Sanitizing Your Home During COVID-19 : How and How Much?

There’s regular everyday cleaning, guests coming over cleaning and finally, the latest addition; Covid-19 cleaning.

You should be sanitizing your home on a daily basis to protect your home against the spread of germs and bacteria. With social distancing getting more and more lenient and some work places beginning to open up it is important to understand how to go about cleaning and sanitizing, and how often this needs done.

Why is this necessary?

It's important to understand why you should disinfect surfaces regularly. The virus spreads whenever a person coughs or sneezes respiratory droplets. These droplets spread onto our hands and directly onto hard surfaces.

Contact is the biggest transfer for the virus which is why it's crucial to sanitize your hands as soon as you go out. Sanitizing surfaces in your house like doorknobs, floors and furniture as often as possible will kill the virus which can live up to 24 hours. Well that’s all the details I've got for my science lesson folks.

To clean or to disinfect?

Both. Cleaning alone removes germs and dirt from surfaces however it does not kill the germs. So, while you may be effectively cleaning surfaces, without disinfecting after, you are leaving harmful pathogens to fester and grow.

Disinfecting on the other hand is with the use of chemicals that are made specifically to kill germs. Keep in mind that this process will not clean dirty surfaces or remove the harmful bacteria, but it will kill any contaminants left behind after cleaning. This combination is the most effective method of lowering the risk of spreading infection.

How to disinfect?

Before you begin to disinfect your house you must take the necessary precautions first.

  • Wear disposable gloves while cleaning and disinfecting surfaces. This is partially due to the harmful chemicals used in disinfectants which can irritate your skin.

  • Discard the gloves immediately after disinfecting and wash your hands thoroughly. If surfaces are dirty, clean with a soap or detergent beforehand.

  • Read the instructions and directions at the back of the products for information about concentration, application method as well as other precautions.

  • It is recommended to use products with 70% of alcohol.

  • Make sure to ventilate properly when using strong products like bleach.

Targeting High-Touch surfaces

Hard surfaces

Surfaces like tables, toilets, counters, cabinets, doorknobs and floors are high touch surfaces that can easily become contaminated from germs on our hands. These surfaces can be disinfected using a solution of bleach mixed in part with water. Remember that not all floors can handle bleach for example hardwood and other porous materials.

Soft, porous surfaces

Carpets, rugs or drapes should ideally be laundered with the warmest appropriate water setting. If presented with visible contamination use an appropriate cleaner. Upholstered furniture which can’t be thrown into a laundry machine will have to be cleaned using other means. Investing in a

good disinfecting spray that is safe to spray on fabrics is a good option.

Electronics

Telephones, TV remotes, microwave buttons, light switches are all used by all members of your household on a daily basis. It’s important to disinfect these using wipes or alcohol based sprays. Avoid any pooling of liquids to prevent spoiling the devices.

Cooking Utensils

An automatic dishwasher with a controlled water temperature and a powerful dishwasher detergent will disinfect your dishes and glassware thoroughly and free them from any bacterial growth.

How often should you disinfect?

This depends on a few factors, such as whether or not your household is in a high risk category for Covid or not. This includes how many people live in your home, and how often you all share common items. Another factor is whether or not someone in your household is infected. These factors will determine how frequently you should disinfect your home.

In order to prevent the spread of the virus and keep everyone in your household healthy and safe, it is ideal to sanitize and clean your house as often as possible. Remember to read labels and instructions for all products being used and to take all precautionary methods to protect yourself from harsh chemicals.

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