Spring cleaning is probably a term that you have heard of before. But with the current outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19), spring cleaning has a whole new meaning. It is important to know which surfaces to keep disinfected, how to properly disinfect them and how often we should be wiping down surfaces. Here is a guide for “spring cleaning” your home for coronavirus:
Wipe down frequently touched surfaces
You might always think to wipe down the counter and the toilet, but don’t forget about the other items that get touched constantly such as faucet handles, phones, remote controls, laptops, and doorknobs. (Updated: According to Dr. Oz other items that you might not think of wiping down are a refrigerator handle, vacuum handle, cleaning spray bottle, microwave touchpad, light switches, toilet flusher, dresser handles, and car doorknob.) Just because it doesn’t look dirty doesn’t mean it is not important to wipe it down. Cleaning should be as often as every time someone leaves and re-enters your home.
What products protect from coronavirus?
The EPA has compiled a list of products that while not specifically tested on the brand-new version of the virus, have been proven effective on similar or harder-to-kill viruses. Products contain different ingredients, so it is important to use them as the label directs. Some of these products include:
- Clorox Disinfecting Wipes
- Clorox Clean-Up Cleaner + Bleach
- Lysol Disinfectant Spray
- Lysol Multi-Purpose Cleaner with Bleach
- Lysol Multi-Purpose Cleaner with Hydrogen Peroxide
- Purell Multi Surface Disinfectant Spray
- Microban 24 Hour Multi-Purpose Cleaner
How to use cleaning products to protect from coronavirus
Before using any disinfecting product, read the label to make sure it is registered with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and to see what strains of bacteria and viruses it kills. EPA registration is required by law for any cleaner that claims to kill germs.
Know that sanitizing is not the same as disinfecting. Sanitizing (reducing the number of germs) usually takes around 30 or 60 seconds. Disinfecting (killing those germs) can take anywhere up to 10 minutes depending on the product. Make sure to check the label for how long surfaces must stay wet for the most effective germ killing.
What DIY household cleaners can kill coronavirus?
If you are having a hard to procuring disinfectant products at the store, don’t worry because you might already have some products at home that work just as efficiently! Richard Sachleben, an organic chemist and a member of the American Chemical Society, said most of the cleaning products we call soap are detergents that not only remove the germs from surfaces but also can destroy them.
Bleach is very effective if you make a solution with water. The CDC recommends using five tablespoons (1/3 cup) of bleach in one gallon of water. Hydrogen Peroxide and rubbing alcohol with at least 70 % alcohol, will also kill the coronavirus.
Soft surfaces are porous
Some antibacterial sprays can sanitize soft fabrics or plush toys. The only way to fully disinfect is by washing your clothing and bedding more frequently, especially after leaving the house.
Cleaning tips for safety
Test surfaces on a hidden spot when using new cleaning products to make sure that it does not damage the surface or color of what it is you’re cleaning. Wear gloves and shield your eyes, when using bleach or other strong cleaning products. Open a window to ventilate a room and avoid mixing products because this will create stronger fumes.