Just a few short weeks ago, “spring cleaning” meant taking advantage of the longer days to dust off your home and make it nice and shiny for the warmer months. Today, we’re living a new reality.
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought us all together. We are sharing the collective experience of being at home, doing our utmost to stay healthy and making sure we are doing our part to flatten the curve to keep entire communities safe. Since many of us are at home full-time, it is vital that we ensure our environment is safe and virus-free. Staying home and staying clean & disinfected is how we are going to flatten the curve and keep us all safe.
The media has been sharing daily guidelines and our inboxes have been filled with long messages about what businesses and services are doing to protect us. It is overwhelming! So, let’s throw out the complicated and keep it simple.
Here are the 5 things you can do to help keep the coronavirus from living in your home:
1. Supplies: Before you get started, give your cleaning supplies an overhaul. Spring cleaning in 2020 requires different equipment to keep your home virus-free:
- Gloves: Disposable gloves are recommended, but if you don’t have any just be sure to wash your hands thoroughly before and after you clean. And, remember not to touch your face. Gloves should be discarded after each cleaning. Wash your hands before gloves are applied and immediately after gloves are removed.
- No more brushes & mops: Brushes and mops might spread the contagions. You can use a cloth or towel if you wash them in hot water and soap when you are finished.
- Disinfecting wipes & spray (at least 70% alcohol, most EPA-registered household disinfectants should be effective.)
2. Clean AND Disinfect: Cleaning is the act of removing contaminants from a surface. Disinfecting is the use of chemicals to kill germs on surfaces.
- First, clean surfaces by wiping them with soapy water or a cleaning spray and a hand towel.
- Second, disinfect with disinfecting wipes or disinfectant spray. DO NOT dry the disinfectant with a towel, let it air dry. This is important when fully disinfecting!
3. High-touch Surfaces: The CDC recommends cleaning and disinfecting high-touch surfaces daily in your home. These surfaces include:
- Door knobs
- Light switches
- Refrigerator and microwave doors
- TV remote
- Electronics (keyboards, phone etc.)
- Counters and table tops where you cook and eat
- Toilet & faucet handles
4. Laundry: For clothing, towels, linens and other items that go in the laundry it is important to take these extra steps:
- Do not shake dirty laundry. This will minimize the possibility of dispersing virus through the air.
- Use the warmest appropriate water setting for the items and dry items completely.
- Clean and disinfect hampers according to guidance above for surfaces.
- Wear disposable gloves when handling dirty laundry from an ill person and then discard or launder the gloves after each use.
5. Enter with Care: Now that your home is disinfected, when you return home from getting essentials: take off your shoes, hang up your coat (away from other clothing) and, immediately, wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water. Also, consider changing your clothes into clean ones.
Follow these 5 steps religiously to drastically reduce the risk of COVID-19 living in your home. Together, we will get through this uncertain time. Cleaning and disinfecting will help you be in control. And, the good news is we have the time at home to do it. Stay clean, stay calm, and stay kind!