How To Disinfect And Keep Your Home Clean During The Coronavirus Outbreak
Understanding How The Virus Spreads
When illness threatens the general population, there is a lot of fear. However, by understanding how the virus works and spreads, you can prepare in an effective way and stem the panic. Coronavirus acts similarly to SARS and MERS.
It is spread through respiratory droplets. This can be transferred via spit and sweat. It has been suggested that the virus can remain on surfaces that the infected touch. It is, as of yet, unknown how long the virus can live on a surface. The general estimate is from a few hours to a few days.
The best way to avoid catching Coronavirus is to avoid people. Whether through coughing, sneezing, touching sweat, kissing, or touching an infected surface, you can receive the virus.
In order to stay protected at home, you’ll want to disinfect the area and kill the virus. Here’s how.
1. Clean First
Cleaning is different from disinfecting. When you want to clean, you’re basically getting rid of dust, dirt, and dead skin cells. Anything that rests on a surface is essentially something that can be cleaned. Disinfecting means you are using cleaners to kill germs and bacteria.
Before you can disinfect, you should clean the house.
Take a wet cloth and dust the area that you intend to disinfect. A wet cloth will collect dust better than a dry cloth. It will also help prevent the dust from simply flying off the surface to settle elsewhere.
You’ll also want to sweep hard floors like wood, tile, and vinyl.
Finally, carpets should be thoroughly vacuumed. You may even consider deep-cleaning them with a carpet cleaner.
2. Disinfecting Hard Surfaces
When it comes to disinfecting, the first step is to wear disposable gloves. You’re going to be working with a lot of EPA-approved household cleaners that can be rough on your skin. If you touch your eyes or mouth with your hands that have cleaner on them, you could have a serious reaction.
Gloves not only offer protection from the cleaners, but they’ll also keep you safe from the germs themselves. The last thing you want to do is infect yourself because you accidentally rubbed your eye with your germ-covered hand.
For those who want to use reusable gloves, you’ll want to ensure that you’re only ever using them for disinfecting. Otherwise, you could contaminate the home all over again.
The next step is to clean surfaces with soap and water. You can also use detergent if you wish. You may choose to throw out the sponge or cloth that you use to clean the surface depending on if you intend to use that solely for disinfecting or not.
After that, you’ll be able to actually start disinfecting. For the most effective disinfection cleaners, you’ll want to use diluted household bleach solutions, EPA-registered household disinfectants, or alcohol solutions that contain at least 70% alcohol.
If you intend to use diluted bleach, you’ll want to double-check the label to see what kind of surfaces it should be used on. You’ll also want to make sure that the area is well-ventilated. The fumes could harm you over time. You’ll also want to avoid mixing bleach with other cleaners and ammonia.
In order to prepare a diluted bleach solution, you’ll need five tablespoons, or 1/3rd cup, of bleach per gallon of water.
With your preferred method, you can then start to scrub into the surface. Let it sit for a few minutes before rinsing with warm water. You can choose to dry it with a fresh towel or let it air dry.
3. Disinfecting Carpets
For disinfecting carpet, drapes, or rugs, then you’ll need a slightly different method. Primarily, you’ll want to use a household cleaner that is safe to use on carpet and fabrics. You should be able to find EPA-registered cleaners for this purpose.
For rugs and drapes, you’ll want to launder them according to the instructions given by the manufacturer. If it’s possible, you’ll want to use the warmest or hottest temperature of water possible. Throw them in the dryer afterward and also use the hottest temperature possible. Just be mindful of the duration as you don’t want to set your items on fire.
Perhaps the most important aspect of keeping your home clean and disinfected is to not bring the germs in initially. You can do this by washing your hands thoroughly every time you come home from the outdoors. Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. You can also sing the Happy Birthday song twice. Do not touch your eyes, mouth, or your nose.
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