By now you’ve probably heard that the coronavirus can linger on surfaces for hours, the good news here is that simple disinfectants can kill the virus! Consequently, regular cleaning of your home and surroundings plays a vital role in limiting the transmission of COVID-19.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends you clean and disinfect your home regularly and frequently touched at least once daily. This might seem like a lot but just by adding these points to your routine can help lower the risk of infection for you and anyone else in your household:
1. Clean high touch surfaces daily
Every home is different, but common high-touch surfaces usually includes: Handles to doors and cabinets, fridge handle, chairs, handrails, kitchen and bathroom surfaces, taps, toilets, light switches and favorite toys. These surfaces are recommended to clean daily, first with regular cleaning solution and finally with a disinfectant.
2. Disinfect after cleaning
First clean the surface with soap or detergent and water, this because if you’ve got food particles, bodily fluids or dirt and you use a disinfectant on it, the disinfectant will be inactivated by the organic material.
Then use a disinfectant product containing alcohol (around 70%) or bleach. Vinegar and other natural products are NOT recommended.
Many disinfectant products, such as wipes and sprays, need to stay wet on a surface for several minutes in order to be effective, it’s therefore important not to wipe it off after you’ve applied it to a surface.
3. Reduce clutter for easier cleaning
Reducing clutter and removing difficult to clean items can make cleaning easier and then you can clean more often. Note that all surfaces and items can’t handle bleach and you need to pay attention to the different materials around your home.
4. Clean your electronics regularly
Mobile phones and other frequently touched electronics like tablets, remotes, keyboards, mice and gaming consoles can carry germs. These electronics should be cleaned and disinfected regularly. Use a disinfecting wipe or alcohol solution (at least 70%).
Also make sure you remove any casing that’s on your phone or tablet, clean underneath, put it back on, and clean the outside.
5. Clean more often if someone’s sick
When you have someone in the household that is sick, you should increase your cleaning drastically! Maybe they don’t have COVID-19 (or you don’t know), but unless you want to catch what they have, you need to clean thoroughly and often.
The sick person needs to be isolated, but also make sure to use a separate bathroom, and definitely don’t share things. Even sharing a tube of toothpaste is a way for germs to spread. Cutlery, plates and clothing from a sick person needs to be washed on high temperature to kill the germs so use your dishwasher and washing machine often.
6. Change clothes and shoes when coming home
It is currently unclear how long the COVID-19 virus can survive on fabric, but your clothes may have plastic and metal elements on which it might live for a few hours to several days.
Exercise common sense and good practices to consider includes removing your shoes when you enter your home and changing into clean clothes when you return home after being in public places, and washing your hands with soap and water immediately afterwards.
Wash your bed sheets, towels and clothes regularly on the warmest appropriate setting and then dry items completely in order to help kill the virus. Don’t shake out dirty laundry, instead gather it up carefully to put in the washing machine and always wash your hands with soap and water after you’ve handled laundry.