Science-based cleaning hacks to keep your home free of germs and viruses.
Updated: Jan 14
By ALEXIS ROCHESTER
When the pandemic first became official in March 2020, I had just had emergency knee surgery.
As I sat on my recliner unable to move, I got out my laptop and saw so many emails from readers.
Long-term readers were concerned about this pandemic, what should they do? What did I think?
New readers were suddenly coming to Chemistry Cachet to make DIY cleaners and get science-based tips on keeping their homes safe.
My website blew up in March of 2020 while people were searching for solutions. Everything started selling out of stores, so you couldn’t find store-bought cleaners for months.
So I propped up my knee, sat down at the computer and wrote this blog post. I wanted to give a quick reference on some proven science-based tips to keep germs out of your home that I have been doing for years.
This blog post is still a great reference for people to keep their homes healthy and safe for their families.
Regardless of the pandemic, these tips are good for any type of sickness in your home or just basic cleaning, disinfecting and good hygiene practices.
TAKE OFF THOSE SHOES INSIDE YOUR HOME
When you are out and about, the number of germs on your shoes is crazy!
I make everyone in my house wear designated house shoes.
I also keep a package of shoe protectors on hand. These are a good idea if workers come into your home. They can just throw them away when they leave your house.
Is this going to make an impact on viruses? No, but it's a good hygienic practice for germs and dirt.
Not to mention, it will keep carpet and floors clean.
WASH CLOTHES OFTEN
If anyone in your household is sick, washing clothes is key.
Disinfecting clothes is simple. You don't need anything fancy for this. Just use regular detergent and a regular cycle on your clothes.
We did a great blog post last year about disinfecting clothes you can read here. In this post, we explain more details and also making sure you are disinfecting the laundry basket.
CLEAN COMMON SURFACES
One of the key parts of this original blog post was explaining the difference between cleaning and disinfecting.
They must be done in two steps to be correct. Most people just clean a surface, but don’t follow up with a disinfectant. Even if you use store-bought cleaners that also disinfect, you can read the back label and these exact instructions.
When it comes to keeping germs and viruses out of the home, cleaning commonly touched surfaces like handles, door knobs, faucets, and things like this is important.
First you clean it, then you follow up with a disinfectant (I like rubbing alcohol). Spray the disinfectant on the surface and let it sit 5-10 minutes before wiping it off.
Alexis Rochester is an investigative chemist, blogger and founder of Chemistry Cachet. She shares science-based skin care, cleaning, gardening and health tips. She was diagnosed with RA at age 10, so she has a passion for pain management tips and research, along with sharing her journey through this disease. When she’s not writing for Chemistry Cachet, she is taking Pilates or Barre classes, and also received her Barre teaching certification this year! She grew up in Stephenville and recently moved back with her daughter, husband and bulldog. You can find her posting pictures and fun stories daily on Instagram. Also look for Chemistry Cachet on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and LinkedIn.