Coronavirus and Cleaning

Coronavirus and Cleaning

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It’s safe to say that 2020 will be immortalised as the year that coronavirus turned most lives upside down. The global pandemic caught us with our pants down; the viral infection caused
many businesses to fold up, forced us to work from home, and limit socialisation. More than anything, the coronavirus compelled us to rethink the way we take care of ourselves especially in the homefront. Nowadays, and perhaps in the foreseeable future, we are compelled to change the way we clean and maintain our home as this will play a major role in keeping ourselves healthy.

Fast Facts

When coronavirus hit many countries simultaneously, the virus was relatively unknown in terms of what it could do to the human body and more importantly how it’s transmitted from one person to another. As the days progressed, we’ve come to know more about coronavirus. At this point, the more we know about it, the better equipped we will be in keeping it at bay.

Coronavirus or COVID-19 is so much like the flu. It can cause sore throat, fever, lack of appetite, and in some cases may even worsen to pneumonia. Just like the flu, coronavirus is transmitted through droplets such as saliva and phlegm; this is why wearing a face mask and maintaining social distance is important in preventing the spread of the viral infection. The virus can also live up to 72 hours on certain surfaces.

Another way you can catch the virus is when you constantly touch your face. The eyes, ears, nose, and mouth are openings for the virus to affect your body. Your best line of defense is to constantly wash or disinfect your hands.

Frequent Hand Washing

Frequently washing your hands with soap and water is the best way to prevent the spread of the virus. It is also important how long you wash your hands. Some experts agree that singing “Happy Birthday” twice is long enough to get rid of the dirt and germs on your hands.

Focusing on your palms is not the only way to clean your hands. You should also scrub in between your fingers, your nails, the back of your hands, up to your wrists. This will ensure that most germs and dirt get washed away.

 

 

It is a common misconception that hand washing kills bacteria; it doesn’t. While some soaps can kill some germs because of its antimicrobial components, it is not enough to eliminate all of the
bacteria on your hands. What hand washing does is simply wash away the germs along with the dirt.

It is also important to note that frequently moisturising your hands can also prevent any bacteria from latching onto your skin. There have been studies indicating that dry, chapped hands are more prone to picking up germs than moisturised hands. Don’t skimp on that hand lotion; go ahead and lather up!

Stay Put

Even when you’re feeling fine, it is best to simply stay at home for the time being. Avoid large crowds and eating out. Try to venture out only when necessary. The longer you are in public, the more likely the virus will latch on to your person, clothing, and your hands. It seems as though there are certain people who are more vulnerable or susceptible to catch the disease than others. You may not be infected, but exposing yourself can put those living in your home at risk of contracting coronavirus. Those particularly vulnerable are older people, people with health conditions, and small children.

Of course, being cooped up at home isn’t always fun. Now would be a good time to get into a new hobby or learn a new skill.

Face Masks

The World Health Organization has stated that face masks can help reduce the transmission of the coronavirus between people. This is another line of defense that you can adopt when you are out in public. This is more to protect yourself; if you had been feeling off or sick, you wouldn’t be venturing out in the first place (unless it is an emergency and you need to go to the hospital).

Cleaning and Disinfecting Your Home

For several weeks many of us have found our home to be our only refuge during these trying times. Whether we wanted to or not, we were ordered to stay at home for our safety. Actions and socialisation were very restricted. Thankfully, this sacrifice on our part has helped curb the spread of the coronavirus.

Now that restrictions have begun to ease up, it is still important to be vigilant. We can’t let our guard down and be complacent. From now on, it would be best to think of our home as a safety bubble that we should learn how to protect at all costs.

Cleaning and Disinfecting

 

 

The two-step process of eliminating germs involves cleaning and disinfecting.

  • Cleaning refers to the removal of dirt, dust, and germs. It does not kill the bacteria or virus but it can reduce its numbers on a surface which can also lessen the spread of any infectious disease, such as the coronavirus.
  • Disinfecting is the process of killing the germs on any surface. Disinfecting doesn’t mean that dirt and germs are removed which is why cleaning is an integral step before you can begin to disinfect surface.

Doing both every time something or someone has entered your home is the best thing you can do for yourself and your family.

High Traffic Areas

Your home has certain areas that are more exposed than others. You should take more care into cleaning and disinfecting these areas since most, if not all, of your family members come in contact with these places:

  • Doorknobs
  • Tabletops
  • TV remote control
  • Telephone
  • Faucets and faucet knobs
  • Toilet seat and cover
  • Game controllers
  • Light switches
  • Bathroom counter
  • Kitchen counters

Clean these areas first with soapy water and then disinfect using bleach or isopropyl alcohol (whichever is safer on the surface materials). Thankfully there are disinfectant wipes and sprays available from the supermarket that do the job.

