Keeping your house clean is hard work, but you don't have to break your back to keep yourself and your family safe. Here's our at-a-glance guide to keeping your home hygienic.
Concentrate on hotspots
There's no need to blitz your entire home with bleaches, detergents and other products to protect your family. In fact it's a bit pointless. You'll never kill all the bugs, as fresh recruits are marching into your home every day on your family's hands, feet and via other channels. Also, a lot of bugs will be on surfaces you rarely or never touch, such as walls.
The trick is to concentrate on hot spots where there's the highest risk of contamination, especially where there's hand contact. Here's our round-up of the key areas you should zap.
Pay particular attention to the kitchen
Disinfect food preparation surfaces before and after making a meal or snack, especially cutting boards.
Beat bugs in the bathroom
Unless there's illness in the family, you don't have to be too obsessive about the bathroom. Disinfect the toilet and clean the tiles and shower curtain fairly regularly.
Remember door handles, phones, taps and other contact surfaces
Studies indicate that a high proportion of cold bugs, such as the rhinovirus, are caught off these types of surface: wipe them regularly with a disinfectant cloth.
Stamp out nasty smelling drains
Pouring neat bleach into sink and basin plug holes, as well as around the toilet bowl, will not only kill germs but also make them smell a lot fresher.
Relax about your floor
How often do you touch floors with your fingers? Vacuum carpets and other areas regularly to remove dust, house mites and other things.
Give the children's toys a lick of antiseptic
They might put them in their mouths.
Keep pets at a safe distance
Animals are not as clean as humans, so they carry more germs. Simple as that.
Keep your cloths clean
Damp, dirty cloths will only spread bacteria all over the place. Disinfect cloths daily at a high temperature with detergent, or zap them in the microwave for a couple of minutes. Alternatively soak in diluted bleach.