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      Leifheit Cleaning Guide

      5 Things You Can Still Do While Staying Home More

      5 Things You Can Still Do While Staying Home More

      I’m sure we have already all heard the news from our Prime Minister regarding the government’s new “circuit breaker” measures to curb the spread of locally transmitted cases of COVID-19.

      Many are, no doubt understandably saddened, while some might welcome it with open us as it means more opportunity to stay home.

      But no matter what you might be feeling, we all know that it’s going to be a tough time for sure.

      Not being able to go out and do the things we like, be in physical contact with our friends and loved ones, and having to make changes to our daily routines is going to dampen our spirits.

      But times like these are when we can build mental resilience, shape our adaptability to dealing with tough circumstances, and to do the things that we’ve been meaning to do at home but haven’t found the time to do so.

      Here are 5 things that you can do around the home for a more productive stay-home period, as well as to lift up your mood during this challenging times.

      1) Wipe Down Your Windows Thoroughly


      Our home windows are an often neglected part of our home. We see it, see through it, but we often don’t realise what’s on it.

      Now that you’re staying home more, do take a closer look at your windows.

      You might notice straightaway that there’s a lot of dirt, watermarks and even mold that has been accumulating on your windows for weeks, or even months.

      This particles diminish the air quality in your home and make the air in your house stagnant. Long-term exposure to such particles can even lead to issues with your lungs and other medical issues in the future.

      Do take this opportunity to give your windows a good cleaning and wiping down for a better stay-home experience!

      2) Clean Your Toilets


      We use our home toilets so often that sometimes we don’t realise how much grime and stains it has been accumulating.

      After all, it’s the place where we scrub dirt and grime off our bodies. The warm moisture in your bathroom also makes it the perfect place for germ growth.

      With more stay-home time on your hands, it’s the perfect time to give your whole toilet a good scrub down. Focus on areas such as the drains, faucets, toilet seats & bowls, toilet floors and your shower divider.

      Not only does cleaning your toilets give you a cleaner home, it’s sure to lift the mood in your home during this period of extended social distancing as well.

      3) Dust Off Hard-To-Reach Spots


      Now that you’ve more time at home, it’s time to find those out-of-sight and hard-to-reach spots that you wouldn’t have noticed when you were hustling about your normal routine.

      Areas such as your ceiling lights and fans, cabinet tops, underneath your furniture, are silently collecting dust and dirt while you have been out of home carrying out your day-to-day routines.

      It goes without saying that the accumulated dust will trigger dust allergies and sinus, especially if you’re going to be staying at home more often.

      So, take the effort and get your cleaning equipment out to dust off these areas and make your stay-home experience a more pleasant one.

      4) Pick Up A New Culinary Skill


      Now that you’ve got more spare time from being at home more often, why not pick a new skill?

      And what better skill to pick up in the comfort of your own home than a new culinary skill!

      With recipes, instructional videos and communities available online, picking up a new culinary skill is a perfect stay-in activity to do.

      With supermarkets, wet markets, and grocery delivery services still open and running, you’d have the ingredients you need to support your new hobby.

      Plus, if you need any specialised kitchen utensils, we’ve got them available here ready to deliver to your doorstep.

      5) Spend More Time With Your Family


      Last but definitely not least — with more time at home, it’s the perfect time to spend more time with your family.

      From simply sitting together at the same table for meals, to doing elaborate stay home activities such as watching movies together or even playing Animal Crossing together, the time spent together with your family would strengthen your bonds with one another.

      Not only would it give you something to fill your time with, but with each other’s love, support and bond, you’d find the strength to go through this period together as a family.

      _ _

      Practising social responsibility is crucial in slowing the spread of COVID-19. Do stay home as often as you can, practise personal hygiene such as washing your hands for at least 20-seconds, covering your nose and mouth when you sneeze or cough, and do not touch your face before cleaning your hands.

      Take care & stay safe everybody!

      4 Reasons Why You Should Stop Trying To Make Your Own Hand Sanitisers

      hand sanitiser

      With the spread of COVID-19 in Singapore, there has been a heightened awareness on practising good personal hygiene & precautionary measures, such as wearing face masks & using hand sanitisers.

      As such, you’d have seen web articles, social media posts, and even courses on how to make your own DIY hand sanitisers using a mixture of essential oils, rubbing alcohol and other ingredients.

      However, these recipes are often from uncredible and unverified sources, and contain inaccuracies that might end up doing more harm than good, even though they may seem well-intentioned.

      So before you embark on your DIY hand sanitiser project, here are a few points that would make you rethink your decision.

