With growing national concern about the COVID-19 pandemic, homeowners are trying to find more ways to keep their homes safe and free from the virus. While there is no vaccine currently available or any way to permanently make your home impervious to the disease, you can slow its spread by following the advice of experts.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention maintains that, aside from social distancing measures, hygiene helps in preventing the spread of the coronavirus. Frequent and proper handwashing, refraining from touching the eyes, nose, and mouth, and boosting the immune system are all ways to help your body combat the virus.
Beyond your own personal cleanliness, you must also regularly disinfect your home. Some homes have a set cleaning schedule, and for these homes, they may just incorporate preventive steps into the routines that are already established. For homes with no set schedules, this article discusses some things you should know about when cleaning and disinfecting your house against COVID-19.
1. Note the difference between cleaning and disinfecting
Cleaning is not the same as disinfecting. When you clean a surface, you are merely removing visible dirt, grease, or grime from it. This can be achieved just by wiping a surface with a dry rag. For stubborn stains, you may need to use a wet cloth or soap. Meanwhile, disinfecting is the use of stronger cleaning materials such as aerosols and bleach. The goal of disinfecting is not just to keep a space visibly spotless; it is also for eradicating harmful microorganisms.
It is not enough to spray a dirty surface with aerosol and wipe everything clean. Though it may look fine after you do so, disinfecting in this way makes your cleaning agents less effective. Whenever you use stronger cleaning materials, be sure to follow the package directions. If it says you must let the product sit for ten minutes, do not wipe it immediately after spraying. Solutions need the time specified on the label to activate.
2. Start a daily house cleaning schedule
Every day, you should set aside a few minutes to an hour for cleaning. If you have responsibilities, like working from home or needing to leave the house as an essential worker, you can ask your other household members to take this task on. Cleaning your home every day is a necessity, especially during a pandemic.
The two places you must clean daily are the kitchen and the bathroom. These are areas crucial to the wellbeing of your family and are often places where harmful bacteria can breed. You must clean and disinfect countertops, cabinets, drawers, and refrigerator doors and handles, as well as spills in the kitchen. Washcloths, sponges and other fabrics used in the kitchen should be washed and cleaned every day, preferably in a strong disinfectant.
In the bathroom, prioritize cleaning areas like the toilet bowl, tank, and flush handle, as well as the sinks, faucets, and showers. Empty the wastebaskets and do not use bath and face towels repeatedly. Damp cloths can breed bacteria and mold, which can worsen asthma and skin conditions. Remember, a compromised immune system makes you more susceptible to COVID-19.
3. Follow a weekly cleaning schedule as well
Every weekend, you should allocate about one to two hours for disinfecting your home. Aside from the tasks you would normally do on weekdays, you should add deep cleaning measures as well. In the kitchen, the weekend is a good time to disinfect the strainers, stovetops, and knobs. For the bathroom, you should disinfect the tub and the shower curtains or dividers. Now is also a good time to wash the exteriors of shampoo and liquid soap bottles.
Beddings should also be replaced every week or two. Wash your dirty linen in warm soapy water or toss them into the washing machine. You should also mop the floors, as well as clean and disinfect gadgets, books, mobile phones and other frequently touched items.
Beating the spread of COVID-19 is not just the task of healthcare professionals. Everyone should do their part in slowing down the virus, and one way of accomplishing this is by keeping yourself and your surroundings clean through a regular housekeeping schedule.
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