As the lockdown in the UK slowly eases, social gatherings are allowed again, but with a slight twist. You see, with regards to England, now you can have people around your place, indoors, as long as the total number doesn’t exceed 30 people and social distancing of between 1 and 2 metres is observed. This means that you can’t yet invite folks in your home for your dream wild hen party. And when it comes to outdoor gatherings, you can safely gather friends and family for a barbie in the garden, as long as there are no more than 6 people from different households and the total number, again, doesn’t exceed 30 people. This means that you can have your brother and his 5 kids, along with the grandparents, come over for a bite to eat in your backyard. These distancing rules change in accordance with the situation, so naturally, some regulations may no longer apply in the near future.

Right then, you’ve decided to invite guests over, knowing well the above-mentioned rules. You’ve got some recipes out and planned what to cook. But is your place nice and clean to reassure your visitors of its safety? It’s highly recommended that you take some extra precautions and make sure your home is as germ-free as possible. The same applies after you wave ‘goodbye’ to your family and friends. After all, you have no idea what little Peter, your nephew, could have brought in from school.

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So, let’s see how to sanitise and clean your place before and after your gathering with extended family or friends.

How to disinfect your home properly

As general house cleaning has been taken to a whole new level in recent months, due to the global health crisis, just dusting here and there and running a mop over the floors, before inviting guests again, simply won’t do. You’ll need to use proper disinfectants and antibacterial detergents, so your visitors feel somewhat safer, once in your home. Let’s not forget that for some more vulnerable people, like your elderly in-laws, this may be the first time going out in months, after a long period of self-isolation. 

And as we said earlier, you may well repeat the disinfection process again, right after your guests have left (for the same reasons).

What can you use to sanitise surfaces?

Bacteria and viruses have different “shelf” life on different surfaces and can be eliminated with different types of disinfectants, depending on the pathogen’s structure and type. Still, proven substances that kill various types of germs are bleach, hydrogen peroxide and strong alcohol-based solutions. The easiest way to clean surfaces is to fill a spray bottle with a disinfectant. For floors, you can go traditional by using a mop and a bucket.

  • Bleach – Use a bleach solution (diluted with water) to disinfect floors and bathroom fixtures.
  • Hydrogen peroxide – A 3% percent solution can be used as it is and it’s a great disinfectant for high-touch surfaces, countertops and furniture.
  • Alcohol – Use a 60-70% alcohol-based disinfectant, again, on surfaces that are touched frequently by people like door handles, fixtures and fittings, workbenches and so on. Alcohol is especially effective against viral cross-contamination.

Now we can get down to the proper way to clean and disinfect:

  1. When cleaning any kind of surface, always remove the top layer of dust and foreign particles first. You do this by scrubbing with either warm water and soap, or by using a specified detergent.
  2. Spray the disinfectant of your choice by holding the spray bottle about 15-20 centimetres away from the surface. The sprayed surface should be covered in a light mist after you spray.
  3. Keep the room well ventilated when disinfecting with a bleach solution.
More on this topic: DIY surface disinfection

Metallic surfaces, such as door handles and keys may become lighter after disinfected with hydrogen peroxide. So if you don’t want this to happen, use alcohol on metal surfaces.

With that out of the way, let’s start…

How to sanitise your kitchen before the arrival of your guests

The place in your home where food is prepared and stored should always be thoroughly cleaned to avoid bacteria and germs build-up.

The following items need to be cleaned and disinfected daily (recommended before and after use).

  • Countertops – Clean the benchtop surface with a detergent, warm water and a dishcloth. Afterwards, disinfect it with the solution of your choice.
  • Cutting boards – You can use the exact same method for both plastic and wooden boards. Wash thoroughly with very hot water and soap. If the board is old and has plenty of knife cuts, consider either sanding it (if made from wood), or replacing it entirely.
  • Utensils and cutlery – Place all your cutlery, silverware in boiling water for up to 10 minutes. The pots and pans should follow next. Boiling hot water is the preferred and the safest method in this situation. If you’ve got a dishwasher, then the job will be a piece of cake.
  • Appliances – Sanitise well your cooker, oven, fridge and microwave, as you’d normally do. Your brother-in-law won’t appreciate grabbing a cold beer from a sticky and messy-looking fridge. 
  • Disinfect packaged food and drinks – Quickly wipe all packaged supplies, you’ve just purchased for your party with antibacterial hand wipes, just in case, such as bottles of pop, wine bottles or food in plastic covering. Wash greens and veg thoroughly under the tap.
  • Sink – plug the drain and fill the sink up with warm water. Add one tablespoon of the already mentioned chlorine bleach. Let the solution sit for several minutes, while you clean and disinfect the handles and faucets.
  • High-touch surfaces – Disinfect well all fixtures, door and window handles, window sills, kitchen cupboards doors and knobs, storage units, as well as furniture with a cloth dipped in a disinfectant.
  • Floor – vacuum thoroughly and wash with a mop and bleach. Kindly ask your visitors to take off their shoes before they enter your home.

