Do you clean your house walls often enough? Or do you clean it at all? An Indoor Wellness Survey involving 511 respondents by Nippon Paint Malaysia as part of its Indoor Wellness Programme, revealed that only 25% of the respondents clean their living room walls weekly. Less than half (43%) clean their bedroom walls only once a year or never. This is worrying because walls are the largest surface at home, and are easily an active medium for the transmission of viruses and bacteria.
Here’s what else the survey revealed:
- Approximately 60% of the respondents (or 6 out of every 10 respondents) have poor indoor air quality.
- The healthiest group of respondents are those aged between 25 and 34 years old (making up 37% of the Healthy score category)
- The unhealthiest group those between the ages of 18 to 24 years old (making up 45% of the Very Unhealthy score category).
- 75% of respondents who live in urban areas tend to have unhealthier homes, while the remaining 25% practice good habits that leads to a healthier indoor air quality.
- The kitchen is rated as the cleanest space at home while the unhealthiest spaces in the surveyed homes are the living room and bedroom.
- Only 31% reported to cleaning their bathrooms floors 3 to 4 times a week, despite 55% of respondents admitted to spotting mould in the area.
- More than 60% use scented products in their living room, bathroom and bedroom with the misconception that it is beneficial for the areas.
Based on this survey, Nippon Paint in collaboration with the Malaysian Society of Allergy and Immunology developed the Indoor Wellness guideline. Here are ways you can clean the different areas in your house for a cleaner and healthier living environment according to the guideline:
Vacuum rooms at least twice a week. Clean the sofa once a week especially if it’s covered in fabric. For those with severe dust mite allergies, consider switching to leather, plastic or vinyl furniture to prevent accumulation of dust mites. These types of furniture are also easier to clean with a quick vacuum and weekly wipe down with a microfibre cloth.
If you have pets at home, it’s best that you vacuum daily to remove dirt and allergens. Consider a programmable robot vacuum and run it once or twice a day especially if daily vacuuming is not possible due to work schedules. Do a deep vacuum cleaning of the living room every week on top of running the robot vacuum to keep it clean.
Carpets need daily vacuuming and professional steam cleaning every six months. If you have severe allergies, consider removing the carpet and installing easy to clean surfaces such as tile, wood, linoleum or vinyl flooring. Instead of curtains, hang blinds you can dust often.
Swap chemical cleaners for milder disinfectants. Try to use homemade, natural alternatives such as vinegar, lemon juice and baking soda.
Air out new furniture that contains heavy amounts of VOC materials. These are commonly found in fabrics, wood and construction for at least a week before use. You can also further place charcoal carbon filters in and around the living room, near the new furniture that are being aired out.
Install an air purifier with a High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA). This removes dust and other air pollutants from the air.
Choose wall coatings which are easy to clean. Walls can harbour bacteria and viruses on top of dust and mould. Certain coatings have ingredients that make them anti-virus and anti-bacteria which are also easy to clean.