Home » Blog » Being a House & Pet Sitter | Happy House Sitters » House Cleaning Tips » House Cleaning Tips: A Guide to Cleaning Before & After Housesits

In our current circumstances cleaning a home has never been more important.
Especially when staying in a home where you’re not sure who the last occupants
were. It’s an absolute must to have all surfaces wiped down and cleaned. For the
treatment of most viruses, you only need to use a standard cleaning agent. These
contain enough chemicals to take care of anything infectious hiding on household
surfaces.


Before you get started, organise all your cleaning products into one location. A carry
case is ideal for this and will stop you from moving about unnecessarily and get the
job done faster. If you are setting up a home for others to clean, try to have a carry
case full of appropriate cleaning products in certain locations (e.g. kitchen, laundry,
and bathrooms). You can set up an itemised list for the contents of these cases, so
people are aware of what needs replacing.

While everyone around the world is cleaning like crazy at the moment, something
good to come out of it is we’re all learning how to clean our homes properly.
Although it can be difficult to avoid people after all this is over, at least everything
around us will be clean and fresh!

Cleaning to Protect from COVID-19

By now we all know about COVID-19 and what it means for anyone operating a
business. Lots of cleaning and making sure your place is not going to be the
epicentre of some new breakout.


At the time of writing we seem to be on the outer side of this, but that is what
Melbourne was thinking (and most of Australia) back in July 2020. Then a small
outbreak blew into a huge one. Businesses were closed and people’s movement
restricted!


If you look at what is happening in Sydney, restaurants are being closed down and
discussed in the media in a negative way whenever there is a minor breakout. In
these times, operating a business is already challenging, but throw in an outbreak of
your place and it could mean the end. It’s not just closure, but all the negativity that
goes along with it. No one wants to stay in a place that had active COVID infections.

Keeping your business clean and free from any pathogens is key to this not
happening. Here we have put together a few ways that you can be sure your place
is kept as clean as possible, and hopefully CIVD-19 free.

How to Clean House

When cleaning a home, it’s a good idea to have a checklist and make sure you take
care of each room as you go. Try to clean the entire home at one time, rather than
doing bits and pieces. Here we have a simple guide to help you through, but you can
easily make your own:


1. Clean up any clutter and loose items and put them away
2. Dust and vacuum each room
3. Wipe windows and mirrors using a clean cloth
4. Wipe down surfaces, benches, tables, and counters using a disinfectant spray
5. Completely clean all baths, toilets, and sinks
6. Sweep floors and then mop them down with a quality cleaning agent
7. Vacuum all carpeted areas, don’t be overly concerned with getting right in the
edges and other gaps; you can do those later
8. After cleaning give your tools a wipe down
9. Try to get everyone in the home involved


A total house clean should only take a couple of hours, unless it has not been done
in a long time. By performing a regular clean you’ll lower the time it takes, especially
as you’ll get more efficient each time you do it.

How Do I Keep My House Clean with A Dog?

The main difference to cleaning a home that has a dog is that you’ll have a lot more
hair to clean up (unless you have a Xoloitzcuintle!). To get the best results invest in a
vacuum cleaner that can handle dog and pet hair.
With dog bedding, depending on the quality of bed, you can unzip the cover and put
it through the washing machine. A few dog beds can be placed completely in the
machine, check the label on the bed; if you don’t see a label, assume it can’t be

washed whole. If the dog bed is not that dirty, you can simply flip it over, as dog
beds will start to smell if they’re not routinely rotated.
You can clean most dog food and water bowls in the kitchen sink using normal
detergent, or place them in the top rack of a dishwasher. Make sure they’re dried
thoroughly before filling them back up with food and water.


Daily collection of any ‘backyard bombs’ should be done so there is no smell and
they keep using the furthest space away from the home as their toilet. If the dog has
gone to the toilet inside you can use a specialist pet urine cleaner; you’ll find these at
most pet supplies stores and specialist cleaning stores.

How to Disinfect Surfaces?

General household cleaners will do a great job at taking care of any problem lurking
on surfaces. But, if you want to be extra sure, pick up something that has been
proven to eliminate surface bacteria. Spray the cleaning agent liberally all over the
surface and wipe it down with a clean cloth. Rinse the cloth out in warm to hot
water, this will help kill ant pathogens that may be present.


After you have cleaned the surface, dry it down with a suitable towel. Try not to use
a paper towel as that tends to leave fibres behind and you’ll need to take care of
them for that smooth mirror-like finish. Depending on the surface you cleaned it may
need a protective layer applied. When you add a protective layer to a bench top it
will usually make cleaning easier next time.

How to Sanitize Door Handles?

Door handles are often the most forgotten part of the home, even though they are
probably one of the dirtiest. Think about how many people touch the entrance door
handle to your home, and then when it was last cleaned. Did you get a high number?
Another wonderful thing about living through a pandemic is that these are the
things that we never used to put too much thought into before.


Spraying a cleaning agent directly onto a door handle is often not the best approach.
Instead take a clean towel and spray your cleaner onto it and then wipe the handle
down. Using a separate cloth wipe off any residue and to get it dry.

Uncleaned door handles are one of the easiest ways the viruses and other
pathogens can be transferred from person to person. Especially if you have knobs
and they’re not easily opened using any other means that your hand. A virus that
gets onto your hand can easily be ingested the next time you eat or scratch your
face.

How to Sanitize Your House?

It would be easy to go all over the top and clean everything in your home. But on a
day to day basis this really isn’t practical, or healthy! Even during our current
situation, regular home cleaning once a week is more than enough. Although for
anywhere that food is prepared, it should be cleaned before and after cooking.
To properly sanitize your home, walk about and take note of anything that you
would consider a ‘high-touch’ area. This may include door handles, benches, sinks,
taps, and possibly the letter box. These are the areas that you need to focus on in
your daily cleaning regime. Using a good quality cleaning agent is more than enough
to sort out any bacteria and viruses.


In an ideal world high touch surfaces should be cleaned immediately after anyone
has touched it. However, we know that this is not only not possible, but not really
necessary. You can choose to clean them once a day, or a couple times per day. You
can put a bottle of hand sanitiser near the entrance to your home and insist that
anyone entering must first use it to clean their hands. If someone from outside your
family refuses, you can always ask them to remain outside; it isnt a personal thing
you”re simply protecting the household occupants.
As we all get through this current situation, we may find that the world is a much
cleaner and respectful place. We are all looking out for each other and only through
working together can it be beaten!