      1. Just Because It Contains Alcohol, It Doesn’t Mean It’s Effective

      Many have the misconception that as long as the solution contains alcohol, it will kill the virus when applied.

      However, that’s not the case. There’s a minimum percentage of alcohol content that is needed before a hand sanitiser can effectively kill the virus in your hands.

      A hand sanitiser has to contain at least 60% alcohol before it can break the cell wall of the virus and effectively kill them off.

      That means alcohol solutions that are usually used for making DIY hand sanitisers, such as vodka, are ineffective as they contain below 60% alcohol.

      2. Using Essential Oils Might Do More Harm Than Good

      According to Dr Natasha Bagdasarian (Division of Infectious Diseases, National University Hospital) essential oils, a common ingredient found in DIY hand sanitiser recipes, do not provide reliable protection from viruses.

      This is because essential oils are not preservatives, a key component required to kill contaminants, such as bacteria, germs, and viruses.

      Even if you insist on using essential oils, they need to be made together with solubilisers. If not, the oils will not be dispersed evenly throughout the liquid, making them completely ineffective.

      Moreover, if this un-dispersed concentration of essential oils are applied to the skin without any dermal limits, it might lead to adverse reactions on the skin, such as rashes and bumps.

      3. Ingredients to Make Hand Sanitisers Are Not Off-The-Shelf Items

      While it is not totally impossible to make hand sanitisers yourself, one needs to have the right formula first, such as this one published by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

      However, it should be noted that the ingredients (such as hydrogen peroxide & glycerol) are more likely to be found in a laboratory, rather than off-the-shelf at supermarkets.

      Hence, it might be impossible for a member of the public to get their hands on the appropriate items to make a legit hand sanitiser.

      4. Washing Hands With Soap Still The Best Practice

      Hand Washing

      If you are unable to get your hands on a bottle of hand sanitiser because they ran out of stock at almost every storefront, it’s barely the end for you.

      Besides, over-relying on hand sanitisers are not good for your skin in the long term, as it could result in dryness and cracking of the skin.

      It fact, it is more effective to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water. While hand sanitisers are convenient, they cannot replace proper hand washing.

      According to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the US, washing hands with soap and water is the only method that can remove all types of germs on your hands effectively.

      So do remember to wash your hands for at least 20 seconds (or the time it takes to sing “Happy Birthday” twice) regularly, and more importantly, before you touch your face with your hands.

      How To Divide Household Chores With Your Partner For A Happier Relationship

      Couple doing housework & chores

      Let’s face it: most of life at home with your significant other revolves around chores.

      Whether you’re a young couple who just got their BTO flat or a mature married couple with children, doing housework is an integral part of living together.

      Be it cleaning your home, doing the dishes, taking out the trash, or doing the laundry, household chores are a staple activity for every couple.

      And there’s nothing more frustrating than coming home from a long day at work only to realise that your house is in a mess because your partner has neglected their chores.

      In fact, research has shown that, after faithfulness and sex, sharing household chores is the most important cornerstone for a successful marriage (The Atlantic).

      Thus, it is important to work out how to share your household chores with your partner to reduce conflict in the home, and to strengthen your relationship as a couple.

      Here are some tips on how you can share your chores with your partner for a healthier and happier relationship.

      1. FAIL TO PLAN, PLAN TO FAIL — BE AS SPECIFIC AS POSSIBLE

      Couple Planning Housework

      Sharing chores with your partner isn’t just about saying “each one do half-half” — in fact, such arbitrary 50/50 splits are recipes for disaster.

      Figure out and note down WHAT needs to be done, WHO should carry out the task, and WHEN they should be done (how regular, which day & what time).

      Addressing the WHAT: Discuss which chores are high & low priority, and lay out in detail the expectations of the chores to be done.

      Addressing the WHO: Assign chores to maximise the strengths of each other, and to work around each other’s weaknesses. We all have our own quirks & preferences, so there’s no singular rule for this.

      Addressing the WHEN: Discuss each other’s schedules to figure out when best to fit chores in. It’s best to develop a flexible plan — sticking to a rigid plan is not ideal as it does not account for unexpected changes to one’s schedule.

      Once you’ve got a well-discussed and thought-out plan, it’s time to execute it! Expect some bumps along the way — note what is going well with the plan and what isn’t going so well.

      Then, revisit the initial plan with these notes and make adjustments from there. It is a process of continuous refinement, so don’t expect to get it right on the first try!

