Whether it’s your home or office, certain areas of the building tend to be more used, traveled through, and see more footfalls than others. Children, pets, visitors, family members, friends, neighbors, maintenance, and cleaning staff pass through your home’s “public” regions. Other areas are more private and don’t experience so much activity. Busy places are often less well-maintained than others, and not surprisingly, more accidents are caused here. Because there’s so much human (and animal) movement here, it’s logical that these places could become a breeding place for various microbes, fungi, bacteria, viruses, and insects. To protect the occupants and visitors, it’s important to know how to disinfect high-traffic areas in your home and office.
There is a huge difference between sanitizing and disinfecting. Whether we like it or not, most of us are familiar with these terms. Sanitizing is a less intensive process while disinfecting helps to eliminate almost all the microbes, allergens, and disease-causing organisms found on various surfaces.
What Are High Traffic Areas?
Visualize your city – some areas have more traffic than others. The same holds for living and working spaces. If you observe your home closely, you can easily spot the high-traffic areas.
Entryways and hallways
The path from Kitchen to Living Room and Bedroom
Corridors from Bedrooms to Bathrooms
Main entrances and exits
Halls and dens
These are places where people frequently move, often in a hurry, and since they’re transit areas, you may not pay much attention to them as you’re rushing through, day after day.
These areas typically show a track or path, especially on carpets. Homes and offices, like roads slowly develop a travel lane along the carpet. The colors look more faded, and the fibers thin out, often showing the fabric underlay. This is because dirt and debris may comprise sharper particles that wear away the fibers or flooring.
Why Should You Keep These Areas Clean and Hygienic?
Since high traffic areas experience more movement and footfalls, they are places where mud, soil, grime, grease, dust, debris, and other dirt are deposited. Your shoes carry them in. You may remove your footwear as you enter the house, but the hallways and entryways still get contaminated. If you leave your footwear on as you move through the building, the nasty stuff gets transferred to other areas too.
The germ-carrying materials spread throughout the home, causing various allergies, diseases and infections. Infants, toddlers, and pets in the home are especially vulnerable because their movements are restricted closer to the ground. Seniors are also at risk because their immunity levels are lower.
Apart from the disease factor, a shabby and unkept entrance, staircase or hallway is certainly not a pleasant sight. It speaks volumes about the hygiene in the rest of the house. Apart from high traffic areas, certain areas are “high touch” areas. Don’t forget to add them to your cleaning schedule.
You can lower your stress levels, and that of your family’s when you make a workable plan for disinfecting these often-used areas. Apart from this, your healthcare costs can be trimmed significantly by following a few basic rules for disinfecting high-traffic parts of the house. For example, several infections that attack body parts ranging from the stomach to throat and lungs can be prevented, reducing your trips to the doctors.
How To Disinfect High Traffic Areas
You can tackle this issue at the planning stage itself. For example, if you’re moving into a new house, grab the opportunity to identify the high-traffic areas. In older homes, you can recreate the entire space and mark off the regions where people move around most. On the other hand, when you’re renovating or refurbishing, you can use your experience of the older space to work the concept. Maintaining a disease-free and squeaky-clean environment is a top priority with the lessons we’ve learned from the pandemic.
Surfaces that are touched often must be cleaned more often
Follow the instructions on cleaning product labels
Wash your hands after disinfecting
Make alterations to your routine and habits if there is a risk of infection
Analyze: Make a detailed assessment of the materials, fabrics, furniture, and accessories in high-traffic areas of the home. Different surfaces need to be cleaned in different ways. For instance, counter-tops, doorknobs, staircase banisters, and other hard surfaces can be wiped down with soap and water solutions. This method works for visibly dirty surfaces too. Items often touched, such as switches, must be sprayed with a store-bought or natural disinfectant solution and left to dry. Ensure that surfaces that children could touch are not cleaned with harsh chemicals as they could carry them from hand to mouth.
Carpets: If you have carpets in high-traffic areas, you can be sure they’re dirt traps. You will have to work out a cleaning schedule that allows extra time to get these areas spic and span. Vacuum these carpets thoroughly at least once in two days. Hang rugs out in the sun. Tackle spills and stains immediately to prevent the growth of bacteria and mold. Get your high-traffic area carpets cleaned professionally at least two or three times a year. Remove carpets in high-traffic areas and opt for smaller rugs and mats made from washable fabrics.
Use Natural Cleaning Agents: Knobs, switches, handles, coats, hats, door frames, keys, phones, and umbrellas transfer germs from hand to hand as you pass through high-traffic areas. Disinfect the area with natural cleansers such as vinegar and baking powder spray. Avoid store-bought products as they contain a high level of chemicals.
Get Quality Cleaning Equipment: When dealing with the problem of disinfecting high-traffic areas, ensure that you invest in good-quality cleaning equipment. Buy the best, well-known, branded vacuum cleaner that you can afford. This helps to clear dirt, dust, debris, and mud from the carpet. If you have a wooden, tiled, or laminate floor, you can use a robot cleaner to eliminate dust mites and micro-organisms.
When you plan to disinfect the high-traffic areas of your home, you must work with a plan. This helps you to develop a systematic routine and ensure that every surface is disinfected according to its unique qualities. You must pay attention to high-touch areas to thoroughly complete the disinfecting process and keep your home’s family, friends, and visitors safe and disease-free.