Since the coronavirus global pandemic began, the number of infected individuals continue to keep rising. Without a cure available for consumers, the best way we can protect ourselves and our loved ones is to religiously practice the safety measures recommended by the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, such as social distancing, wearing of face masks and shields, and frequent washing of hands. In addition these, we also need to clean and disinfect our homes every day, even if we do not leave the house, since the virus may be present in deliveries we receive. Practicing these safety measures helps to lower the risk of contracting this deadly virus and spreading it to others.
Sanitizing Your Home in Two Steps
To effectively sanitize your Salem home and get rid of the deadly coronavirus, there are two essential steps you need to perform: cleaning and disinfection. The first step is to clean surfaces at home by removing dirt and germs from surfaces by wiping these with a clean cloth and using appropriate cleansers. This step does not eliminate pathogens like the coronavirus, which is why you also need to perform the second step of disinfecting the surfaces, which involves the use of chemicals to kill any pathogens present. For you effectively clean and disinfect your home, the CDC also recommends the use of EPA-registered disinfectants.
Prioritize High-Touch Surfaces at Home
Based on recent findings by researchers from the National Institutes of Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, UCLA, and Princeton University, the novel coronavirus can survive for several hours in air particles and for days on surfaces. The virus can live in aerosols for up to three hours and can survive even longer on surfaces. On copper, it can live for up to four hours, on cardboard for up to 24 hours, and on plastic and stainless steel for up to three days. Given these recent findings, it is apparent that cleaning and disinfecting high-touch surfaces around the house is essential to ensure that the entire household is protected from coronavirus.
High-touch surfaces at home would include doorknobs, light switches, tabletops of the dining table and work desk, the back, arms, and seats of chairs, kitchen counters, bathroom counters, faucets, toilet seats and handles, remote controls, and game controllers. As such, these surfaces are most likely to be contaminated and so, whenever possible, sanitize these immediately after you touch or use these. Otherwise, make sure to clean and disinfect these surfaces at least once every day.
How to Safely and Effectively Sanitize Your Salem Home
Before you begin sanitizing your home, make sure that you wear disposable gloves and eye protection for potential splash hazards. If there are no disposable gloves available, you can use reusable ones as long as you wash them immediately after each use. Clean surfaces as you would usually do, with soap and water, then apply a disinfectant afterwards. The CDC recommends that high-touch surfaces are cleaned and disinfected at least once a day.
Check the list of EPA-registered household disinfectants and use these to sanitize your home. It is important to read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions found on the label and make sure that the room is well-ventilated. You should never mix chemical products together because doing so might result to the production of toxic gases. After you’re done using these, immediately store these items away from children and pets.
Aside from the recommended household disinfectants, you may also use a bleach solution. To prepare a bleach solution, check and make sure that your bleach has a sodium hypochlorite concentration of 5% to 6%. Also check the expiration date and only use this if your bleach is not yet expired. Mix 5 tablespoons or 1/3rd cup of bleach with a gallon of room temperature water, or 4 teaspoons of bleach with one quart of room temperature water. Do not prepare more than you will be needing for the day, as the bleach solution will only be effective for disinfection within 24 hours. Always read and follow the instructions on the label for proper application. Generally, you will need to leave the bleach solution for at least one minute after applying it onto a surface. Keep in mind that you should never mix bleach with ammonia or any other cleanser.
How to Sanitize Soft or Porous Surfaces at Home
To clean soft or porous surfaces at home, such as carpeted floor, rugs, and drapes, the first thing you need to do is remove any visible dirt then apply the appropriate cleansing agent. You can then wash these items, using the warmest water setting, whenever possible. Always be sure to read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions as stated on the label. Allow them to dry completely.
How to Wash and Sanitize Clothes and Other Fabric Items
Be sure to protect yourself as you do the laundry by wearing disposable gloves, especially when handling a sick household member’s dirty laundry. If there are no disposable gloves at home, you may use reusable gloves but wash these immediately after you’re done handling the dirty laundry to avoid contamination. Be careful as you transfer dirty laundry from the hamper to the washing machine and avoid shaking these.
You may wash clothes, towels, linens, and other items made of cloth as you would usually do, using your regular detergents. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and use the warmest water setting whenever possible. Dry these completely.
You will also need to clean and disinfect the clothes hampers with the use of appropriate cleaning and disinfecting agents. After doing so, take off your gloves right away. For disposable gloves, throw these immediately then wash your hands thoroughly. If you’re using reusable gloves, wash these right after use.
Having to constantly clean and disinfect your home at least once every day can be quite an overwhelming task, but this is something we all would need to undertake if we want to keep ourselves and our loved ones protected from the deadly coronavirus. By doing this, along with other safety practices, we can help put an end to this pandemic so we can all go back to living our normal lives.