HOME HYGIENE

This section of the website is focused on how to keep your home clean and why you need to.

 

  • Personal Hygiene

  • General Hygiene

  • Why you need to keep your kitchen clean

  • The 4 C’s to food hygiene

 

Get started on the next page.

It is really important to have good home hygiene to prevent illnesses and disease from bacteria and viruses.

Personal Hygiene

Personal hygiene is how you care for your body. This practice includes bathing, washing your hands, brushing your teeth, and more. 

 

Every day, you come into contact with millions of outside germs and viruses. They can linger on your body, and in some cases, they may make you sick. Personal hygiene practices can help you and the people around you prevent illnesses. They can also help you feel good about your appearance.

 

Types of Personal Hygiene

Each person’s idea of personal hygiene differs. These main categories are a useful place to start for building good hygiene habits:

Toilet Hygiene – Wash your hands after you use the toilet. Scrub the soap for 20 to 30 seconds, and be sure to clean between your fingers, on the back of your hands, and under your nails. Rinse with warm water, and dry with a clean towel.

If you don't have running water or soap, an alcoholic-based hand sanitizer will also work. Use one that's at least 60% alcohol.

Shower Hygiene – Personal preference may dictate how often you wish to shower or take a bath, but most people will benefit from a rinse at least every other day. Bathing or showering with soap helps rinse away dead skin cells, bacteria, and oils.

You should also wash your hair at least one a week. Shampooing your hair and scalp helps remove skin build-up and protects against oily residues that can irritate your skin.

Nail Hygiene – Trim your nails regularly to keep them short and clean. Brush under them with a nail brush or washcloth to rinse away build-up, dirt, and germs.

Tidying your nails helps you prevent spreading germs into your mouth and other body openings. You should also avoid biting your nails.

Dental Hygiene – Making sure you maintain good dental hygiene is key to avoiding bad breath and other issues such as gum disease. Make sure you:

  • Brush your teeth twice a day (preferably in the morning and before you go to bed)

  • Floss

  • Visit the dentist regularly

Sickness Hygiene – If you’re not feeling well, you should take steps to keep from spreading germs to others. This includes covering your mouth and nose when sneezing, wiping down shared surfaces with an antibacterial wipe, and not sharing any utensils or electronics. Also, immediately throw away any soiled tissues.

Hands Hygiene – This is one of the most important ways of preventing infection. Hands can move germs to other places.  For example, failing to wash hands after going to the toilet can spread germs to anything the hands touch e.g. food. The major sources of hand contamination include raw food, pets, surfaces such as toilets, soiled nappies and food preparation surfaces.  Thorough hand washing with warm water and soap will remove germs.  Hands should always be dried thoroughly. When to wash your hands:

  • Before preparing food

  • Immediately after handling high risk raw food (e.g. chicken and raw meat)

  • Before eating food

  • After using the toilet

  • After changing babies' nappies

  • After contact with a contaminated area (e.g. rubbish bins)

  • After handling pets

  • After contact with blood or bodily fluids (e.g. poo and vomit)

  • When cleaning a cut or wound

  • Whenever your hands are dirty

Alongside daily hygiene habits such as washing your hands, brushing your teeth and generally keeping clean to reduce spreading germs and infection, there is also a social aspect to personal hygiene. This is around body odour and dental hygiene.

As a young person, your body might already be going through a number of changes, or it soon will, so maintaining good personal hygiene and establishing daily routines are important, especially as some of these changes can be a source of anxiety for some people.

Good personal hygiene can also help you with other aspects of your life.  For example if you are going to a job interview if you make sure your body, hands, nails and hair are clean it will leave a good impression with the person interviewing you as well as making you feel more confident.

Here are some hygiene basics to help you stay healthy and clean, so that you don’t have to worry about smelly underarms or feet.

 

Your Skin and Spots

  • During puberty your skin changes and tends to produce more oil that can lead to spots. You should work out the type of skin you have and buy products to fit this. For example, your skin type might be combination/normal, dry or oily

  • Make sure you thoroughly cleanse your face in the morning and evening

  • If you wear any make-up, make sure to remove this before bed

  • Hydrate and moisturise your skin

  • Drink plenty of water and eat a healthy, balanced diet

  • Some teenagers develop acne and get a large number of spots that can become infected. This needs treatment and you should speak to your GP for advice on how to manage this. You may need specialist treatment and / or products

 

Body Odour

During puberty, your sweat glands start to develop. Body odour occurs as a result of bacteria feeding on and breaking down the sweat on the body. To manage body odour, you can:

  • Bath or shower daily and make sure you are wearing clean clothing to avoid bacterial build up, particularly after any physical activity

  • Regularly shave and wash your underarms thoroughly

  • Start using deodorant, roll on or spray. Some deodorants are also antiperspirants, which could cause you to sweat less.

If you are concerned by the amount you are sweating, or your body odour has worsened or changed, then you can visit your GP for advice or speak to one of our school nurses.

 

Smelly Feet

Young people can be prone to smelly feet, even if they are not doing lots of sports. To manage this:

  • Make sure you wash your feet properly when you’re in the shower

  • Make sure your feet are completely dry before putting on your socks and shoes

  • Visit your GP if you feel it is getting worse or not getting any better.

