Cleaning Tips for COVID-19
Cleaning, Disinfecting and Sanitizing Your Home
With the outbreak of COVID-19 it’s important to clean, sanitize and disinfect, especially frequently touched surfaces and commonly used areas.
Although the risk of exposure is greater via person to person rather than touching surfaces, many are staying indoors and having items delivered. Even if you are leaving the house for quick trips to the store or you must go to work (with all the preventative precautions), there could be a small possibility of exposure so properly cleaning and disinfecting is important to stay as germ-free as possible.
Cleaning Products to Use
For a complete list of recommended disinfectants, here is a full list of cleaners from the EPA.
Some items you may already have in the home. Many items are now available again in stores in limited quantities. Some examples are:
- Arm & Hammer Disinfecting Wipes
- Bleach Disinfecting Cleaners and Wipes
- Clorox Bleach, Wipes and Sprays
- Comet Disinfecting Bathroom Cleaners
- Hydrogen Peroxide Cleaners
- Lysol Disinfecting Cleaning Products
- Scrubbing Bubbles Disinfecting Cleaners
- Soft Scrub with Bleach
How to Clean and Disinfect Surfaces
Cleaning and disinfecting surfaces may vary depending on the type of surface. Again, it’s especially important to clean the most commonly touched surfaces daily not necessarily the whole house, unless you are so inclined to do so.
If you have spare gloves, wear those and wash (reusable) or dispose after use. If you have no gloves, be sure to wash hands thoroughly after cleaning.
When cleaning and disinfecting surfaces, the EPAs recommendations are to allow the surface or item to remain wet and dry naturally. This could take up to 10 minutes but it will kill 99.9 percent of surface germs.
If necessary, vent rooms you are cleaning. This will mainly depend on the product you are using.
Items that May Need Disinfecting Daily
These are some of the more important surfaces to disinfect daily, especially if there are many people in the house.
- Light Switches
- Door Knobs
- Hand Rails
- Drawer Pulls
- Frequently Touched Cupboards and Cabinets
- All Counters (Kitchen, Bathroom, Laundry, etc.)
- Washing Machine and Dryer
- All Toilets
- All Faucets
- Kitchen Appliances (Refrigerator, Stove, Microwave, Toaster, etc.)
- Computer Keyboards, Computer Mouse, Computer and Monitor Power Buttons, Printers
- Gaming Controllers, Gaming Consoles, Gaming Cases
- TV Remotes, Movie Cases, DVD Console
- Cell Phones, Tablets, Other Frequently Used Electronic Devices
- Dining Room Table, Coffee Table, End Tables
- Bedroom Furniture that is Frequently Touched
Cleaning Hard Surfaces
Hard surfaces may consist of a variety of things. Counters, Drawer Pulls, Cabinets, Some Toys, Switches, Floors, etc.
To Clean Surface
Use soap or detergent and water. Cleaning with soap and water will first remove dirt and helps lessen the number of germs on the surface. Some toys may need the use of a toothbrush to get in tiny crevices. After cleaning then move on to disinfecting.
To Disinfect Surface
After cleaning surface, disinfect with recommended household disinfectant. Follow instructions for the type of surface you are cleaning. Allow the surface to remain wet and dry naturally.
To be thorough, you can gently use a wipe over a toothbrush or toothpick to get in crevices. For some items, a Qtip can be dipped in the disinfectant to get in tight areas as well.
Cleaning Electronic Equipment
Electronic equipment are things like: Computers, Keyboards, Mouse, Gaming Controls, IPads and other Tablets, Cell Phones, Phone and Tablet Chargers, Laptops, etc.
Before COVID-19 we didn’t think much about cleaning these highly touched surfaces but now it’s a different story. We cough, we sneeze, we talk so close to these devices that now cleaning should be done daily.
Be sure if you are wiping down screens you use microfiber cloths to avoid scratching the surface. Do not use any corrosive cleaners such as those that contain bleach.
To Clean and Disinfect Surfaces
Follow manufacturers recommended procedure for cleaning surfaces. Some items can be carefully wiped down with a rag that has been dipped and wrung out of soap and water first then cleaned with disinfecting wipes that contain 70 percent of alcohol.
If using any spray cleaners or disinfectant, spray the cloth first. Do not spray directly on the item to avoid any moisture damage.
Be sure the disinfecting method you are using will not damage screens, check manufacturers recommendations.
This may consist of clothing, drapes, bedding, reusable grocery bags, etc.
Do not shake laundry out, wear gloves if someone has been sick, wash laundry in warmest water possible for the item you are washing.
Groceries and Other Shopping Items
When you leave a store you most likely won’t be able to wash your hands so a sanitizer can work until you get home from the grocery store, home store, big box store – then wash your hands before and after handling items.
Some products and packaging can be cleaned with hard surface cleaners, vegetables and fruits can be rinsed and/or washed with soap and water for at least the recommended 20 seconds.
If packaging is not need, be sure to dispose of these in recycling receptacles.
Getting Other Members of the House Involved
As stated, cleaning and disinfecting products are more readily available now than the start of COVID-19. If possible, keep wipes close to high touch areas. When the kids are done gaming, have them wipe down games and controls.
When done on the computer, wipe down keyboard, mouse and so on.
Not only do these tips help around the house, these tips can be used to clean the car, your workspace and so on.
And remember, no matter how clean you keep the house, wash hands frequently, don’t touch your face, sneeze and cough in the crook of your arm.