Tips for disinfecting your home during the COVID-19 crisis

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If you’re like most of us, the COVID-19 crisis has you washing your hands more than you ever have in your life—but about what disinfecting your home? If you haven’t been scrubbing it with bleach multiple times a day, are you in trouble?

Your first tip: breathe deeply and calm down. The last thing anyone needs at this time is more anxiety. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) believes that the main way COVID-19 spreads is when a healthy person comes in close contact with an infected person who is coughing or sneezing (which is why social distancing is so important).

That said, they haven’t ruled out the possibility that the virus could be transmitted by touching surfaces contaminated with the virus. And a recent study suggests that the virus can live for two to three days on plastic and stainless-steel surfaces. So, if you haven’t been cleaning often, it’s time to start.

Here’s how:

For hard surfaces: Clean surfaces first with soap and water, and then use a disinfectant solution to kill germs and viruses. The CDC recommends disinfectant cleaners containing either bleach or alcohol (at least 70% alcohol). You can make your own disinfectant using one-third cup of bleach per one gallon of water; leave the solution on surfaces for at least one minute.

Wear rubber gloves while cleaning. When you are done, discard the gloves and wash your hands (again!).

For soft surfaces (carpets, rugs, curtains): Where possible, toss these in the washer and dryer. For non-washable items (like wall-to-wall carpeting or upholstery) use a cleaner specifically designed for these items, or soap and water. A light spray of disinfectant (such as Lysol or Febreze Sanitizing Spray) will finish the job.

For clothing: Wash as usual on the warmest possible setting for the fabric, and then dry completely before wearing. The more often you leave the house, the more often you should wash your clothing.

For electronics: Use disinfectant wipes or isopropyl alcohol and a soft towel. Don’t use disinfectant wipes on laptop screens (some are made of soft plastic); stick with the alcohol. Wipes or alcohol can be used on phones, tablets and keyboards.

What should I clean the most?

The things that get touched the most should be cleaned the most. These items should be cleaned and disinfected daily (at least):

  • Countertops
  • Doorknobs
  • Handles (such as those on your refrigerator, oven, etc.)
  • Keyboards
  • Cell phones
  • Faucets
  • Sinks
  • Toilets
  • Light switches
  • Frequently used desks and tables
  • Remotes and game controllers

For tips on disinfecting when someone in your household has COVID-19, visit the CDC’s website. If we all follow the guidelines for handwashing, social distancing and keeping our homes safe, we can come through this health crisis stronger than ever.

Posted Date: 4/9/2020

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