With winter on it’s way, it brings with it colder weather, darker nights and winter illnesses. With coronavirus still around, you maybe concerned about how you can keep your family protected.

As well as staying home and washing your hands, making sure your house is clean will help prevent germs from spreading. 

Here’s how you can keep your home clean, and what to do if you live with others and need to self-isolate. 

A woman with cleaning supplies

Here’s the NHS’s top 5 tips on home hygiene: 

1. Focus on areas where germs are more likely to spread

This is your kitchen and bathrooms. You should use either soap and hot water to rinse the germs away, or a disinfectant to kill them.  

Make sure to dry surfaces including worktops and chopping boards after cleaning. Dampness can help germs to survive on the surface, and if there’s enough water they can multiply.  

Try to clean germ hotspots regularly, such as the toilet seat, handle and rim clean with a disinfectant. Clean your bath and sink frequently too. 

2. Don’t forget to wash what you clean with

Make sure to clean your cloths and sponges, so they don’t spread germs to other surfaces in your home. Wash them at 60c after use. If you use a washing-up brush, wash them in a dishwasher regularly or clean with detergent and warm water after use.  

3. Food preparation advice

It’s best to ensure the surfaces where you make food are clean before you start preparing anything. If you’re cooking anything, use separate chopping boards for uncooked food such as raw meat, and any food that doesn’t need cooking like salad leaves. 

Remember to wash and dry your hands after handling goods such as raw meat and clean your surfaces after you’ve used them.  

4. Washing your clothes

When washing your clothes, all underwear, towels and household linens should be washed at 60c or 40c with a bleach-based washing liquid or tablet to prevent germs. It’s also best to wash your hands after handling dirty laundry.  

5. Don’t forget your kids’ toys

Like anything in your house, your children’s toys need to be cleaned. Any hard or plastic toys can be cleaned by washing them and putting them away after they are dry. If they’ve got soft toys, most can be cleaned in the washing machine.   

Top tips for self-isolating when you live with other people: 

If you or one of your family members has developed symptoms of coronavirus, you will need to self-isolate. This means staying at home, and not going out. It’s best, if you have symptoms to try:  

  • Staying in a wellventilated, separate room 
  • Use different crockery and cutlery to your family and use separate towels and make sure to change them regularly  
  • Make sure surfaces are cleaned and washed with your usual cleaning products like detergents and bleach as they are effective at getting rid of the virus on surfaces 
  • Clean frequently touched areas, such as door handles, remote controls or table tops 
  • Used tissues and disposal cloths should be stored securely within a rubbish bag, which should then be placed into another bag, tied and then kept separate from other waste. Put this aside for at least 3 days (72 hours) before putting in your usual outside waste bin.  

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