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Home hygiene

Keeping your home clean helps to avoid germs spreading and causing illnesses. A germ is a microbe that causes disease. Not all microbes are germs – there are many microbes in our environment that do not, or only rarely cause infection.

In any home there will be many millions of microbes including some germs. Good hygiene doesn’t mean getting rid of all the germs in the whole house; it means getting rid of as many germs as possible, where and when there is a risk of them spreading and causing infection.

A healthy place to live

Washing with hot, soapy water and using disinfectants to clean floors and surfaces, and washing laundry at the right temperature to kill germs can help make your home a healthy place to live.

Cleaning means removing visible dirt by vacuum cleaning, damp dusting, or washing with warm water and detergent. Cleaning removes dirt and some germs but does not necessarily reduce them to a ‘safe’ level.

Hygienic cleaning means removing dirt and getting rid of as many germs as possible, either by removing them or killing them by disinfecting.

  • Removing germs can be by thorough cleaning with hot water and detergent and then rinsing to remove the germs.
  • Disinfection can be achieved using heat or by using a product that states it ‘kills’ germs
  • Sometimes a combination of removal and killing is used.

After hygienic cleaning, surfaces should be dried. Drying can be by air drying, tumble drying, hanging to dry or by using clean towels, cloths or paper towels on surfaces.

It’s also really important for you, your child and others in your household to keep your hands clean to help stop germs from spreading. Teach your child how to wash their hands

Read more about how to stop germs from spreading on NHS UK