In an effort to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus, homeowners are encouraged to clean and disinfect their homes. Along with social distancing measures and proper handwashing, a regular cleaning routine is vital to the health and safety of you and your family members. There will be slight differences in terms of cleaning your home during COVID-19 and it involves using the right products, disinfecting high-touch surfaces, and approaching cleaning methods the right way. This article will discuss everything you need to know about cleaning and disinfecting your home to keep your home virus-free. Should you require any additional information get in touch with a cleaning expert who can advise you accordingly.
Cleaning vs. disinfecting
Before we get started, it’s important to understand the difference between cleaning and disinfecting. Cleaning refers to removing dirt, oils, and germs from a particular surface by using soap and detergents. This effectively breaks the surface tension and allow the germs to be washed away. On the other hand, disinfecting refers to killing germs on a surface by using a chemical agent. In general, disinfectants promise a 99.9% kill ratio which makes it the most effective way to kill germs and viruses.
Both of these go hand-in-hand in a sense that you should always clean a particular surface before you disinfect it. That way, the disinfectant can make contact with the germs and kill them. But in order to clean and disinfect a surface properly, you have to use the right products that fit the intended applications.
Choosing the right cleaning products and disinfectant
There’s a good chance that you already have the cleaning products available in your home. Things like water and detergent are more than enough to remove dust, dirt, debris, and other contaminants from a surface. The key is to perform diligent scrubbing to mechanically remove the germs and reduce their numbers to a safe level. We suggest using a mild soap or detergent to prevent skin irritations while cleaning.
In regards to disinfectants, we recommend buying a product that’s EPA approved for maximum efficacy. You can also mix your own disinfectant by diluting household bleach. This process requires the exact measurements so make sure to refer to the manufacturer instructions on how to dilute bleach properly. Be careful not to mix detergents with cleaning chemicals as this can create toxic fumes that are harmful to your health.
Tackling high-touch surfaces in your home
While it’s exactly unsure how long the coronavirus remains on surfaces, it’s crucial that you tackle high-touch surfaces in your home to limit its spread. Here are some examples of high-touch surfaces that you should clean and disinfect:
- Doorknobs and handles
- Light switches
- Dining chairs and tables
- Kitchen countertops
- Bathroom fixtures like faucets, handles, etc.
- TV remote
- Toilet seat and handle
- Gaming controllers
- Table surfaces
Each home will be a little bit different so pay attention to the surfaces you frequently touch the most. From there, you’ll want to tackle the cleaning and disinfecting steps the right way. It may seem complicated, but really it’s just a two-step process that anyone in the household can perform. Here’s how.
How to clean and disinfect surfaces
Step 1: Start by soaking the surface with water and a mild detergent. Use a soft-bristled brush and gently scrub the surface until all of the contaminants have been removed. Wipe the surface with a clean towel and proceed to the disinfecting process. Keep in mind that you should always use a disposable towel when wiping down surfaces to avoid recontamination when cleaning.
Step 2: Apply a surface-appropriate disinfectant and let it sit on the surface for a few minutes (refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for this step). The quickest way to disinfect a surface is by using disinfectant sprays like Lysol. For remote controllers, smartphones, and other gadgets, we recommend using disinfectant wipes instead.
And that’s about it. Make it a habit to clean and disinfect your home and you’ll greatly reduce the chances of contracting COVID-19. Always wear disposable gloves prior to cleaning your home and practice proper handwashing after cleaning and disinfecting.
Disinfecting your clothes
Many homeowners are wondering how they should disinfect their clothes. In reality, your laundry machine is already doing a good job of cleaning and disinfecting your clothes. The wash cycle itself combined with chlorine washes away contaminants while killing viruses and bacteria on the fabric The only thing you need to do is to disinfect the touch surfaces of the machine itself.
Also, don’t forget to clean and disinfect the clothes hamper as well. Ideally, you should place a disposable bag liner on top of the clothes hamper for convenience. If possible, launder your clothes using the warmest water appropriate for the clothing to kill viruses and harmful bacteria.
Like they always say, prevention is better than cure and in these situations, proper hand hygiene takes precedence above all else. Each household member should practice preventive measures like washing hands during the following:
- After using the restroom
- Before eating
- After coughing or sneezing
- After contact with pets and animals
This is to prevent germs from spreading in places that have already been cleaned and disinfected. When the following procedures are implemented, you’ll have a much lower risk of contracting the COVID-19 virus and foster a safe and hygienic home environment for you and your loved ones.