      It might seem like micromanaging, but having a specific & detailed plan ensures that all that needs to be done are accounted for, which in turn reduces the chances of disappointments from undone chores.

      2. ACKNOWLEDGE EACH OTHER'S EFFORTS

      Couple doing housework & chores

      A little acknowledgement to your partner’s efforts go a long way. It might seem like common-sense, but yet couples don’t do it enough at times!

      For starters, check in on each other regularly. Show your gratitude and appreciation to your partner’s efforts in doing the chores, even if it’s a simple “thank you”.

      Also, constantly communicate with your partner to find out how they’re finding the plan, if they’re able to cope, the difficulties they are facing, and what they feel could be done better.

      Acknowledging your partner’s efforts with open communication and appreciation is a sure way of motivating each other, and also strengthens your relationship.

      3. DO NOT NITPICK ON HOW YOUR PARTNER DOES THEIR CHORES

      Kitchen Dish Washing

      One of the easiest ways to derail your chore plan (and your relationship) is to nitpick on how your partner perform their chores, or to criticise how they choose to accomplish them.

      This creates unnecessary tension in the home, shows your distrust in your partner, and also disregards their upbringing, which could potentially ruin your relationship.

      Instead, it is important to learn about each others’ histories and their upbringing to understand how they were taught to do a certain chore.

      We also have to keep in mind that there’s no one sure way of performing a chore. As long as the chore is done and the expectations are met, that’s good enough.

      4. WORK AS A TEAM, NOT AS INDIVIDUALS

      Couple In Kitchen Dish Washing

      This doesn't mean that you should only do your chores at the same time as your partner.

      Working as a theme means having honest & open dialogue, and engaging in constant 2-way communication  a recurring theme throughout this article.

      Spend less time arguing and spend more time working together. Instead of just focusing on doing your part of the chores, be mindful of your partner’s efforts and the bigger picture of the chore plan as well.

      You’ll soon notice that your home is not only cleaner and more organised, but also healthier and happier.
      _ _ _ _ _

      Third parties are always not welcomed in a relationship, but let Leifheit be the intermediary to provide you with the tools you need to make light work of household chores.

      From cleaning tools, laundry items to kitchen accessories, Leifheit's got all you need to make life at home easier.

      9 Things We Use Everyday That Are Germ-Ridden — And How To Clean Them

      9 Things We Use Everyday That Are Germ-Ridden — And How To Clean Them

      While we are now more conscious about washing and sanitising our hands to avoid contracting any communicable diseases, what many of us don’t realise is that some everyday things are filled with germs & bacteria — even more so than a toilet seat.

      Here are some surprising things that could make you sick, and more importantly, how to clean them:

      1) MOBILE PHONES

      Mobile phones are a germ magnet, especially considering how often we use them now. As our fingers and thumbs are scrolling & typing away, the germs & bacteria gets transferred from our hands onto our phones & accumulates there.

      How to clean: simply wipe down thoroughly with an alcohol wipe every few days.

      2) COMPUTER KEYBOARD

      This statistic might surprise you — your computer keyboard could contain FIVE times more germs than your toilet seat. Those minute & inaccessible spaces are often overlooked, but they collect & retain a ton of dirt & bacteria.

      How to clean: Turn your keyboard upside down & shake it to remove loose debris. Then, use a vacuum cleaner suck up the smaller dirt particles. Lastly, use cotton swabs dipped in rubbing alcohol to sanitise the gaps in the keyboard.

      3) REMOTE CONTROLS

      Similarly to mobile phones, your remote controls are germ magnets too. They’ve been through a lot — they collect dust while idling on your couch, get sat on, and get touched by unwashed hands.

      How to clean: While doing your regular cleaning routine at home, don’t neglect them. Simply wipe them down with an alcohol wipe to sanitise them.

      4) BAGS

      When we put our bags on the floors and seats of offices, schools, restaurants, public transport, etc — the bacteria, dirt and germs accumulated from everything else that have touched them gets passed on to them.

      In fact, an average handbag contains 3 times more dirt than an office toilet seat.

      How to clean: For cloth bags, wash them thoroughly at least once a month. For plastic and leather bags, use alcohol swaps or disinfectant wipes once every 2 weeks.

      5) HANDLES

      Be it faucet handles, door handles or handles in public transportation, they all contain the bacteria of countless people who touched them before you did — some of whom did not wash their hands. Bacteria such as e.coli can spread to you when you touch this handles.

      How to clean: For handles in your own home or office, wipe them down regularly with disinfectant wipes. If you touch a handle in public places, do not touch your face until you’ve washed your hands thoroughly with soap.

