year, we challenge you to keep up your cleaning routine, no matter what coronavirus has in store. You’ll be glad you did.