COVID-19 – 7 Home Cleaning Tips – Not to fear monger, but COVID-19 cases have been increasingly on the rise. The pandemic hasn’t reached its peak yet, and the worst part is that the cure or proper prevention mechanism for the virus is at least a few months away (as of March 2020). It may possibly take close to a year for a COVID-19 vaccine breakthrough to happen. In the interim, governments are doing their best to restrict the spread of the disease. They are setting up makeshift healthcare centers to treat people who’ve contracted the virus.
In conjunction with WHO, they are also doling out personal hygiene tips to their citizens to minimize infection risks. As responsible citizens, besides steering clear of social gatherings and working from home (or telecommuting), you must keep your homes clean too so that they don’t turn into a coronavirus breeding ground. The following are seven important tips for cleaning your home effectively against COVID-19.
If a member of your house has been suspected to have COVID-19 and is quarantined, make sure you clean your house with a regular household disinfectant after they leave so that the virus doesn’t spread to other members in the house. If keeping the house completely shut for a day or three is possible, then do so before you start disinfecting the place. Use a disinfectant that is EPA-approved (Environmental Protection Agency). An EPA-registered product means it would work as its label states and not pose any health hazard. Even if there’s no COVID-19 case in your house, use disinfectants as a precaution.
Every time you clean your house, wear washable or disposable gloves and apron. The reusable gear should be thoroughly washed before using them again. The ones that must be disposed of should be securely stored for 72 hours and thrown away in the garbage only after that. The 72-hour period ensures viruses (if any) on the gloves die before they could come in contact with the garbage collectors.
Also, do not use the same pair of gloves for different rooms so that there is no cross-contamination of rooms. If cleaning visible bodily fluids or signs of heavy contamination in the house, use protection for your eyes, nose, and mouth as well. Make sure you clean your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds after all the cleaning is done and you’ve removed your personal protective equipment.
Before using your regular cleaning products, use warm soapy water and a disposable cloth to clean hard surfaces. Once done, go ahead with the products you routinely use. Pay close attention to regularly touched surfaces and areas, such as corridor grab-rails, door handles, stairwells, and bathrooms. Also, be wary of cross-contamination while cleaning your bathroom. You certainly do not want things from within the bathroom to move to other areas of the house.
When washing clothes, do not shake the clothing items vigorously so that the virus (if present) doesn’t disperse through the air. Also, do dirty laundry in the warmest possible settings. And let the washed clothes to dry completely before putting them back in your closet. Moreover, thoroughly clean and disinfect hampers like you would any other surface. Use a bag liner that could be laundered or tossed.
Certain household items, such as mattresses and furniture, cannot be laundered or cleaned using detergents. However, you could steam-clean them. For items with soft surfaces – such as rugs, drapes, and carpets – get rid of visible contamination (if any) and use appropriate cleaning products thereafter. Though there is no clear evidence stating COVID-19 could get transmitted from fabric or carpet or other soft surfaces to humans, it’s still a solid preventative measure.
Waste could originate from different items in the house, including tissues and disposable cloths. Get rid of them responsibly. Put all waste in a plastic garbage bag and tie it when full. Put the plastic bag in another bin bag and tie the second bag too. Make sure kids do not come anywhere near the waste. If the waste collection has been done after an infected person’s exit, store the waste safely for 72 hours before transferring it to community waste zones.
Make sure your house cleaning routine becomes a lot more frequent than before. Also, keep your space dry and ventilated as much as possible. Your bathrooms and kitchen should be frequently cleaned and dried since they see a lot more traffic than other rooms in your house and are also invariably damp, particularly your bathrooms.
The aforementioned cleaning tips should be adhered to even if there has been no COVID-19 case(s) in your house. These are precautionary measures that would minimize the chances of you or your loved one contracting the virus. They should be in place at least until a vaccine for COVID-19 comes up for sale.