The way the whole world has changed in the past few months is an unsettling reality. Many of us haven’t encountered such a tense, disquieting situation happening at such a wide scale, and others have only heard of similar circumstances that occurred in the past. The coronavirus pandemic has limited all sorts of operations globally, and people have been restricted to their homes. While being strictly homebound gives an unrealistic feeling anyway, stepping out of the house for a need also feels surreal in the current times.
The novel coronavirus has entirely changed our definition of what a “normal” life is – from our daily work routines to our housekeeping practices, everything has been affected. Everyone wants to protect themselves and their loved ones from the COVID-19, and according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the only way to achieve this is to avoid catching the virus in the first place. This requires every individual and household to adopt strict hygiene practices, which can play a vital role in stopping the contraction and spreading of the disease.
Below, we present some home and self-cleaning tips and practices that can save your life in the wake of the ongoing pandemic.
First things first
It goes without saying that the first and foremost responsibility of every individual is keeping themselves clean and virus-free. How can you expect to protect your home and surroundings if you yourself are heedless in this regard? You would’ve heard it a million times by now, but washing your hands with soap and water more frequently is the simplest, yet the best thing you can do right now. According to Consumer Reports, using any type of soap and water and scrubbing your hands in a way so as to remove an invisible stickiness on them, will help kill the coronavirus. Use a hand sanitizer if you need to, but don’t take it as a replacement for washing.
How to clean and disinfect your home
You might think you have it all covered, perhaps not. Cleaning and disinfecting mean two entirely different things. To make this clear, let’s get a bit scientific – cleaning is associated with removing dirt, or in other words ‘germs’ from the surfaces by dusting or vacuuming. This might normally involve the use of soap and/or detergent with water. But this doesn’t necessarily mean that the surfaces have become pathogen-free as well. In fact, sometimes all this does is just transfers the germs from one surface to another.
Disinfecting refers to a more intensive cleaning whereby chemical wipes or sprays are used to ‘kill’ a large percentage of germs and pathogens residing on different surfaces, or at least rendering them ineffective. So, both cleaning and disinfecting need to be a part of your home cleaning regime, especially in the current situation. First cleaning and then disinfecting will be a holistic approach to prevent the coronavirus from invading your house.
Target the high traffic surfaces
The coronavirus is known to spread through human-to-human contact, whether it’s direct or indirect. This means you need to avoid close contact with other folks and disinfect your high-touch surfaces regularly, especially if there has been some sort of exposure to the outside world. This can be someone coming back in after having gone out in public, or any items coming from the outside.
The virus is known to survive on metal and plastic surfaces for up to 2 or 3 days. Take a moment to recall the most frequently used surfaces in your house and make sure you’re cleaning and disinfecting them. These include:
- Door handles
- Table surfaces and chairs
- Kitchen counters
- Bathroom surfaces (knobs, counters, faucets, toilets)
- TV remote controllers, etc.
Carpets are also heavily walked upon surfaces, so make sure you’re hoovering your carpets and rugs yourself. Otherwise, you can get them deep-cleaned by service providers like carpet cleaning Bromley.
Disinfectants that can be used
The good news is that despite the importance of disinfectants at this point in time, no extra money needs to be spent on high-end or specialized products. You can use any of the following options, just try to follow the product instructions and keep the cleaning area ventilated to allow any harmful fumes to escape from the air.
- Diluted bleach solutions (like hydrogen peroxide)
- Isopropyl alcohol
- Disinfecting wipes/sprays (Clorox, Lysol, etc.)
- Any potent disinfectant that can kill viruses (like the Dettol surface cleaner)
Spray and/or wipe the surfaces with your choice of disinfectant as much as you can, if possible, daily.
Disinfecting other items of use
Having talked about the basics of cleaning and sanitizing your home, it’s also important to bring into consideration other daily items of use that might get neglected in this entire chaos.
Although your regular laundry machine would suffice in disinfecting your clothes using detergent and water, make sure to keep the temperature of the water and the drying temperature at the highest possible setting. Don’t forget to disinfect all surfaces that come in contact with the dirty laundry like your laundry hamper and your hands
Mail and Other Packages
Mail and parcels, even from overseas, are less likely to transfer the coronavirus. However, as it’s known that the virus may survive on cardboard for up to 24 hours, it is advisable to go over the received packages with a disinfecting wipe. Remember, it’s always better to be safe!
Gadgets and Devices
Your tablets, mobile phones, and other gadgets that are used often are hubs of germs as they get touched very frequently. With the self-isolation and social distancing being practiced, these devices might be the ones saving you from going insane. But it’s important not to leave them contaminated with germs and viruses.
- Tablets and mobiles should be thoroughly cleaned with any disinfecting substance, be it a wipe or a 70% alcohol solution. Make sure to not leave away the inside of the cases that may be covering them.
- Desktops and laptops should also be disinfected with the same as above. However, avoid using disinfecting wipes on the displays (which may be made of plastic). You can use isopropyl alcohol and wipe the screens with a soft towel.
Finally, do not share towels, and use tissues for catching sneezes and coughs. Practice the above tips to keep your home disinfected and safe.