How to disinfect and clean your home

Natural ways to disinfect your home (2)
Image credit: @armandhammer, @wisemamawellness

For most Singaporeans, keeping your homes clean and virus-free is as easy as popping down to the supermarket, bagging some of those “coronavirus-fighting” chemical cleaners and giving your home a good cleanse. 

But for the lot of us with children and pre-existing skin sensitivities, disinfecting isn’t all that easy. Most of these products come loaded with harsh chemicals that are hazardous to little ones. If you’re looking for safer alternatives to Clorox and Walch,  this list of natural and effective ways to kill bacteria will do the job without all the nasties.

Note: Existing dirt and oils mar the disinfecting process so you’ll want to do a thorough cleaning first to ensure that surfaces are clean to the naked eye before you start.

Read our other home cleaning and lifestyle tips here: 

1.Steam mops that kill 99.9% of bacteria

Steam mop
Image credit: Xiaomi Mijia

Say good riddance to your obiang mop bucket and artificially-scented floor cleaners, you’ll never go back once you’ve given a steam mop a go. These bad boys run purely on water and harness the magical disinfecting properties of good old steam to eradicate 99.9% of bacteria without the use of any chemicals at all.

steam mop2
Image credit: Xiaomi Mijia

Prices for steam mops on the market start from $100, but they do come with multiple attachment heads for you to sterilise everything from the couch to your kitchen stove. A worthy investment considering all the peace of mind and mileage you’ll be getting. 

Pro-cleaning tip: Concoct your own power cleaning solution by mixing a 1:1 ratio of water, white vinegar and the juice of a lemon – spray this on the floor before you start your steaming! To ensure your surfaces are COVID-19 free, steam mop a spot for 3 minutes to kill any loitering germs.

Get it online here.

2.Wash dirty laundry with a combi of vinegar and baking soda

Natural ways to disinfect your home (2)
Image credit: @armandhammer

Vinegar and baking soda have long been prized as one of nature’s top natural cleansing duos but a reality of dumping vinegar onto a full load of laundry in the washing machine might be too much for some to fathom. 

Shake off the bamboozlement because this cleaning hack is 100% legit. With COVID-19 cases stealthily on the rise, we can’t help but heave a sigh of relief when we strip off our contaminated “outside” clothes and step into the shower. 

But your germy battle doesn’t end there – tackle your laundry with a combination of vinegar and baking soda which has been proven to slay 99% of bacteria and 80% of viruses and mould in the wash! Set the temperature to hot and you’re all set for a fresh, virus-free load of laundry.

Get baking soda and vinegar online.

3. Kill germs on hands with castile soap and water

Natural ways to disinfect your home (3)
Comes in an unscented baby-safe version to pander to kaisu mothers as well!
Image credit: @drbronner

If you’ve been religiously following the news, you’ll know that washing with soap and water trumps even hand sanitiser when it comes to keeping your hands coronavirus-free. That’s good news for those who can’t deal with the concoction of chemicals in regular antibacterial soaps because ordinary soap has been proven to be just as effective at breaking down the virus’ outer lipids rendering it inactive.

Castile soap is a natural cleanser derived from a blend of veggie oils that’s moisturising, suitable for babies and pets, and can even be used as part of a DIY cleanser to tackle grease. Make it antibacterial by adding a drop of tea tree essential oil to it and you’ll never have to fight with others for soap in the supermarkets!

Get it online here.

4. Diffuse antimicrobial essential oils to disinfect the air

Natural ways to disinfect your home (4)
Image credit: @meganmecrazy4oils

Swap out your mainstay fragrances for some heavy duty anti-fungal and antibacterial essential oils to purify the air you’re breathing at home. Before you write this off as complete junk,  essential oils when diffused, have shown to disrupt certain parts of a virus’ life cycle making it less likely to invade our immune systems and wreak havoc. 

Tea tree essential oil, for one, is effective for ridding your home of airborne viruses and other airborne microbes. Use it in conjunction with Eucalyptus essential oil for a bacteria-killing blend that will ensure your family’s immunity remains tip top.

Get it online here.

5. Leave pure hydrogen peroxide on surfaces for at least a minute to kill viruses

Natural ways to disinfect your home (1)
Image credit: @melissamlo

The use of hydrogen peroxide as a disinfectant in hospitals is proof enough that it works to destroy viruses and the like. That’s right, that little bottle for cuts and grazes in your first aid kit can also be used for serious disinfection of surfaces around the house. 

A milder sister of the traditional bleach, hydrogen peroxide does the job without leaving you inhaling toxic fumes as it chemically decomposes to oxygen and water. Transfer the mixture pure into a spray bottle and douse any doorknob, counter top, table or toilet seat generously – let it sit for a minimum of 60 seconds to ensure all nasty germs are eliminated.

Get it online here.

Kill germs and viruses at home naturally

So whether you’re a concerned parent/pawrent looking to make your home a safe and toxic-free space or just someone with allergies to harsh chemicals, these 5 natural DIYs will help you sidestep the slew of side effects that come with run-of-the-mill chemical disinfectants. 

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