 

General Hygiene

 

There are some general hygiene rules to follow at home. Areas in the house you may want to keep clean are:

  • Work Surfaces

  • Toilets

  • Baths and Sinks

  • Floors

  • Soft Furnishings (e.g. sofa)

  • Bins

All hard surfaces should be cleaned on a weekly basis as a minimum.  Work surfaces should be cleaned every time they are used. Kitchen floors should be swept on a daily basis and washed at least once a week. Other floors/carpet should be cleaned at least once a week. Bathrooms should be cleaned weekly.

You will need to buy cleaning materials such as antibacterial spray and floor cleaner, which can be used with hot water to clean the house.  You will need to buy a mop and bucket, sponges, cloths and a dustpan and brush to do the cleaning.   It is a good idea to keep your cleaning materials (such as mops, cloths and buckets) clean also.  The easiest way to clean carpet and soft furnishings is with a vacuum cleaner (hoover).

You will also need to do dusting once a week.  The easiest way is to use a damp cloth to wipe away the dust.  Dust collects on cupboards, window sills and any flat surface including TV screens.

Food waste bins should be washed with hot soapy water every time you empty it and it is a good idea to wash out all your bins once in a while. 

Clothing, towels and bed linen also need to be kept clean. You will need to look at the manufacturer's washing instructions on the label to see what temperature you need to wash the items at. If you have a washing machine you can wash these items at home. If you don’t have a washing machine you will need to find the nearest launderette and take the items there to be washed.

Once your clothes, towels and bed linen have been washed you will need to dry them.  This can be done on a clothes dryer in your home or if you have a garden you might be able to dry them on a line in the garden.  If you wash your clothes in a launderette, there are usually dryers you can use.  Make sure you have the right change to use in the machines at the laundrette. Getting your washing done at the laundrette can be expensive in the long term and so you might want to buy a washing machine if you can.

This is a guide by Which? As to how often you should wash your clothes and lists how to do your washing.

https://www.which.co.uk/reviews/washing-machines/article/how-to-wash-clothes-asb9X1S4fV88

Food Hygiene

 

Keeping your kitchen clean and bacteria free is an essential part of everyday life. There may be days that go by where you don’t feel like cleaning and tidying the rest of the house, but the kitchen is a place where you prepare food multiple times a day, every day.

 

For this reason, it is crucial that you keep it clean and safe.

 

The best way to maintain food hygiene is to keep on top of it and not let the work pile up.

 

This guide to food hygiene helps you to understand the 4 key aspects of food hygiene and offers some practical tips on how to keep your kitchen and food safe, clean, and bacteria free.

 

Why do I Need to Keep it Clean?

 

The Food Standards Agency reports over half a million cases of food poisoning every year, most of these are from food cooked at home.

 

Nearly all food poisoning cases can be prevented by following some simple steps.

 

The symptoms of food poisoning are:

  • Feeling Sick (Nausea)

  • Stomach Cramps

  • Diarrhoea

  • Vomiting

  • Fever (Feeling very hot)

  • Headaches

 

Most food poisoning should start to get better within one and three days, however if you are in any doubt – seek medical help and attention.

The 4 C’s to Food Hygiene

 

Chill

  • Keep the fridge at 5 degrees or lower – this helps to stop bacteria breeding. Most fridges will have a temperature setting, if yours doesn’t, it can be a good idea to buy a mercury-free thermometer to check the temperature.

  • Keep the fridge door closed – leaving it open for long periods means the temperature will rise. This will cause bacteria to breed.

  • Don’t over pack the fridge – this stops air flowing around the fridge that keeps your food cool.

  • Put leftovers in the fridge within 2 hours – make sure food has cooled down before it goes into the fridge, but make sure all leftovers go into the fridge as soon as they are cool. Keep leftovers covered too.

 

Cook

  • Defrost meat safely – place meat that has been in the freezer on a plate on the bottom shelf of the fridge and leave it to thaw out.

  • Cook raw meat within 24 hours of defrosting it – this helps to avoid food poisoning.

  • All raw meats carry harmful bacteria – keep raw meat covered up to stop the risk of bacteria spreading. Beef and Lamb can be eaten ‘rare’ or pink in the middle. However, burgers, sausages, pork and chicken need to be properly cooked through.

  • Check meat is cooked – you can check that meat is cooked by piercing the thickest part of the meat. Juice will run out of the meat and if the meat is cooked the juices will be clear and see through.

Clean

  • Start and finish with a clean worktop and chopping board – clean straight away after handling any raw meat, fish or eggs.

  • Wipe up spills as you go – this helps to keep the surface clean and bacteria-free.

  • Hot soapy water – this can be used to clean everything, remember to wipe down taps and fridge handles too as you will most likely touch these when preparing food.

  • Cooking utensils – Remember that anything that is used to touch raw meat with will have bacteria on it, wash up as you go along to avoid the risk of bacteria spreading.

  • Keep your fridge clean – Try to clean the fridge out completely at least once a week.

  • Throwing out food – any food that is past its sell-by date or looks mouldy should be thrown out straight away.

 

Cross-Contamination

  • Wash your hands with soap and water regularly – your hands are the biggest cause of spreading bacteria, keeping them clean by washing them after handling raw food and at regular intervals during cooking will help to avoid the spread of bacteria and stop food poisoning.

  • Storing food separately – keep cooked food and raw food separate in the fridge. Make sure all cooked and raw food is covered up.