The coronavirus outbreak not only have Americans feeling increased anxiety about the virus but also has quarantine. So, on one hand, you’re probably worried about keeping you and your family safe. On the other hand, you want to keep your house clean too and safe too.
With the whole family home, you might be finding it difficult to keep your house clean. You also might be tackling some of those projects around your house.
All that raises one question…Are you also worrying about disinfecting the right way to keep your family safe? Read on to learn what you need to know to deep clean and disinfect your home and be safe from the coronavirus.
Start With Yourself
You have probably heard over and over, from your governor to the local news, that you must wash your hands.
But wait, this was supposed to be about your house, right? Don’t worry, let’s connect the dots. First of all, when you practice regular and proper handwashing, you won’t be spreading any virus from the regular surfaces you touch around your house, so you can start with clean hands while you are cleaning.
Cleaning Vs. Disinfecting
As you consider these house cleaning tips, it’s important to note the difference between cleaning and disinfecting. While many will choose to use the terms synonymously, they are not the same.
Cleaning is about removing from surfaces any contaminants that exist. So, when you clean you are wiping surfaces down to take away any of those existing contaminants left on surfaces from hands, for example.
When you are doing those home cleaning and deep cleaning projects in your home, you might be removing dust particles but also the contaminants that could potentially be the coronavirus outbreak or flu virus.
Disinfecting means you are actually cleaning and killing the pathogens. So, if there are coronavirus pathogens left on a surface, say from someone coughing, you use a product that allows you to kill those and be rid of them.
You need to use the right kind of product as a virus cleaner (more on that later).
The CDC recommends doing a combination of both cleaning and disinfecting on a daily basis if you have people leaving your home and coming in and out.
Products and Self Protection from the coronavirus outbreak
while you are more likely to get the coronavirus from person to person contact, you can pick it up from surfaces. Yes, the virus can live on surfaces too.
Here’s a breakdown of how long it can survive on a surface:
- Metal surfaces like silverware and doorknobs up to 5 days
- Wood surfaces like furniture up to 4 days
- Plastic surfaces like milk containers, elevator buttons or detergent bottles up to 2 to 3 days
- Stainless steel like the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days
- Cardboard like shipping boxes for 24 hours
- Glass surfaces like drinking glasses, windows for up to 5 days
If you have people who have gone out of your house OR any items with these surfaces have come into your house you need to do daily cleaning and disinfecting with the right products.
Lysol or Clorox wipes will work. A bleach mixture works even better to disinfect surfaces. The CDC recommends 1/3 cup bleach for every gallon of hot water.
It’s also recommended to wear latex gloves while you are cleaning these surfaces. If you refuse the gloves, don’t use them again for other purposes. If you don’t use gloves, then scrub your hands again when you are done cleaning and disinfecting.
What to Clean
There is a suggested method for what to clean and disinfect and what order to do it in.
High Touch Surfaces
When you start both the deep cleaning and the daily disinfecting, think about those surfaces that get touched often in the course of living there day in and day out in your home. These surfaces include:
- Table surfaces
- Hard dining chairs
- Kitchen counters
- Bathroom counters
- Faucets and faucet knobs
- Toilets (seat and handle)
- Light switches
- TV remote controls
- Game controllers
Not every home is the same, so take a step back and think about the high traffic areas of your home. Where do people hang out in your home? What surfaces are they likely laying their hands on? Those are the surfaces you want to disinfect daily.
Soft surfaces are a little more tricky. They might also be less likely than those high traffic hard surfaces to be holding onto any virus pathogens. Soft surfaces include furniture, like the sofa, drapes, rugs. Clean with approved products for the surface.
Rugs and towels can be washed in the washer. Use the hottest temperature the material can tolerate.
Because of their material, electronics can hold onto the virus and need to be cleaned daily. Apple says you can use a wipe from Lysol or Clorox to wipe down the screen and case of your phone. You want to avoid the charging port from getting liquid in it.
The CDC says that your washing machine should be able to handle killing off those pathogens hanging around on clothing. If you have someone sick in your house, don’t wash their clothes with non-sick people’s clothes.
Wash clothes and rags used for cleaning on the hottest temperature possible to eliminate any pesky virus still hanging onto those surfaces.
The coronavirus outbreak has left everyone feeling on edge and worried about getting and keeping their homes clean and safe. Use these disinfecting tips to deep clean your home and keep your loved ones safe.
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