Effective Cleaning Tips To Prevent Infections At Home

AD. A year ago I was in the “a little bit of dirt wont hurt them” camp of parenting, but 2020 has changed many things. In the last year I have realised just how much my children touch and how often their fingers end up in their mouths. That “dirt” I wasn’t really worried about now includes a virus that scares me. Data seems uncertain about how widely COVID-19 affects children and how easily they can spread it, but there are two facts I know: a lot of people have died this year and I want to keep my family as safe as possible. 

Tips for cleaning at home with a product that kills Coronavirus on surfaces
It's more important to me than ever to keep my home clean

I might not currently be allowed anyone to visit, but like many people I still want to know: how can I reduce the chance of COVID-19 and other illnesses entering my home and how can I clean effectively to kill traces of bacteria that might lead to illness? 

Effective Cleaning At Home

Unlike my children I have a good understanding of how easily germs spread, but I have generally aimed for visibly clean rather than fully sanitised. I didn’t feel the need to kill 99.9% of viruses and bacteria on everything we touch; I guess I felt that a low level of exposure is good for building my children’s immunity. Now though there is one virus I want to make absolutely sure is killed and I don’t want us exposed to any other illnesses either.

The cleaner I used to use around the house is a gentle one which removes dirt well and doesn’t contain harsh chemicals, but it doesn’t kill viruses. They had to send out an email clarifying that while using their product correctly will clean surfaces because germs etc get wiped away, they aren’t “sanitiser or disinfectant”. It’s hard because you can’t see traces of viruses or bacteria that are left behind when you have cleaned so for peace of mind I want to ensure that we are being as safe as we can be.

Why Choose to #Clinellit at Home?

I became familiar with Clinell when I worked for the NHS. Their Universal wipes are used by 9 out of 10 NHS hospitals and they are now available to buy on Amazon for use at home. Manufactured by British company GAMA Healthcare, the Clinell Universal range is proven to kill 99.999% of bacteria including MRSA. This makes the Clinell Universal Wipes 100 times more effective than standard household cleaners which claim to kill 99.9% of bacteria while being dermatologically tested to be kind on hands and skin. Most importantly for me in the current climate is that Clinell Universal Wipes are proven to be effective against SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, in a 30 second contact time (ref 1).

As someone who is constantly trying to reduce waste I have a bit of a conflict using single use products like these, but I balance it out with the importance of protecting my family. Clinical evidence shows single-use disinfectant wipes are more effective than sprays and cloth. Having a convenient product which works will help us to stay healthy and that is my priority right now. I am continuing with all the other changes I have made to be more eco-friendly and I think we still throw away less than many families.

Some of the Clinell range including universal wipes and antimicrobial hand wipes
Clinell products are trusted in hospitals for cleaning and are now available for home use too

Tips for Cleaning at Home

Whichever products you use to clean your home there are a number of ways you can make sure you are cleaning better:

  • Check how effective your cleaning products are against viruses and bacteria. Even if they are good enough for normal cleaning you might want to use something better if anyone becomes ill or you have people visiting.
  • Make sure you are using the cleaning products properly. This includes everything from using the correct dilution to making sure it is left on surfaces for the correct contact time. Clinell Universal Wipes are formulated to keep surfaces wet for the whole 30 second contact time the surface being disinfected needs to remain wet for the disinfectant in them to work.
  • Do you need to clean and disinfect? Clinell Universal Wipes clean and disinfect in a single action, this means surfaces do not need to be pre-cleaned before disinfecting, unlike with chlorine-based surface products. The convenient wipes ensure the effective dose of disinfectant is always delivered reducing the chance of human error.
  • Use the right cloth for your cleaning product. Some products recommend using a wet cloth, some a dry one so again it's important to follow each products instructions. You also need to replace cloths regularly while cleaning rather than trying to use one for your entire kitchen. 
    When compared with reusable cloths and sprays, clinical evidence shows that single use disinfectant wipes have more consistent efficacy. The active ingredients of the spray disinfectant can become trapped in the cloth itself (a process known as ‘adsorption’), allowing microorganisms to survive on the surface. The single-use Clinell Universal Wipes don’t have this issue, but you should still only use one wipe should per surface.
  • Wipe correctly. Rather than using a circular motion it is recommended that you wipe with an “S” shaped motion moving across a surface from the cleanest areas to dirtiest.

5 principles of cleaning recommended by GAMA healthcare

5 principles of cleaning recommended by Gama Healthcare

Daily cleaning

On a day to day basis I am using Clinell Universal wipes on high touch areas where we are most likely to bring bacteria home from outside. This includes: in the car (door handles, seat belts and steering wheel), car and house keys, our doorbell, door handles and taps which are all touched when we come into the house and wash our hands. This is in addition to the normal surfaces that are cleaned regularly like kitchen worktops.

Keeping Visitors Safe

When we start to be allowed to have visitors again I want to make sure I do what I can to prevent infection if anyone is unknowingly unwell. My children touch pretty much everything, but as adults we are better at controlling ourselves so I will be using the wipes both before and after their visit to clean the areas the adults are likely to come into contact with. These include: door handles, the toilet flush, baby gates, kitchen surfaces, cupboard handles, tables and chairs.

Keeping Safe When Out and About

The Clinell range also includes antimicrobial hand wipes which are as effective as soap and water. These are handy for taking out with me so I can clean the children’s hands before eating. My children seem unable to last 5 minutes when they are hungry, but if they have just come out of school or they been running around a playground then I want their hands to be clean before they go into their mouths. In the past I have used reusable wipes or baby wipes, but I was never convinced they would be effective if a nasty bug was on their hands and I have been known to forget them. I now have some of the individual hand hygiene packs in my bag, pockets and car. I have even persuaded my partner to stick a few in his coat pocket so we always have some on hand.

Clinell Antimicrobial spray for hands and surfaces and individually wrapped hand wipes
Clinell antimicrobial spray and handwipes

The Clinell Universal wipes, Clinell Antimicrobial Hand Wipes, Hand and Surface Spray and Hand Gel ranges are available on Amazon.

Reference 1: Virucidal Effectiveness Test conducted by independent laboratory. Results found: https://gamahealthcare.com/latest/clinell-efficacy-against-coronavirus-covid-19 [accessed October 2020]

***Disclosure: This is a collaborative post with Clinell***

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