Experts agree, during the coronavirus pandemic, it’s important to clean and disinfect all those surfaces your family touches daily. It’s estimated that COVID-19 can live on surfaces for up to three days. That means that you and your family could be at risk of contracting the virus days after surfaces have been touched. Here are the areas in your home that need to be disinfected daily.
Where Covid-19 lives
Thorough handwashing, good hygiene, and social distancing are all great practices to help protect you and your family from the coronavirus. But it may not be enough. A recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine looked at the coronavirus on plastic, stainless steel, copper, cardboard, and aerosol transmission.
Scientists compared the longevity of Covid-19 with SARS-CoV-1, the most closely related human coronavirus in our past history. Here’s what they found…Compared with SARS, Covid-19 can live in the air for up to three hours. But when it comes to plastic and stainless steel, the virus was detectable for up to 72 hours. On copper surfaces, Covid-19 lived up to eight hours and lived up to 24 hours on cardboard.
Clean these commonly touched areas daily
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that during this outbreak of Covid-19, you should clean and disinfect these high-touch areas in your home daily:
- Light switches
- Landline Phones
Other areas in your home to consider are the refrigerator and microwave doors and handles, as well as TV remotes and drawer knobs. Remember, although people are thought to be most contagious when they are the sickest, some can spread the virus without showing any symptoms. So, just because you don’t show any signs, it doesn’t mean your household is safe from the virus. The CDC reminds citizens that it is possible to get coronavirus by touching infected surfaces and then touching your facial area.
Don’t forget about your cell phone
We touch cell phones frequently. So, it’s important to clean your phone daily. In fact, many studies have found that cellphones can be an abundant source of bacteria, viruses, and fungi. Your touch screen may be cleaned using a disinfecting wipe. However, it’s best to check with the manufacturer of your phone first.
Everything you’ll need to know about disinfecting surfaces
- To protect yourself, wear disposable gloves to clean and disinfect surfaces. And yes, if you’re going to reuse them, then you need to wash your gloved hands with soap and water afterward. Dry the gloves and pull them off to store. Then, rewash your hands. If you choose not to wear gloves, make sure you wash your hands thoroughly when you finish disinfecting.
- Dirtier surfaces should be cleaned first with soap and water or another detergent. Cleaning does not kill germs — it lowers their numbers. Cleaning removes dirt and impurities from the surface.
- Follow with disinfectant. Disinfectants are chemicals used to kill germs on surfaces. They are not used for cleaning but will help decrease the risk of spreading the virus.
- Allow the disinfectant to remain wet on the surface for several minutes. This ensures germs are killed. Also, ensure you have proper ventilation in the area while using the product.
Which disinfectants work best
Most common EPA-registered household disinfectants, will work, says the CDC. Just check the labels to ensure they are appropriate for all surface types. Make your own disinfectant by diluting four teaspoons of bleach per one quart of water. Alternatively, use at least 70 percent alcohol to disinfect surfaces. Please note * Never mix household bleach with ammonia or any other cleanser. And yes, wipes will work to disinfect. Just look for wipes that promise to kill 99.9 percent of germs.
What to do if you don’t have disinfectants on hand
A few drops of dish soap in eight ounces of water should suffice. Just remember, while it won’t kill germs, it will remove coronavirus and other germs from the surface. To naturally cleanse your home, use a 1:1 solution of apple cider vinegar and water.
What else can you do to ensure your home stays germ-free?
When you enter your home, remove your shoes and hang up your coat. Immediately wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.
Ok, this may seem like a lot of cleaning to do in one day. But it doesn’t take long to clean high-traffic surfaces. Cleaning surfaces once a day can make a big difference in preventing the spread of infection. Plus, it will help ensure that you have a tidy, fresh home for the next few weeks of quarantine.
Additionally, make sure that all members of your household are well educated regarding preventing the spread of COVID-19 in the home. In the end, isn’t it worth it? The risk of contracting the virus far outweighs the elbow grease required to disinfect your home.
Disclaimer: “None of this has been proven to prevent, treat or remedy COVID-19, these are just things to consider.”
-The Alternative Daily