Some other things to keep in mind:

  • Replace sponges and dishwashing cloths with new.
  • Change your dish towels at least once a week, more often is recommended
  • Once you do the initial cleaning and disinfecting of kitchen surfaces, you can maintain the areas germ-free by using disinfectant wipes.
  • Always wash your hands before and after touching food.

How to sanitise your bathroom

In general, bathrooms are ideal places for bacteria and mould to grow if not cleaned and ventilated regularly, due to the wet conditions and high humidity. And when it comes to having family and friends around, surely they’ll need to visit the bathroom during the course of their stay. So, make the right impression and ensure yours and their safety by disinfecting every surface before and after the gathering.

Be sure to thoroughly clean and disinfect your:

  • Sink – Clean and spray with a disinfectant. Take some extra time on polishing the faucet and taps.
  • Shower cabin or tub – Follow the same procedure as with the sink, regardless of whether your guests are staying over for the night and actually need to use the shower or bath tub.
  • Toilet – Clean and disinfect the exterior, including the flush handle. Afterwards, generously pour a toilet bowl cleaner in the bowl and wipe clean with the brush. Speaking of the brush, do not forget to sanitize the toilet brush from, as well. Leave some disinfectant wipes nearby, so guests can wipe the seat when needing to use the toilet.
  • Bath towels – Always replace with a fresh towel after you have guests over.
  • Other high-touch surfaces – Clean and disinfect the door handle and other bathroom accessories with an antibacterial wipe or a cloth and alcohol-based disinfectant.
  • Floor – Sanitise the floor with a bleach solution and do not forget the hard-to-reach areas, such as behind the toilet.

How to sanitise your living/dining room

Different items in this room are made from a wide variety of materials, and some would require a different approach than using the standard cleaning methods.

  • Windows and mirrors – Clean your windows and mirrors as you would normally do, and afterwards spray some anti-bacterial solution. Finish by wiping with a microfiber cloth for streak-free results.
  • Electronics – A simple wipe with a cloth dipped in antibacterial solution would usually suffice, however always check for any special instructions. Some devices may get damaged either from the moisture or the solution. If such a risk is present, buy electronic wipes.
  • Furniture – Clean and wipe surfaces with a disinfectant spray. Try not to overdo it with furniture pieces with multiple coats of paint.
  • Upholstery – If cushions have removable covers, run them through the washing machine. Vacuum clean your soft furniture and spray the upholstery pieces with a suitable disinfectant well before your visitors arrive so that the items can dry completely.
  • Floors – Vacuum carpets and rugs well. Mop any hard floor areas by using a disinfectant solution made of diluted bleach.

Guests arriving soon and no time for all of this? Call us!

Fantastic Services is offering a complete antiviral sanitisation and disinfection service that will help you prepare your property for the long-awaited reunion with relatives and friends. Or, if you need a helping hand with the clean-up once your get-together is over, you’ll find our domestic cleaning extremely helpful for that occasion. Call us or book your desired service online today!

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Takeaways

  • Do not mix disinfectants, because they might create a toxic chemical reaction, such as vinegar and hydrogen peroxide.
  • Label the solution you used and keep it away from children and pets.
  • Always ventilate when disinfecting.
  • Disinfect high traffic areas and most used items before and after your gathering with friends and extended family.
  • Kindly ask your visitors to wash their hands as soon as they arrive and during their stay.
  • If you’ve invited people for a sleepover, make sure to sanitise the guest room, too.
  • Ensure to observe the recommended social distancing advice, issued by the authorities, both indoors and outside in your garden!

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Did you find this article helpful? Are you planning to have friends over for the first time? Please, share with us in the comments below!

Image Source: Shutterstock / Chutima Chaochaiya

Posted in Cleaning Guides, Life Under Lockdown

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