As we all continue to adjust to the new ‘normal’ since the Covid-19 outbreak, taking every possible precaution to prevent contracting or spreading the virus is very much a part of our lives now. It’s been over a year since the COVID-19 pandemic claimed its first victim, yet the number of deaths continues to rise around the world. Although the end of this global virus outbreak is nowhere in sight, countries are beginning to reopen and learning to live with the reality of the situation. This further increases the risk of crossing paths with an asymptomatic carrier of the coronavirus which, in turn, puts your entire household at risk. Therefore, the importance of disinfecting your home is at an all-time high.
Owing to the fact that COVID-19 is a highly transmissible disease, sanitizing surfaces in your home must be carried out on a daily basis. The situation is such that we can no longer take chances, only extreme caution. Along with social distancing and practicing the recommended ways to avoid contracting and spreading the coronavirus, we must do what it takes to keep the virus out of our homes.
While the time and effort involved in disinfecting one’s home may sound overwhelming to you, it’s the smallest price one can pay if it means protecting yourself and your loved ones from the virus. So, what’s the best way to disinfect your home during COVID-19? Well, the coronavirus home disinfection guide we are sharing with you is guaranteed to yield effective results! Read on.
How you approach disinfecting a home is a lot different than routine cleaning; apart from cleaning differently (for the most part), there are important precautions to take in order to safely and effectively sanitise the house. Firstly, you must gear up as if contamination is present in your home when cleaning and sterilising it, thereby, protecting yourself from transmission while also ensuring that you do a thorough job.
With that said, here are the precautionary measures to take when disinfecting your home:
- Wear protective gear – face mask, disposable gloves, and full-length clothing
- Avoid touching your face while cleaning and disinfecting your home
- When cleaning one surface, avoid touching other surfaces unless they are to be cleaned immediately after
- Use clean or sterile cleaning tools
- Sterilise all cleaning tools after using them
- Wash your hands properly after taking off and tossing the gloves
What to Use to Disinfect Your Home
Unless the disinfectant in question is a reliable one, all your efforts will go in vain. In other words, you may have a cleaner looking area but germs will still be present on the surface. Therefore, it is highly recommended that you use one of the following disinfectants/products to effectively kill potential viruses lurking in your home:
- EPA-registered household disinfectants
- 70% isopropyl alcohol
NOTE: Natural disinfectants/ingredients are not 100% effective in killing germs and therefore, must not be used as an alternative to the above solutions.
How to Disinfect Your Home During the Coronavirus Outbreak
The key to disinfecting a house effectively is by knowing where to start, where to end, and how to go about everything in between. In this guide, we will be sharing all of that information with you to ensure that your home disinfection during COVID-19 is carried out the right way for best results.
1. Sanitize All Frequently-Touched Surfaces/Objects
For obvious reasons, things that are touched or held in one’s hand frequently tend to harbour a lot of germs. Unless these surfaces are cleaned and sanitised regularly, germs aren’t going anywhere! While you may not have had any issues with neglecting the disinfection of high-touch areas and objects in the past, during the COVID-19 virus outbreak, that can easily change.
Before we explain the simple procedure required for sterilising frequently-touched surfaces, here is a list of the most common ones below:
- Knobs and handles – Start with the front door and all other door knobs and handles in the house including drawer handles, cabinet pulls, etc
- Electrical switchboards (and switches)
- Furniture in all rooms
- Kitchen appliances (exteriors and handles) – microwave, refrigerator, coffee maker, etc
- Kitchen cabinet exteriors and handles
- Kitchen counters
- Chairs backs and armrests
- Tables and countertops
- Toilet flush handle/pull
- Toilet seat + lid
- Mobile phones and laptops
- Desktop computers + accessories (mouse, keyboard, etc)
- Remote controls
- Gaming consoles
It should be mentioned that there are many other high-touch surfaces and objects in a home that are unique to one’s household and specific habits. For example, you may have an exercise bike in your house that is used every day and therefore, requires to be wiped down and sanitised on a daily basis, whereas a different home may include gardening tools that are used every day and require the same (daily disinfection).
Tips to Disinfect Frequently-Touched Household Surfaces and Objects
- Clean before disinfecting. For effective results, it is advisable to remove dust and dirt from the surface and then sanitize it with your chosen disinfectant. Cleaning helps to pick up germs as well, while disinfecting the area will kill what is left on the surface.
- Spray the product directly onto the surface. A disinfectant requires time to act in order to kill bacteria; therefore, it is advisable to spray (non-electrical) surfaces and objects with the product. Leave it to serve its purpose for a few minutes before wiping over the area with a clean, damp cloth.
NOTE: If there are specific instructions on the label of the product, it is best you follow them.
- For electronics and/or electrical devices such as mobile phones and switchboards, dampen a clean, microfibre cloth with the disinfectant and gently wipe over the surface for a good 30 – 60 seconds.
- Use separate cleaning cloths for removing dust/dirt, and disinfecting surfaces. It is also advisable to spare as many clean cloths as needed to avoid cross-contamination when sanitizing your home daily.
