How do you clean if there is a cancer patient in the house? When this question came up recently and we were surprised at the lack of detailed advice on the internet. Cleaning up for a cancer patient is especially important because their immune system is suppressed due to the various medical procedures they undergo, with infection control being the main goal. We have to keep it clean for health first, everything else is not so important.
Good home hygiene includes the various tasks we undertake to keep our homes clean, which is essential in preventing the spread of infectious diseases. These procedures include hand washing, proper food storage and food preparation methods, correct washing methods, safe disposal of human and other waste, control of dust-borne allergens, pet grooming, etc.
An important thing to remember is daily cleaning. The practice is no different for cancer patients or those at increased risk of infection than for other family members. The difference is that if cleaning methods are not followed correctly, the risk of infection increases.
Break the chain of infection
Germs, both good and bad, are constantly introduced into the home by contaminated family members or visitors, contaminated food, pets, and sometimes in water or air. There is a chain of events leading to the spread of infection from these sources to uninfected people at home. Breaking this chain of infection is the main way to prevent the spread of germs and is achieved through good cleaning and hygiene practices.
There is a chain of events that leads to the spread of infection from these sources to uninfected people in the home. Breaking this chain of infection is a key way to prevent the spread of germs.
The source of germs is, of course, people, pets, contaminated food, air and water. Keep infected people away from healthy people to isolate germs. Be careful when disposing of pet waste. In the kitchen, be careful when handling raw foods. Handle diapers and soiled items with care.
It is very important how microbes become available for spread. Prevent stool, vomit or fluid from wounds, coughs or sneezes from getting onto surfaces or hands. By far the best way to spread germs is through hands, hand and food contact surfaces, dirty cleaning wipes and other cleaning products, and general items. Input methods include mouth, nose, eyes, or open wounds.
As for susceptible people, everyone is at risk, but some people, such as cancer patients, are more vulnerable to infection. Infection can be spread directly from person to person or through contact with equipment, surfaces, or unwashed hands. The easiest way to break the chain of transmission is to prevent the next link from occurring.
If you clean up for a cancer patient, you can have the greatest impact on how the infection spreads. When developing the right hygiene for your home, you must identify the main pathways for germs to spread. This suggests that the hands are a critical reference point for breaking the chain of infection (for example, where hygiene is most important).
All surfaces in contact with hands, surfaces in contact with food, and the cleanliness and effectiveness of cleaning wipes and other cleaning tools. This includes household linen, toilets, bathtubs, sinks, etc. The base of the pyramid includes floors, walls, furniture, etc.
The critical breakpoint for breaking the chain of infection is the hands.
In addition to washing your hands thoroughly and ensuring that all family members and visitors do the same, you must navigate surfaces with frequent touch. When cleaning, wipe especially carefully:
- cabinet handles,
- light switches,
- carpet cleaning,
- TV remotes, computer keyboards,
- handrails and handles for cranes,
- Armrests (non-porous surfaces)
- toilet handles, etc.
- Next in importance are toilets, bathtubs, sinks, wash basins, etc.
Then clothes and household linens. Floors, walls and furniture have the lowest risk of contamination and therefore the lowest risk in transmission. By manufacturing and keeping “highest risk” surfaces clean, we can significantly reduce the risk of spreading infections. This approach to home hygiene has come to be known as targeted hygiene. The pyramid is only a general rule and can change depending on the circumstances of the disease.
How to clean scientifically
The key point here is that proper hygiene is more than once a week. Deep cleaning should be an integral part of our daily life, where hygiene measures are aimed at critical touch points.
Because the infectious dose for many common germs, such as norovirus and rhinovirus (“the common cold”), can be very small, to avoid infection, use a hygienic cleaning procedure that removes as many germs as possible from critical surfaces. Hygienic cleaning can be achieved in one of three ways, be it a detergent-based rinse cleaning, using a disinfectant / cleaner that kills germs through a multi-step process, or dry steam that inactivates germs where they are.
In many situations, such as hand washing, a hygienically clean surface can only be achieved with soap and water, but research shows that this is only effective if accompanied by a thorough rinse. Anhydrous hand sanitizers, such as alcohol wipes or gels, are a last resort for situations where soap and water for hand washing is limited. Soap and detergents are essential to good home hygiene. Their function is to help remove dirt from hands and surfaces when we rub or clean them, so that they can be washed off more easily.
However, if the surface cleaning is not done correctly by wiping it down with a cloth and soap or a general purpose cleaner, it will be possible to simply move the microorganisms on the surface, onto the cleaning cloth and hands, and transfer the soil to other surfaces. Cleaning wipes should be disposable or frequently replaced and disinfected in linen. In situations where active infection is present (cold, flu, etc.), We need to use a disinfectant or dry steam to remove germs from critical surfaces.
A disinfectant is a product that kills germs on surfaces. To disinfect, you must first clean the dirt off the surface (even if it doesn’t look dirty), then spray the disinfectant and let it run for the recommended time to kill germs (usually 3 to 10 minutes depending on the disinfectant). ).
Then you should wipe with a clean cloth or rinse with fresh water. All of these steps are not often taken together as many people just love to spray and wipe, which basically just spreads germs around. You can achieve surface disinfection with dry steam without detergents and disinfectants in seconds, not minutes.
Let’s also mention the cleanliness of the cleaning equipment itself. Regular replacement of vacuum bags can help keep allergens in the home. Regular washing and disinfection of toilet and scouring brushes is also important to fight infection. Washing the cleaning cloths in 140 degrees water with detergent and drying thoroughly will ensure that the clean cloth works when cleaning.
Eco-friendly cleaning options
Typically, people use a variety of cleaning agents, including water, detergents, surfactants, solvents, enzymes, and antimicrobials. They help break down, kill and remove soil from microbes. Cleaning without these tools is not very effective, since everyone has their own job. To clean up, we must use them in our homes.
Once they have done their job, we no longer need them or want them to be around. If they remain, they also become contaminants and are called “cleaning residues”. Our goal in cleaning is to remove unwanted substances from our home, not add to pollution.
Many people today believe that chemical exposure in general is a health hazard. Whether we agree with them completely or not, we need to keep the concentration of all chemicals in our homes as low as possible. Disinfectants are pesticides and therefore toxic, and many sensitive people, especially those with weakened immune systems, cannot regularly carry these poisons in their homes.
We must work to minimize the concentration of all chemicals in our homes.
A few words must be said about volatile organic chemicals or VOCs. VOCs are gases given off by various chemicals that can have short and long term health effects. Organic chemicals are used as ingredients in many household products, especially cleaning products.
All of these foods release organic compounds into the air when you use them and to a lesser extent even when they are stored. Although people use products containing VOCs, they can expose themselves and others to very high levels of contamination, and elevated concentrations can persist in the air long after cleaning is complete.
Research has found that indoor pollution levels are two to five times higher than outside. Adverse health effects include eye, nose and throat irritation, headaches; loss of coordination and nausea; damage to the liver, kidneys, and central nervous system; and some types of cancer.