At the Whitehouse Guest Rooms, we have always worked hard to ensure the highest levels of cleanliness in all of our rooms, but the rise of COVID-19 around the world certainly requires all of us to look at cleaning differently. Whether at home or in public spaces, the focus on cleaning is no longer about removing dust or cobwebs as we work to understand how the virus reacts when it lands on various objects - such as door handles and other everyday objects including mobile phones.

Here are some tips for ensuring you stay safe and healthy*:

Wash your hands when entering a room or building

When entering your home or any other building after having been out, make sure to wash your hands thoroughly. If you have unknowingly come into contact with the virus then this helps to protect you and it also eliminates the risk of the virus entering the building where other people can come into contact with it.

Avoid sharing objects

Sharing objects increases the risk of the virus spreading. Even if it’s a spoon for making coffee, it’s best to use a different spoon or wash it thoroughly before and after use. If it’s not possible to avoid sharing then limiting usage or regular cleaning is suggested (now who is in charge of the TV remote!?).

Sensible regular cleaning

It’s important to clean surfaces and areas that you regularly come into contact with but, it’s not something to get stressed out about and feel that you need to spend every living hour cleaning. It’s important that regular cleans are thorough to reduce the chances of the virus surviving on any surfaces in your home and doing this is possibly more important than cleaning the same area every 20 minutes!

Materials that are used for cleaning should also be washed after each use or thrown away to avoid any germs and viruses from spreading back on to any areas that are cleaned later on.

Avoid door handles if possible

Door handles and door plates are regularly touched by people’s hands and even more so in public areas. If possible, keep doors open and avoid using door handles. Obviously, it isn’t always possible to avoid door handles (or to keep them open) but they should be avoided where possible.

Avoid hand rails if possible

Hand rails on stair cases, balustrades, and even escalators are also regularly touched by many people's hands. So if possible and where it's safe, try not to touch these surfaces if you can help it. Of course, you will need to use hand rails if you require the added stability and this must be a priority but if you do use handrails for stability make sure you do not touch your face or eat food afterwards without thoroughly washing your hands.

Have kids? Create positive habits - and make washing hands fun

Anyone with kids or who has had kids will appreciate how challenging it can be to get them to wash their hands, teeth, hair and anything else regularly, but we live in unprecedented times and the need for clean hands is more important than ever. Making sure children are aware of the importance and creating a good habit of washing hands for a full 20 seconds will help.

Here are 5 ways to get kids to wash their hands

  1. You can also create a positive reaction by making handwashing fun for them. Try creating a song that young ones can sing along to for 20 seconds (that’s the same time as singing ‘happy birthday’ twice) and, what feels like an eternity for them will fly by much quicker! For older kids they could choose their favourite chart track and sing the words to that – mixing it up a bit with their own words each time.
  2. If possible, put liquid soap in fun soap dispensers and then let them choose which soap dispenser they want to use. The same thought process can be used for different coloured, different shaped or scented soaps – they can choose which coloured soap to use each time or choose the ‘motorbike-shaped’ soap, for example.
  3. Put some glitter in a spray bottle mixed with water and give their hands a quick spray. They then have to wash until all the glitter is off. (Only do this at home if you don’t mind glitter!). Once they get the idea of washing hands thoroughly you can stop using the glitter.
  4. Let them learn how to blow soap bubbles through their fingers by forming their soapy hands in a circle and blowing gently.
  5. Lead by example and introducing good hygiene at a young age is one of the best ways to install good habits. Wash hands together with good humour and make it fun!

We hope you have enjoyed our top tips for cleaning. Please make sure to visit the government website for the latest updates and recommendations for protecting yourself and your family.