This article is in partnership with The Home Depot.
It was July 2020. We were four months into our diligent, safer-at-home practices when it happened. Our air conditioner broke. In Florida. In summer! It was almost comical. We'd been very careful—not eating out, not going out, soaking produce, letting delivered packages sit for days on end downstairs (it became more of a superstition than anything) and disinfecting all the delivered groceries, twice--but now, we'd have to break the barrier. We'd have to let someone, from out there, in here! It would be a first, as we hadn't ventured out since March! But I was ready.
I wasn't fearful, I was just being careful, I told myself as I placed the call to request a repair man. But when he showed up later that day, peering at me through the glass window on the door, without a mask, I almost freaked out. But I did ask him if he had one. He pulled a crumpled paper mask from out of his shirt pocket and reluctantly put it on before entering our home. Thankfully, he had paper booties for his shoes, but pretty much touched everything with his bare hands on his way to and from the faulty unit which was located on the third floor, and at one point, even asked to use our bathroom!
When everything was back in working order and I walked him out, I closed the door behind me and immediately jumped on the internet and began researching smarter, safer, pet- and kid-friendly solutions for keeping my house clean during a pandemic. With the help of The Home Depot, a trusted source to alleviate home safety concerns, here's what I came up with:
1. Passive cleaning.
Have you invested in robot vacuum cleaners?! The clouds parted. The sun shone through. It was a miracle. They're quiet, they're effective, they disinfect the floor so I don't have to. It's my lazy way to obsess. And for that, I'm thankful.
Option(s): Roomba iRobot vacuum
2. Clean hands.
You know how you can't wash your hands without touching the sink? THAT! I was fully aware of this when I went into that bathroom after the repair man left. Also, I have two kiddos, 10 and 3, and the handles on our sink are definitely grimier than they should be. I've been heavily researching touchless, motion-sensing faucets, and you should, too!
They're classier and chicer than the ones you find at the airport (I miss the airport), and will match any décor. You'll still have to wipe it down regularly (especially if your kids, like mine, go H.A.M. with the toothpaste), but the fewer touch points, the better! Of course, we use our favorite soap and a 20-second scrub to get those germs. And we're all packin' hand sanitizer for anytime we're on the go.
Options: U by Moen Essie Smart Faucet, H&B 22oz Antibac Lav Sage Hand Soap, Zep Liquid Spray Hand Sanitizer 32oz
3. Safe cleaning.
My daughter is an environmental advocate. Nothing comes in the house without her scrutiny, and because of it, I'm even more careful to make sure that everything we use is eco-friendly or preferably sustainable, and/or reusable. During the pandemic, I've come across and used cleansers that were potentially bad for my family's health and the environment. After much research, I found info on concentrated vinegar. It's an effective solution for cleaning and a safer alternative to traditional cleaning products and one of many conscious (albeit smelly) ways to keep my home clean.
Options:Harris Vinegar Concentrated-30 128oz, Frost King Sanitizing Wipe 25 Count
Courtesy of The Home Depot
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How are you keeping your home safer and clean during the pandemic?
Featured image courtesy of The Home Depot