Cleaning Tips to Prevent COVID-19 at Home

With the coronavirus pandemic spreading all over the world and causing economies to almost come to a standstill, it’s very important that everyone learns simple steps we can all take to prevent the virus in our home.

According to the Australian department of health, you can stop/slow the spread of the virus by practicing good hand hygiene and cleaning the surfaces you come into contact with [1].

Coronavirus can be transmitted from one person to another via bodily fluids and especially the tiny droplets of saliva that float in the air when one sneezes or coughs. Coming into contact with contaminated surfaces or objects may also put you at risk of infection too [2]. Scientists are, yet to determine the role contaminated surfaces and objects play in the transmission of the coronavirus but studies have shown that the virus was found in aerosols and on objects for days after it was exposed to the virus [3]. Touching a contaminated surface, then proceeding to touch your face, mouth, or nose, also increases the risk of infection. It is for this reason; you should make it a habit of cleaning all surfaces in your home, and especially if you had a friend or visitors over to your place. The simple act of cleaning the surfaces they came into contact with helps reduce the risk of transmitting the coronavirus, among other pathogens too.

cleaning high touch surfaces for coronavirus

Cleaning High Touch Surfaces

According to Thi Thu Tran from Commercial Cleaning Sydney Co who provides disinfection services in Sydney, high-touch surfaces ought to be cleaned and disinfected every day. Official guidelines emphasise cleaning surfaces as soon as there’s been a spillage, and especially soiled surfaces (e.g., tap handles) if someone in the house is sneezing and coughing.

What Are High-Touch Surfaces?

These are the surfaces you are more likely to touch throughout the day. These include:

  • Doorknobs and locks
  • Tables
  • Toilets
  • Desks
  • Taps & Handles
  • Countertops
  • Sinks
  • Light switches
  • Desk phones and cell phones
  • Remote control
  • Computer mouse and keyboards
  • Laptops

How to Clean and Disinfect High-Touch Surfaces

Household cleaners are quite handy in cleaning high-touch surfaces. You could also use EPA-registered disinfectants to disinfect these surfaces as well. Experts, however, recommend cleaning the surfaces with soap before using disinfectants on them. Cleaning the surfaces provides a better chance to get rid of all germs. Diluted alcohol solutions with at least 70% alcohol, as well as household bleach solutions, can also be used to disinfect the surfaces.

How to Protect Yourself When Cleaning?

The first step to protecting yourself from the virus is by practising good hygiene, health, and proper handwashing. You also should avoid touching your face, eyes, mouth, as well as other parts of the body to reduce the risks even farther. Be sure to have a mask and non-penetrable gloves on when cleaning. Wash the gloves with soap and water once done cleaning, then proceed to wash your hands with soap as well.

Mail and Packages

Packages and mail pose a very low risk of transmitting the coronavirus. It doesn’t matter whether the package is coming from China or any other part of the globe, the chances of the virus surviving on the package itself are quite low. Research shows that the coronavirus can only live on cardboard for up to 24 hours. This thus means the virus will be dead by the time it reaches your doorstep. Nevertheless, giving the package a good wipe with a disinfectant before handling it wouldn’t hurt.

How to Disinfect Your Devices (Phones, Tablets, laptops)?

Clean/disinfect your android phone or iPhone with an alcohol solution (at least 70%) or a disinfecting wipe. Be sure to reach all parts of the phone, including physical buttons, the screen, and anywhere lint and dust can penetrate. Remove the case (for phones and tablets with one) and wipe the underneath of the phone, as well as the case before putting it back on. You should also consider cleaning/disinfecting any accessories that came with the phone, including earphones and the charger. The CDC recommends cleaning and sanitising your devices at least once every day, just to be safe.

How to Disinfect Your Computer

Most laptop displays are made of matte, a rather delicate material. That said, avoid using a disinfecting wipe on your screen, but instead use isopropyl alcohol solution (at least 70% concentration) and a soft towel to wipe it clean. Be sure to run the soft cloth on the exterior, the trackpad, keyboard, and the palm rest of the laptop for an even clean.

Desktop computers too need to be cleaned/disinfected with care also. While you can use a disinfecting wipe on the computer, it wouldn’t be advisable to use the same on the monitor. Stick to isopropyl alcohol solution when cleaning your computers if unsure of what disinfecting product to use. That said, start by wiping the top of the computer, then the sides, to the keys of the keyboard, the mouse, mousepad, and the exterior of the keyboard as well. To clean the monitor, start by wiping the screen, the bezels, then the back of the monitor, as well as its stands.

How to Do Your Laundry During The COVID-19 Pandemic

– Clean towels, clothes, and bed sheets regularly
– Avoid shaking dirty laundry. Doing so will only increase the chances of dispersing the virus to the air around.
– Use a detergent or soap to wash items. Be sure to use the warmest water setting appropriate for the fabric and ensure the items are completely dry before folding them. Soap and the heat help kill the virus.
– Use soap and water to wash your hands immediately after doing your laundry. You could also use a hand sanitiser for this.
– Disinfect the laundry bag before putting the clean items back in. Consider using a disposable laundry bag where/when possible.

How to Disinfect Your Shoes?

1. Put on non-penetrable gloves when handling objects that might have been contaminated, as well as when disinfecting your shoes.
2. Use a disinfecting wipe to wipe down the exterior surfaces of the shoes, including the soles.
3. Use hot water to machine-wash washable shoes.
4. Dry the shoes in a ventilated area.
5. Dispose of disposable gloves after disinfecting surfaces and objects.
6. Wash your hands with soap and water immediately after handling potentially contaminated objects, and especially if you didn’t have disposable gloves. Resist the urge to touch your face before washing your hands.

Shannon Lush
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