      6) RESTAURANT MENUS

      This might come as a surprise to some, but restaurant menus are shockingly laden with germs & bacteria. They get touched by the hands of many customers, left in an environment where food is stored & cooked, and do not get wiped down unlike tables and chairs.

      How to clean: Cleaning restaurant menus might be out of your jurisdiction, but you can minimise hand contact with the menu, and sanitise your hands before eating with a hand sanitiser.

      7) KITCHEN SPONGE

      Even though they are doused with dish detergents often, the pores of a kitchen sponge contains bacteria such as salmonella & e.coli, both of which could give you a bad stomach upset.

      How to clean: Soak in a bucket of disinfectant & boiling water every week. Or, it’s easier to just replace your sponge every other week.

      8) PETROL PUMPS

      While it’s widely known that public surfaces such as elevator lift buttons & ATM keypads are breeding grounds for germs & bacteria, not many know that petrol pumps are hotbeds too.

      They’re touched by many car drivers who reach out straight to the pumps after their hands have been on their steering wheels — which isn’t exactly very sanitary in the first place.

      How to clean: Similarly to restaurant menus, cleaning the pumps might be out of your control. Keep a hand sanitiser in your car & apply them after you’ve filled up your tank. If you run out, you can always buy it at the petrol kiosk.

      9) CARPETS

      Carpets collect the dead skin cells which we shed, which bacteria such as e.coli & salmonella feed off. Apart from that, they contain many other nasty things such as dirt, food particles, liquids, etc, making it the ultimate hotbed for bacteria and germs.

      How to clean: Vacuum your carpets once a week. If you have a steam mop, use it to wash the carpet & kill any bacteria living deep in its fibres. If not, hire a professional carpet cleaner to deep clean it at least once a year.

      5 Steps To Disinfect Your House (When Someone Falls Sick)

      5 Steps To Disinfect Your House (When Someone Falls Sick)

      If someone in your home has caught a flu bug, there is a real possibility of contracting that virus as you are all living under the same roof in close contact.

      Beyond practising basic hygiene such as covering your mouth when sneezing or coughing and washing your hands frequently with soap, it is important to know how to disinfect your home to prevent the spread of the virus within the home.

      1. PREPARE YOUR DISINFECTING TOOLS

      disinfectant spray

      Mild cleaners and water might not be strong enough to kill virus and bacteria, so we recommend proper disinfectants to do the job right. Here’s what you need to disinfect the surfaces in your home:

      1. Disinfectant spray / anti-bacterial cleaner
      2. Cleaning cloth
      3. Alcohol wipes
      4. Cotton swabs

      2. DISINFECT SURFACES

      As viruses can live on hard surfaces for 24 hours, it is important to pay special attention to the surfaces that the sick person touched and prepare to disinfect them.

      A sick person would usually be confined to the bedroom and bathroom, so key areas to disinfect include tabletops, remote controls, phones, computer keyboards, door knobs, switches, faucets, and toilet seats. 

      Apply the disinfectant solution and ensure that the surface is visibly wet for four minutes before wiping it dry with a cleaning cloth. After cleaning the contaminated surface, do NOT re-use the cleaning cloth on other surfaces in the house. Instead, disinfect it by soaking it in a solution of bleach (1/2 cup) and 4 litres of hot water.

      3. DISINFECT PERSONAL APPLIANCES

      Do not neglect smaller personal appliances such as personal electronics and remote controls! Being touched often, they harbour germs from our hands. Wipe them down using alcohol wipes and cotton swabs to disinfect them.

      4. DISINFECT BEDSHEETS

      We spend most of the time in bed resting when we're sick. As such, we leave a lot of germs and bacteria in the fabrics of the bedsheets, pillow cases and cushion covers, since they are in direct contact with the body.

      After the sick person has recovered, strip the bed of its sheets and pillow cases and wash them immediately. When doing laundry, separate the sick person’s pyjamas with from the rest of the laundry load — do not wash them together.

      Add 1/2 cup of colour-safe bleach to hot water (if the fabrics allow it) and wash for one cycle. The damp environment in the washing machine could potentially breed germs, so do wipe your washing machine dry and allow it to air after washing the sick laundry.

      5. DISINFECT CLOTHING

      It is important to wash a sick person's laundry separately from the rest of the laundry load — a sick person's clothes might contain viruses from their bodily fluids such as sweat, mucus and saliva. 

      Carry out the same washing procedure as the bedsheets to ensure that the sick laundry is properly disinfected.

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