Some germs can survive for several days on household surfaces like kitchen work surfaces and sinks, and frequently touched surfaces like telephone handsets, door handles and light switches. It is important that you remove germs from these areas so they do not act as a source of contamination.
Cleaning and disinfecting are not the same thing. Cleaning means using detergent and water to remove dirt and some of the germs, whereas disinfecting means actually destroying the germs.
In some situations, (e.g. for small items such as cutlery and crockery), cleaning with detergent and water can remove sufficient germs, provided you can thoroughly clean all the surfaces and then rinse them with clean (preferably hot) running water, and then dry them properly. However, where proper rinsing is not possible (e.g. for large or fixed surfaces such as kitchen worktops, taps, toilet flush handles and door handles) it is important that you use a disinfectant or antibacterial multipurpose cleaner or cleanser to kill the germs, especially after handling raw food and when someone in your home is ill.
The following areas are those in your home where it is particularly important to clean frequently.
Try to make cleaning and disinfection of the germ hotspots part of your daily routine.
Washing your hands with soap and water is one of the most effective ways to stop the spread of germs. Every time you touch a dirty or potentially contaminated surface, you can transfer germs to and from your hands – but proper and thorough hand washing helps to remove the germs from your hands. Hand washing is important, but antibacterial soaps and hand washes provide extra protection against bacteria that cause many common illnesses such as food poisoning. If you feel you require this additional protection, you may choose to use an antibacterial soap or handwash.
You can still keep your hands clean even if water isn't available. Hand sanitisers are designed to kill germs on hands that are not visibly dirty, without the need for water or towels.