Been a little paranoid lately? We understand. The coronavirus (Covid-19) has wreaked havoc on the U.S. as well as the world lately. It has impacted our lives like never before. We are staying in our homes with our families more than we normally would, and if we have to go out, we are constantly monitoring everything we touch.
While we wait to see the result of this pandemic, there are a few things we can do to clean for the coronavirus in our homes using everyday household products and help protect ourselves and our families.
What is the Coronavirus?
In case you have been living with your family in the middle of the woods with no television or cell phone, here is a quick definition of the coronavirus. The Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person. This novel coronavirus was first discovered in Wuhan, China.
People can spread the coronavirus through close contact (approximately 6 feet or less) with one another through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. It also may be possible that a person can get the coronavirus by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their mouth, nose, or possibly even their eyes. But this is not believed to be the main way the virus spreads, and there are no documented cases of anyone getting the virus this way. The coronavirus may remain alive for hours to days on a variety of surfaces.
Cleaning for the Coronavirus
With Springtime coming and a few extra hours at home due to a highly contagious virus, cleaning your house may be something you can do to somewhat relieve that paranoid, germaphobic feeling.
Although some are suggesting to increase your home cleaning schedule only if someone in your household is showing coronavirus symptoms or you live in an area with increasing cases, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
So what is the best way to clean your home when the coronavirus may remain alive for hours to days on surfaces? Here is what you can do:
What is a “Deep Clean” for the Coronavirus?
You may have heard on the news the term “deep clean”, something businesses, schools, and other places where a large number of people gather together are doing to disinfect and clean for the coronavirus.
A “deep clean” for the coronavirus in your home means going beyond your maintenance house cleaning and disinfecting or sanitizing. It can include cleaning surfaces with a multi-surface soap or cleaner then using a disinfectant, cleaning areas you normally don’t clean, and cleaning and disinfecting or sanitizing “high-touch” areas such as doorknobs, handles, light switches, toilet handles, remote controls, and counters on a daily basis.
All-out Deep Clean
If you decide to go for the all-out deep clean, you may be cleaning areas that you have not cleaned in months or even years. Here are some of the areas in your house you can focus on:
Bedrooms – move beds, dressers, and clothes out of the closet and vacuum, vacuum, vacuum.
Kitchen – pull out dishes and clean the outside and inside of the cabinets. Pull out the food in the refrigerator/ freezer and clean the inside and the outside of it. Clean the inside and outside of the oven, burners, toasters, microwaves, and any other appliances.
Bathrooms – clean all areas of the bathroom, including the corners of the room and the shower.
Living room – move couches, tables, rugs, and furniture, then vacuum, vacuum, vacuum. Wipe off any dust using microfiber rags.
In all rooms, dust and clean ceiling fans, walls, and trim.
We are not going to sugarcoat it, this will be time-consuming, but your home will be clean and disinfected, and more than likely contain less dust, hair, dander, or any other type of allergen that causes allergies.
Cleaning Then Disinfecting or Sanitizing
Regardless if you do the all-out deep clean or not, you will still need to do your regular maintenance cleaning, but this time you will need to add an extra step. Cleaning for the coronavirus involves two steps:
- Physically clean or scrub surfaces.
- Apply a disinfectant on the surface after.
Step one physically loosens and removes germs from the surface, and step two kills them. By doing this, you will reduce the risk of spreading the virus. Scrubbing with a detergent and water can tear open the coronavirus’s protective envelope, and then the disinfectant kills it.
Clean “high-touch” Areas
There are some things in our homes that if it wasn’t for a worldwide extremely infectious virus, we probably never think about how often they are touched and that they are touched by everyone daily. These are doorknobs (inside and outside), toilet and faucet handles, refrigerator handles, light switches, remote controls, and other surfaces throughout the house. Clean and then disinfect these at least once a day.
Everyday Household Products to Use When Cleaning for the Coronavirus
For disinfecting or sanitizing the surface or an object after cleaning it, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has two common everyday household products listed as active ingredients List N Tool: COVID-19 Disinfectants.
Hydrogen Peroxide: Hydrogen peroxide is such a strong disinfectant because it has antiviral and antibacterial properties. Hospital workers use it to sterilize surgical tools. It is also a natural bleach and works well for whitening surfaces or grout (but keep it away from anything colored).
How to use it effectively: To get the most out of hydrogen peroxide’s disinfecting properties spray or pour it on a surface and let it sit for at least 60 seconds, then wipe.
Isopropanol 70% or higher (Rubbing Alcohol): Although rubbing alcohol can be toxic if consumed, it is a great disinfectant. It also has antiviral and antibacterial properties. Isopropyl alcohol is great for cleaning ink, oil, and grease spots off fabric and other surfaces. It will also remove gum and glue.
How to use it effectively: To get the most out of isopropyl alcohol, apply it to a surface or object and let it sit for at least 30 seconds.
To learn more about hydrogen peroxide and isopropyl alcohol as disinfectants, visit here.
What Else Can You Do to Protect Yourself and Your Family?
Now you have an idea of how to clean and disinfect your home for the coronavirus and what household products you can use. But what else should you do to protect yourself and your loved ones? Here is a short list:
- Frequently wash your hands for at least 20 seconds.
- If you have to go out, try to stay a distance of six feet from others.
- If you have to cough, cover it with a tissue or your elbow.
- Don’t touch your face.
- Clean and disinfect your phone screens frequently.
- Stay in your freshly cleaned and disinfected home.
There aren’t a lot of things we need to do, but the things we need to do, we need to do consistently and often. Just staying home and washing your hands will benefit you and your family.
If there is one good thing about the coronavirus, it is that you can kill it easily if you disturb its outer coating. Do this by cleaning and disinfecting or sanitizing the high-touch areas of your home.
If you have to go out to the grocery store and there are still no household cleaning products on the shelves, don’t worry the everyday household products – hydrogen peroxide and rubbing alcohol will clean and disinfect or sanitize your home against the coronavirus.
If you want to what is going on with COVID-19 now visit the CDC website.
Check out our other posts about hydrogen peroxide and isopropyl alcohol here.