Below are “Quick & Dirty” tips on how to protect your home and keep it clean, especially now during this recent pandemic of COVID-19. Clean and Disinfect
For starters, there’s a difference between cleaning and disinfecting, says Natasha Bhuyan, M.D., regional medical director at One Medical. “Cleaning is the removal of germs or dirt from the surface,” says Dr. Bhuyan. “This doesn’t kill pathogens, it often just wipes them away—but it still lowers the spread of infection.”
Disinfection, on the other hand, is the act of using chemicals to kill germs on surfaces, says Dr. Bhuyan. Here’s a look at what qualifies for each:
Cleaning: Vacuuming carpets, mopping floors, wiping countertops, dusting, etc.
Disinfecting: “Use CDC-approved disinfectants to target surfaces that have an increased amount of contact such as doorknobs, handles, light switches, remotes, toilets, desks, chairs, sinks, and countertops,” says Dr. Bhuyan.
CDC-Approved Cleaning Products for Coronavirus
“The coronavirus is effectively destroyed by almost any household cleaner or simple soap and water,” notes Zimmerman. But there are certain disinfectants the government is recommending specifically for the coronavirus pandemic. For instance, the EPA released a list of recommended disinfectants to use against the novel coronavirus. However, “pay attention to the manufacturer’s instructions on how long the product should remain on the surface,” says Dr. Bhuyan.
Dr. Bhuyan also suggests looking at the American Chemistry Council’s (ACC) Center for Biocide Chemistries’ (CBC) list of cleaning supplies to fight the coronavirus, in addition to the CDC’s home cleaning guide.
While there are several product options to choose from in the above lists, some essentials to include in your coronavirus cleaning list include Clorox bleach; Lysol sprays and toilet bowl cleaners, and Purell disinfectant wipes. (Also: Here are some helpful tips for not touching your face.)
Other Ways to Keep Germs Out of Your Home
Consider the below tips—along with your list of CDC approved disinfectants and the hygiene recommendations about handwashing—as your antiviral plan of attack.
Leave “dirty” items at the door. “Minimize the entrance of pathogens into your home by taking off your shoes and keeping them at the doorway or garage,” suggests Dr. Bhuyan (though she also notes that COVID-19 transmission through footwear isn’t common). “Be aware that purses, backpacks, or other items from work or school may have been on the floor or another contaminated area,” adds Dr. Arthur. “Don’t set them on your kitchen counter, dining table, or food prep area.”
Change your clothes. If you’ve gone out, or if you have kids who have been at daycare or school, change into a clean outfit upon returning home.
Have hand sanitizer by the door. “Doing this for guests is another easy way to minimize the spread of germs,” says Dr. Bhuyan. Ensure your sanitizer is at least 60-percent alcohol, she adds. (Wait, can hand sanitizer actually kill the coronavirus?)
Wipe down your work station. Even when working from home, it’s a good idea to clean your own computer keys and mouse frequently, especially if you eat at your desk, says Dr. Arthur.
Utilize “sanitizing cycles” on your laundry washer/dryer and dishwasher. Many newer models have this option, which uses hotter-than-usual water or temperatures to reduce bacteria.
|Article by Dominique Michelle Astorino|