Keeping Your Home Germ-Free – Important COVID-19 Home Cleaning Tips
Most homeowners understand the importance of keeping a clean home. Regular cleaning helps keep potentially harmful bacteria and germs at bay. It can also help keep you and your family safe from potentially life-threatening illness.
By now, all of us have heard of COVID-19. In addition to causing potentially serious symptoms, the small size and hearty nature of this virus makes it extremely difficult to avoid. The World Health Organization (WHO) suggests that the COVID-19 virus may survive on surfaces for hours to days. The type of surface, temperature, and humidity of the environment can all impact the length of time the virus survives.
According to a study conducted by the American Cleaning Institute (ACI), 42% of Americans don’t clean the surfaces of their home properly. This can have disastrous effects, especially as homeowners and other family members travel to and from the grocery store and conduct other essential business outside of the home. The COVID-19 virus can easily attach to clothing, bags, mobile phones, and more. Once the carrier returns home, the virus can transfer undetected to surfaces like doorknobs and countertops, putting everyone in the home at risk.
Although there is no way to completely eliminate the chance of illness, there are a few things you can do to keep your home virus-free throughout the pandemic.
COVID-19 Can Survive For Up To 72 Hours on Certain Surfaces
A recent study from the New England Journal of Medicine found that COVID-19 can survive on cardboard for 24 hours and on plastic and stainless steel surfaces for 48-72 hours. Of course, conditions in the home environment play a big role in the amount of time the virus survives.
Regardless of the conditions or types of surfaces in your home, it’s important to make sure you take all necessary precautions to keep viruses at bay.
Leave Germs at the Door
COVID-19 can enter your homes on clothing, bags, and the items you carry. It’s important to make sure to properly clean your hands and all outside items as they come into your home. Remove your shoes at the doorway, wipe down any bags, and throw away any paper or plastic packaging that may have been exposed. Put your washable grocery bags into the laundry each time you use them. Do not place them on your kitchen countertops.
In addition to disinfecting everything you bring home, make sure you throw your dirty clothes into the laundry as well. The novel coronavirus clings to clothing and other porous surfaces. Removing and washing your clothes upon entering your home is the only way to remove it from these surfaces.
Focus Cleaning on High-Touch Surfaces
Although it’s important to clean all areas of your home, you’ll want to pay special attention to high-touch areas like doorknobs, light switches, cabinet handles, railings, faucets, keyboards, remote controls, countertops, and tabletops.
Disinfect All Surfaces
Clean all surfaces to remove excess dirt, dust, and grime. After cleaning, use an EPA-registered household disinfectant spray or wipe to sanitize all surfaces. Make sure you wear gloves and follow all directions listed on the product packaging.
Most disinfectants require air drying. This is crucial, as it can take some time to kill the virus. Make sure you rinse all surfaces that will come in contact with food after allowing the disinfectant to dry.
Set a Cleaning Schedule
Once you have everything you need to properly clean and disinfect your home, you’ll need to set a cleaning schedule and stick to it. Although the amount of cleaning required will depend on the number of people in your home and the amount of potential exposure, you’ll want to clean high-touch surfaces about every six or eight hours. Keep in mind, this might not be enough if multiple people have contact or if someone in your home has a job that puts them at higher risk of exposure.
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