Cleanliness has become the new obsession in 2020 thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. While some of the OCDs (people with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) out there may have been heaving sighs of relief that everyone is so much more conscious about cleanliness now, the majority may still be adjusting to the concept. And for the few who are still wrapping your head around the fact that abnormal cleanliness may be the new norm, here are a few more pointers to add to your list.

We have all had the “wash your hands frequently,” “sanitise your hands,” and “wear your mask” mantra drummed into us since the beginning of 2020. But there may be just another thing or two that you may want to add into your list, especially where your home is concerned. While it may have occurred to the OCDs out there, the below list of things to keep clean in your home amidst the pandemic might be new to you.

Mobile Phones

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You have washed your hands, sanitised them, and then walked into the supermarket. You’ve even got gloves that the supermarket has kindly provided you with! You go about your shopping, being extremely conscious about the cleanliness of your hands, making sure your bare skin does not come into contact with the groceries you are picking up – which of course you will sanitise as soon as you get home.

All of a sudden, you get a WhatsApp message. Without thinking, you reach into your bag to check the message. It could be urgent after all – what if your boss needs you to do something and you can’t let him know that you are out grocery shopping? Or perhaps it’s your mom at home telling you to pick up a little extra something from the supermarket. Whatever it is, it could be urgent!

So you grab your phone… with your gloves on.

Sound familiar? In this case, the issue would have been easily solved if you had removed your gloves first before reaching into your bag. But in case you did accidentally touch your mobile phone with your gloves, remember to sanitise it before you put it back into your bag. Which in this case would bring us to our second point.


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If you are a guy, all you would need to sanitise is your phone if you grabbed it while shopping. If you are however a female, your phone would most likely be in your handbag. In this case, you would need to sanitise your handbag down as well, and alcohol is not exactly friendly towards most materials.

Mobile phones aside, handbags are also one of the least hygienic items a lady can have. It is the item that is carried around the most, dropped onto the floor of the car, put on the counter in the supermarket to dig your recyclable bag or wallet out, or simply just put on the hood of the car to dig your keys out.

In most times, doing any of the above would be fine. In the current COVID-19 pandemic times, this could however spell disaster. Imagine putting your bag in the trolley or on a counter at the supermarket to dig an item out, and then having your child or spouse pick up the bag and help you put it away later.

In order to avoid any mishaps with your handbag, do remember not to put it on just any surface when outside, and clean your handbag frequently.

Holding Your Spouse’s or Kid’s Hands

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That’s right, even holding hands is a risk now. Many families bring their children out, and when in an excitement or a fluster, children reach for things and touch things in public, and then reach for their parents’ hands. Hence the mantra of washing your hands often, sanitising your hands, wearing your mask, and not touching your face.

But to further prevent this, try to leave your kids at home and do not bring them out. If it is absolutely necessary to bring them out, get them to wear gloves and coach them not to touch their faces or any of their other body parts while wearing their gloves. By doing this, parents can reduce the risk of their children contracting the virus by a great deal – and of course by also wearing a 3-ply surgical mask that has been approved by the Ministry of Health.

Please do ensure that your mask has these features - BFE, PFE, and Fluid Resistance.

Car and Home Door Handles

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These are two of the most overlooked objects – the handles of your house door and car door. You may think that you were wearing your gloves, and you have sanitised your hands.

Do however remember that all the shopping bags and items you brought home from outside are not sanitised yet. And you are now likely carrying your shopping bags barehanded – the same shopping bags that you were carrying with your gloves on before – before reaching for your house door and opening it.

In the flurry of arriving home and getting everything organised, many people forget about the cleanliness of the most touched objects in their house as it is just so normal.

In order to avoid any mishaps, do remember to sanitise your door handles frequently. Use an alcohol solution on it, or soap and water. This will help to protect your family and your loved ones.

Light Switches

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Similar to the point above, light switches are one of the most commonly touched objects in your house which do not really register in your mind as it is so commonplace. It is, however, the first thing that you will reach for when coming home in the evening or night. While this is fine if your hands have already been washed and sanitised, it may be an issue if you are coming back from a day out grocery shopping.

Imagine holding grocery bags in both hands, then reaching for the light switch to turn it on to prevent yourself from tripping over your feet in the dark. Or perhaps you left just one light on to ensure that you don’t trip over your feet – but the house is still generally dark. So you plonk your shopping down on the floor and immediately reach for the light switch to turn the lights on – without washing your hands first.

To eliminate the possibility of bringing the virus into your home by accident, do remember to wash your hands and sanitise your light switches often. Do not however use a wet cloth or you may get yourself electrocuted. You may at this time want to purchase a light switch cover in order to ensure the cleanliness of your light switches and the possibility of cleaning them without electrocuting yourself.

There is of course a long list of other objects at home that you should mind the cleanliness of in this time of pandemic, but the above-stated ones are the most important ones that you should pay attention to.

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(Written by Diane Foo Eu Lynn, 25th November 2020)