DIY Sanitise Your Home with These 5 Steps

Sanitising is an important part of keeping your home clean and safe, and especially during the colder months when things are closed up, viruses and germs are known to run rampant. It can be tempting to reach for the bleach or the disinfecting wipes, but do you really want to add chemicals to the air and surfaces in your home?

You can use chemical disinfectants like bleach for a truly deep clean and fresh smell, but there are also a number of different household items and ingredients that you can use to get the same result. Whilst a guide on how to sanitize your home can provide explicit instructions, it's always best to start with you. Wash your hands often with soap and water, don't touch your face and use hand sanitizers when water isn't readily available, especially if you live with someone elderly or susceptible to sickness.

Step One: Clean Top-to-Bottom

Assorted cleaning chemiclas on a bench top

One of the biggest problems with eradicating germs and bacteria from homes is that people don’t clean in a linear fashion. They will clean the counters and sweep the floors, and then dust the fans or lights and put more dirt and debris right back on the surfaces they just cleaned.

If you start from the top-down, dusting and wiping everything down, you’ll be much less like to re-contaminate surfaces and you’ll be able to get everything disinfected the first time.

Follow this quick checklist to get you started and remember complete each task from the top down. Always be sure to wear gloves and check the labels of your cleaning products before beginning to disinfect your home.

Kitchen

  • Clean light switches, door handles and other high touches areas
  • Clean inside your microwave
  • Wipe down the sink and all countertops (be sure to rinse the sink once completed)
  • Clean surfaces of kitchen appliances
  • Mop floor with a disinfectant solution (NOTE: If your floor is made from natural stone, see our marble cleaning guide for a safer way to clean them)

Bedroom

  • Wipe down switches, door handles and other high touches areas
  • Wipe down hard surfaces with a disinfectant based cleaning product

Living Areas

  • Wipe down hard surfaces with a disinfectant based cleaning product
  • Wipe down switches, door handles and other high touches areas
  • With a cloth and disinfectant solution, disinfect your remote controls and TV stand
  • Mop floors with disinfectant

Bathroom

  • Sanitise and deep clean your bathtub
  • Disinfect shower
  • Mop and wipe down bathroom tiles with a disinfectant
  • Wipe down light switches, your door handle
  • If you use a shower curtain, wash it
  • Liberally use a spray action disinfectant on the outside of your toilet and in your toilet bowl.
  • Mop tile floors with disinfectant

Step Two: Go for the Most-Touched Areas

Male hand in light blue protective gloves cleaning sofa couch in the room.

Take a walk through your house as if you’re just going about your daily business. Think about all of the surfaces that you and your family touch on a daily basis. Things like hard surfaces, light switches pull chains, remote controls, doorknobs, the fridge and dishwasher door handles, and other items that are touched throughout the day by multiple hands are magnets for germs and bacteria and need to be cleaned regularly.

At least once every week or two, you should wipe down all of your switches, knobs, and other commonly-touched surfaces to ensure they remain clean and sanitised.

Step Three: Use What You’ve Got

House cleaner holding cleaning chemicals in a bucket

Leading store brands claim to be the only choice for safely sanitising your home, but you really don’t need harsh chemicals or alcohol to disinfect every surface. In fact, you can get the job done in most rooms of your home with simple household ingredients.

Use baking soda and lemon juice in the kitchen, and baking soda on your furniture and upholstery throughout the house. You can even use vinegar with hot water or peroxide mixtures to clean and disinfect your bathroom and other areas of the home.

If you take advantage of what you have on hand, it will be much easier for you to sanitise your home without compromising the safety of your family.

It's ironic that these products that are designed to supposedly improve our lives can also be so dangerous. They are an option and you should definitely use some kind of alcohol or bleach after a serious outbreak of illness or germs, but they shouldn’t be your go-to choice for daily cleaning and sanitising.

Step Four: Wash Everything You Can

Closeup view of woman washing her hands thoroughly

If you can’t wipe down or disinfect a surface or material, can you throw it in the laundry? Pillows, linens, and even soft toys can be laundered to remove germs and kill bacteria, giving you an easy way to sanitise that doesn’t take a lot of effort.

If you can wash toys in the sink with a solution of vinegar mixed with hot water, you’ll get them nice and clean in a matter of minutes and never worry about the harshness of bleach and other cleaners.

If it can’t be washed in the laundry or the sink, find the best way to clean and sanitise it, based on the type of surface and how dirty it is.

Don't forget to wash down walls, windows, window sills, and other high touch surfaces that you might not consider to be “dirty” on a day-to-day basis. If you are taking the effort to sanitise your home, you’ll want to make sure that you are doing it properly, after all.

Step Five: Spray, Sanitise, and Repeat

Woman wiping down wooden surface with a blue cloth

Part of keeping your home clean and sanitary is regular maintenance and care. You should create disinfectant spray bottles for your sanitising needs and prepare to do a thorough cleaning and disinfecting of your home every two to four weeks, depending on how much traffic you have, what season it is, and whether people have been ill in your home.

The biggest key to avoiding germs is prevention, after all, so you should do your best to keep them at bay by cleaning regularly. This is another reason it’s helpful to find natural solutions to sanitise the items in and around your home.

Not only is it less harsh on your surfaces, but it will keep you from ongoing exposure to potentially toxic chemicals like bleach and ammonia. Sanitising your home can be done without a single chemical if you are willing to put in a little extra effort.

Stop Defaulting to Bleach

Bleach is a great germ killer. Everyone knows that it is the preferred choice for sanitisation in many residential and commercial settings.

Even pools smell strongly of bleach, thanks to the chlorine that is used to clean and treat the water. Bleach solution is nothing short of a miracle when it comes to cleaning and disinfecting. However, it is not the only option that you have.

Take the time to explore alternatives to sanitise your home with natural cleaners or ingredients that you have around the house, including those listed here.

In addition to being great on germs and bacteria, bleach is also caustic and toxic. Its fumes can be hazardous to your family’s health and the residue can be dangerous if not properly wiped clean. Is it really worth the risk when you can use safe solutions like baking soda or vinegar to get the same results?

One of the biggest keys to success with sanitising your home is to let everything dry very well after you have cleaned it. Whether it’s air-drying the mattress that you sprayed with baking soda and water or letting the kids’ toys air dry after you wash them in vinegar water, the drying process is important.

That will ensure that the moisture doesn’t get trapped and create even more germs or a potential risk of mould or mildew, which would be even worse than the germs you were trying to get rid of in the first place

Adriana Aziz is the operations manager at MaidForYou. With over 6 years of experience managing cleaning operations, she knows all the best hacks when it comes to cleaning residential and commercial buildings. With expert experience in managing house cleaning operations, interior design and logistics. She spends her free time with her family and as a freelance food critic.

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