2. Deep Clean Upholstered Furniture
The recommended practice of leaving shoes at the door, changing into clean clothes, and washing used clothing items as soon as you get home should go hand in hand with washing your hands with soap and water, as well as taking a shower. With these precautions in place, the possibility of contaminating upholstery in your home is limited to a household member being an actual carrier of the virus as opposed to other kinds of transmission. Hence, as long as all the people you are quarantining with follow strict protocol and precautions to prevent contracting COVID-19, deep cleaning your furniture to sanitise it needn’t be more frequent than once a month.
Steps to Disinfect Upholstered Furniture
- Remove dust and dirt with a vacuum cleaner. Be sure to use the right vacuum attachment for the fabric in question in order to pick up dirt safely and effectively. Don’t leave out crevices and narrow spaces as dirt or dust from these areas may get smeared around when the material is dampened later.
- Make a solution of mild soap and warm water, dip a clean cloth or scrubber in it, and clean the upholstery. Avoid scrubbing too hard as this may damage the fibres.
- With a clean, damp towel, wipe over the upholstery to remove the cleaning solution.
- After an hour or so, use an EPA-registered upholstery cleaner to disinfect the surface. Spray the product generously over the upholstery and allow it to combat germs overnight.
- If there is any residue left by the cleaning solution, vacuum the fabric after it has dried completely.
3. Wash Clothes Worn Outside Immediately
Prevention is certainly better than cure, so even though it is not yet known how likely the transmission of coronavirus from fabric to person is, or how long it can survive on these porous surfaces, the advisable thing to do is to not take any risks. Moreover, many clothing articles include embellishments made from metal and/or plastic, thereby increasing the risks of transmission as the virus is said to survive on these materials for longer periods.
With that in mind, the logical thing to do is change into clean clothes as soon as you come home, making sure that the clothing items are not shaken too much as this may disperse potential viruses into the air. If you don’t intend on doing a load of laundry immediately, put the clothes in the washer and leave them there until you can do a full load.
NOTE: Potentially contaminated clothing items can be washed along with regular laundry using regular detergent and the hottest water appropriate for the fabrics in question.
Tips to Clean and Disinfect Other Fabrics During COVID-19
- Wash and replace bed sheets, pillowcases, and towels once a week.
- Use regular laundry detergent and hot water (as hot as the fabric can tolerate according to the symbols/instructions mentioned on their labels).
- Avoid shaking dirty laundry when transferring to the hamper or from the hamper to the washer.
- Launder curtains, cushion covers, and rugs every two weeks.
- Wash/sanitise the laundry hamper/basket every two weeks or sooner if there are greater risks of potential viruses on clothing and other fabrics.
- Wash your hands thoroughly to sanitize them after touching dirty laundry.
4. Bathroom Disinfection Checklist
You’ve probably never given your bathroom cleaning routine as much attention as you are now during the coronavirus outbreak; that’s because, even though germs are almost always present in your bathroom, the mere thought of a highly contagious virus like COVID-19 lurking around is enough for one to take necessary measures to disinfect the space.
Sterilising your bathroom will require a reliable disinfectant and daily attention to be on the safe side. In order to ensure that you aren’t missing out on any crucial areas of bathroom disinfection, refer to the checklist below:
- Door and door knobs
- Medicine cabinet exteriors and handle/pull
- Faucets, taps, and all other bathroom fittings
- Wall tiles (including tiles behind the sink)
- Vanity storage exteriors
- Sink interiors and exteriors
- Countertop or adjacent space around the sink
- Toilet – bowl exteriors and interiors, flush tank, lid, seat, and pull/handle
- Bathtub and shower area
- Shower curtain and/or glass shower door
- Towel rack/holder
- Toothbrush holder
- Floor tiles
5. Clean and Sanitize Bedrooms Daily
During the coronavirus quarantine when most countries are on lockdown and people are staying home, individuals seem to be spending a lot more time in their bedrooms. This means that they are likely to get dirty faster and, more importantly, the presence of germs will increase. Keeping your bedroom clean and sanitised is advisable even otherwise, however, during the COVID-19 pandemic, it is critically important!
Along with disinfecting frequently-touched areas/objects and cleaning upholstery (bed sheets, curtains, etc), here is what you need to sanitise in your bedroom:
- Bedside tables
- Bed frame and bedknobs
- Closet door exteriors
- Table lamps
- Rugs or carpets
- Handheld appliances such as blow dryers, hair straighteners, etc
6. Consider Hiring a Cleaning Service For Disinfection Cleaning
As you go through this guide to sterilize your house, the amount of time and effort it takes to do this becomes truly evident. However, this isn’t the primary reason for one to consider hiring a professional house cleaning service for high touch point disinfection. The whole point of this process is to prevent contracting or spreading the virus starting within our homes; therefore, being as thorough as possible is mandatory in meeting this goal. With a team of professional cleaners who are specifically trained in doing this, you can rest assured that your home is left free of germs and potential viruses.
Of course, when looking for a cleaning service to carry out COVID-19 home disinfection, it is important that you choose a credible and experienced cleaning company that follows strict protocol within their operations. For example, all technicians must wear standard medical masks and gloves, and cleaning tools should be sanitized before and after every service.
When you are dealing with a reputable maid service like No More Chores, you can expect nothing less than professional, satisfactory results with our home cleaning and disinfection services.