One consequence that has emerged due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic is a collective concern over cleanliness. According to a recent study conducted by Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery, 47 percent of Americans would like to upgrade their baths during the pandemic, while 44 percent want to redesign the kitchen.
And while a lot can be done to improve hygiene in these two rooms, there also are some easy swaps and upgrades that can provide peace of mind. Here are a few ideas on how to enhance your home and reduce the transfer of germs during the COVID-19 era.
1. Install touchless faucets
You might have seen these in public bathrooms, but they are available for residential use as well. Installing a touchless faucet is a quick and easy project, and no handles or knobs means less surfaces touched and less of a chance of cross-contamination occurring after hand-washing or handling messy foods. Touchless faucets also aren’t just for the bath: You can install one in the kitchen or even a utility sink.
2. Switch to automatic soap dispensers
Once you’ve upgraded to a new contact-free faucet, why not take the cleanliness to the next level by installing a sensor-operated soap dispenser? After all, one of the best way to fight germs is by washing your hands, and like touchless faucets, touchless dispensers also help eliminate most surface contact during the hand-washing process. You can select a sleek, commercial-grade dispenser that requires some installation, or choose a battery-operated stand-alone model if you’re trying to stick to your budget.
3. Upgrade to a bidet or touchless toilet
Worried about another toilet paper shortage? Install a bidet in your bath for a hygienic alternative that uses water-jet cleaning. You can purchase a stand-alone bidet or a bidet attachment that works with your current toilet seat. You also can buy a smart toilet with or without a built-in bidet.
Many smart toilets are fully equipped with digital controls, touchless flushing and Bluetooth connectivity, as well as self-cleaning features to relieve you of toilet-scrubbing duties. Some options also might include special cleaning solutions, hydrophobic or hydrophilic glazes, advanced flushing technology and specially designed rims.
4. Use smart lighting for touchless illumination
Some of the dirtiest surfaces in a home are the light switches, with homeowners having to touch them multiple times a day, every day. So, try moving to a smart lighting system instead to help reduce the transmission of germs.
You control the lights from your phone, and with a smart system, you can control the lighting even when you’re away. This not only helps with home security, but also reduces your energy costs.
5. Eliminate contact with smart door locks
With people going in and out of the house, door locks also can be a breeding ground for germs. Digital keypad and smart door locks (such as the Google Nest Smart Lock with Nest Connect) can help reduce human surface contact. Features often include keyless options, voice activation and biometric identifiers.
6. Take it outside year-round with space heaters
We all have heard that keeping your activities outside can help minimize the risk of transmitting the virus. The solution? Pick up an outdoor patio heater for as little as $100. Heaters are especially great if you want to entertain guests on your patio.
7. Try a sanitizing closet on for size
From hands-free trash cans to refrigerators with sensors for touchless opening, tech tools and gadgets are making it easier than ever to keep our homes clean. One product that is gaining in popularity is closets that use ultraviolet light to sanitize garments.
The technology has been popular among retail clothing stores, to minimize the spread of pathogens after people try on or return apparel, and it’s now being purchased for home use. You can even recruit help from robots to convert your mudroom into a disinfection station where you and your guests can thoroughly sanitize each time you enter.