Over the last few months, our sense of what is clean has been heightened. If you’ve stayed indoors, you’re still washing your hands nonstop, wiping down surfaces, and keeping your distance from others. If you’ve gone out to get groceries, you’ve likely seen cleanliness taken to another level, with grocery employees wiping down every cart and register after each use, and six-foot markers on the floors. Everyone’s doing their best, but are we focusing on the most important areas? The CDC has reported that the virus can live on surfaces for hours or even days, meaning that being vigilant in our cleaning efforts is more important than ever.
Here’s how you should be cleaning and disinfecting your home during the coronavirus pandemic:
The Difference Between Cleaning and Disinfecting
While similar, cleaning and disinfecting are two different ways to protect against the virus that causes COVID-19. Cleaning, like washing your hands or using regular dish soap, removes dirt and germs from a surface. Disinfecting uses a chemical like bleach to kill the germs. Both are important and should be used in tandem to fight the virus.
Proper Cleaning Begins With You
Throughout the day, you come in contact with many surfaces, most without even thinking about it. If you leave your home, you likely touch your vehicle, the steering wheel, a shopping cart, or a pin pad at an ATM or grocery store checkout. Even the most hyper-aware person can’t possibly recall everything they come in contact with during the course of a day. Washing your hands with soap or using hand sanitizer after each outing is extremely important. Avoid touching your face or other surfaces until you’ve cleaned your hands.
Clean High-Touch Areas Next
The next areas to focus on are high-touch places like doorknobs, light switches, faucets, countertops and remote controls. These are things that everyone in your home comes in contact with and could easily spread germs.
What Products to Use to Clean Your Home
There are a number of cleaning products that can be used to fight against the coronavirus. The CDC recommends mixing 5 tablespoons of bleach for every 1 gallon of water or 4 teaspoons of bleach for every quart of water. If you’re using an alcohol-based solution, make sure to use at least 70% alcohol. Never combine multiple cleaning products as this can create dangerous fumes.
Performing Regular Chores
Yes, even the most basic daily chores require extra care during the pandemic. The CDC recommends that a person wear gloves and use the hottest possible water settings when doing dishes and laundry to avoid possible contact with the virus, should it be present on such items.
The best action anyone can take to prevent the spread of the coronavirus is to continue to practice social distancing, and minimize time spent in public spaces as much as possible. Clean and disinfect surfaces regularly and use caution at all times. With good presence of mind, we can all help to keep each other safe.