In times like these, where good hygiene is quite literally life or death during the COVID-19 outbreak, the habits of germaphobes might be more useful than you think. Ok, that might be a bit of an extreme, but being far more careful and clean around the house will go a long way.
Here are the latest tips and recommendations from the experts on how to properly clean and disinfect your living spaces during the coronavirus (otherwise known as COVID-19) pandemic.
1. Wash your hands
Wash your hands, wash your hands, wash your damn hands. Guys if you are not washing your hands for a 20 second period at least 10 times a day, you’re not doing it right. Regardless if you go outside the best preventive measure is good hand hygiene (our mamas’ have been telling us that) especially since we probably will touch our faces accidentally (I am guilty of that one). “The virus has an outside coating, and the stuff inside – DNA or RNA – is what actually causes the disease,” explains Richard Sachleben, organic chemist and member of the American Chemical Society. “For a virus, that coating is a protein, and the soap… breaks up the coating, so the virus spills its guts and falls apart.” The CDC has also referred to the coronavirus as a “fatty” virus because of this outer protein layer. If soap and water are not available, disinfect your hands using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that has at least 70% alcohol, FREQUENTLY!!
2. Focus on high-touch surfaces
Doorknobs, handles, faucets, toilets, toilet handles, light switches, cell phones, remote controls, keys, etc. These surfaces should be cleaned and disinfected several times a day to help reduce the spread of germs and viruses. According to current evidence reported by Public Health Canada, the COVID-19 virus can live on surfaces made from a variety of materials for a few hours to several days. Frequent cleaning and disinfecting of high-touch areas is the best practice measure for the prevention of COVID-19 and other viral illnesses in households and at work.
3. When in doubt, throw it out
Your bathroom is the dirtiest place in your house as you would imagine so it needs extra special regular cleaning. It’s a good idea to toss cleaning tools like your toilet brush and toothbrush and replace these with fresh ones, especially if you have recently been ill or have experienced gastrointestinal distress. But also, don’t forget to replace or wash more frequently your dish sponges, mop heads or pads.
4. Can’t touch this
You’ve heard it before, and we’ll say it again – don’t touch your face. We know it’s hard. Face touching is a subconscious act we all do but, as much as possible, avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth, especially:
- After using the bathroom
- After blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing on your hands
- Before and after eating or preparing food
- After contact with pets or animals
- Before and after contact with another person who is or may be ill
5. Use what you have
According to health experts, many household cleaning products, when used properly, are effective at killing the coronavirus. In many places, however, disinfecting wipes and cleaning products are in short supply. Fortunately, there are many other products you can use, most of which are likely already in your pantry or closet.
Any simple soap, although ones that foam are best. Soap, when mixed with warm water breaks down and removes the viral particles that may have attached themselves to the surfaces in your home.
This can also be used as a disinfectant, though not as strong as bleach. It does not need to be diluted but can discolor fabrics, so be careful where you use it.
Products that contain 70% or higher alcohol content will kill the coronavirus. Again, don’t dilute it; rubbing alcohol is safe for most surfaces.
What products are not recommended? Consumer Reports warns: “There is no evidence that [white vinegar is] effective against the coronavirus.” Vinegar is another common household product that people often clean with since it is natural and inexpensive, however, in this case, save your vinegar for your French fries. Additionally, vodka and other distilled spirits are not good disinfectants. Alternatively using some regular soap diluted with warm or hot water can help kill germs, and then you can always wipe it up or rinse off using white vinegar, if that’s something you are use to using.
Keep in Mind
For your floors, there are some great new tech tools on the market that are great! One of them is the iRobot Braava jet m6, which you can “set and forget it,” and let Alexa, Google, or Siri do the work reminding it for you. Alternatively (and one of our team’s personal favourites) is the Shark Lift-Away Pro Steam Pocket Mop. As you may have heard, heat kills the virus so steaming your surfaces is another ‘clean’ way to wipe away the virus. This particular model also has the ability to take out a hand held steamer and attachment for steaming other high-touch surfaces too. Sounds like a WIN-WIN to us. 😉
6. Technique is essential
How you clean is just as important as what product you clean with. A quick swipe is not enough, you must vigorously scrub the surface thoroughly, making sure that the entire area is wet, and then let it dry on its own. Do not wipe the product off with a dry cloth or paper towel. What’s most important is that you use plenty of disinfecting products and physical force and give the product time to work.
If surfaces are visibly dirty, they should be cleaned using soap and water before being disinfected. This two-step process will help make sure the maximum efficiency of the disinfecting product.
Remember to use disposable gloves when cleaning and disinfecting your home and discard them after each cleaning. Wash your hands immediately afterward. Gloves will also provide protection from harsh chemicals in some cleaning products that can cause skin irritation. If you don’t have access to disposable gloves, you can also use reusable rubber gloves, just make sure to wash them with hot soapy water when finished, only use them for household cleaning, and store them safely away between cleanings. Try to use these products when kids and pets are not around and keep the room well ventilated, if possible, as some products can trigger asthma.
7. Don’t forget fabrics
For soft surfaces such as carpets, rugs, drapes, clothing, etc. remove viral contamination by cleaning with proper products indicated for use on the item’s label. Wash all laundry, except for delicate items, on the hottest water setting on your washing machine, and not with cold water.
Change the bedsheets, vacuum the carpets and use an antibacterial fabric spray on mattresses, couches, and other soft surfaces.
8. Tackle the big stuff
Lastly, wash your windows, rearrange the furniture and clean behind the larger appliances. These are all things we tend to put off because we are too busy. Now, use some of the extra time on your hands to give your home a deep clean. It is spring cleaning season after all!
If you feel like you’re starting to go a little stir crazy, remember that your home doesn’t need to feel like a prison cell during this outbreak. Many retailers offer online shopping and delivery – buy some trendy new bathroom towels and swap out your bedroom linens for fresh spring prints. Making a few simple changes can help make a room feel refreshed and updated. During this difficult and uncertain time, the one thing we can control is our home environment.
There you have it guys, now you have no excuse; since you really don’t have much else to do, so get your best molly maid impression on and get your home sparkling clean.