If you’re not sure if a disinfectant will work on the coronavirus, if the label says that it will work on influenza, RSB, and SARS, it will target coronavirus too as they all come from the same umbrella of viral infections.

 

 

When a label says it has “antiviral activity”, this is the product you should be going for instead of one that claims to have “antibacterial” power. In Australia, disinfectants are regulated by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) and its ingredients should be listed. Look for products that contain 62–71% ethanol alcohol and 0.1% chlorine bleach. Also look for quaternary ammonium compounds on the label. All disinfectants must sit on the surface for 5-10 minutes for it to kill the virus.

DIY Bleach Solution

You can make your own bleach solution at home. All you will need are a spray bottle, household bleach, and water.

Mix 1 quart water with 4 teaspoons of bleach. Place the solution in a spray bottle for easy usage. For it to work properly, after cleaning a particular surface spray the bleach solution and let it sit for at least 10 minutes before wiping it off with a wet cloth. It is important to let the bleach work its way into the germs that could be lying around in your home.

A word of caution: bleach by itself is too strong. You should also never mix bleach with other cleaning chemicals as this might cause a reaction. Whenever you use this solution, make sure to open the windows for proper ventilation, wear gloves, and keep it safe from children and pets.

Common Household Items

It’s inevitable that you’d venture out one way or another. Here are some helpful cleaning tips for things that will most likely get exposed outside:

  • Clothes: Your regular detergent is strong enough to clean and disinfect the virus and other bacteria. You may want to dry it using a warmer temperature to help kill any lingering germs. It would be better to let it dry out in the sun because the UV rays can kill most bacteria and viruses.
  • Food packaging/food: There is no reason for you to disinfect these as there is no evidence stating that the virus can cling onto food and food packages (provided these
    were prepared in a hygienic environment). Just make sure to wash your hands before and after you eat
  • Packages and Mail: Being on lockdown means that you’re likely to order more and more often online. The good news is that the transmission of the coronavirus through mail and packages is low. The bad news is that there is still that possibility. To be sure and safe, wear gloves and disinfect packages and mail using disinfectant wipes.
  • Tablet/phone: Remove its protective case if it has one. Use a disinfectant wipe that has 70% alcohol and wipe the surface, paying close attention to its buttons. Wipe the case as well.
  • Reusable shopping bags: If they are machine washable, wash them. Otherwise, wiping it down with disinfectant wipes should do the trick.
  • ● Shoes: Shoes can be tricky since out of habit we bring in our shoes as we enter our home. For now, try to practice having a pair of “going out” shoes and a pair of “home” shoes. Your “going out” shoes should be left by the door and your “home” or indoor shoes shouldn’t be used outside. It can be a nuisance, but shoes can bring in not just dirt but also germs into your home.

Computer/Laptop

This is one household item that is in dire need of your attention. Always use an alcohol-based cleaner and a soft towel to wipe down the screen, keyboard, mouse, mousepad, and the general area of where your wrist rests. Don’t use disinfectant wipes as it may damage the hardware.

Your Car

Your car should be treated like an extension of your home. It wouldn’t hurt to keep hand sanitisers, face masks, and disposable gloves handy.

Take time to disinfect the steering wheel, the shift, door handles, air conditioning knobs, and other commonly touched parts of your car. It would be wise to invest in a car seat cover so you can have it laundered every week. If possible, keep windows open when you drive to help air circulation. Wash and vacuum your floor mats. Leave out in the sun to help kill the germs.

A Disinfecting Station at Home

 

 

With COVID-19 still posing a threat, it won’t hurt to be extra careful and vigilant. Set up some disinfecting stations at home where everyone can conveniently clean and disinfect their hands.
You may place a bottle of hand sanitiser beside the bathroom and kitchen sinks. Have a tray of disinfectant wipes, disposable gloves, and some face masks ready by the door. Other areas where you put a bottle of hand sanitiser are the living room, by the telephone stand, in each bedroom, and the garage.

Air Purifiers: Do They Work?

To a certain extent, air purifiers work but the virus needs to pass through the device for it to be trapped and killed. When someone coughs or sneezes in your home, they need to be in close proximity to the air purifier for it to do its job. Because of its limited power, it is important to simply keep your house clean.

Limit Visitors

As much as you want to host the next barbeque, make sure that you, your family and friends are all safe from coronavirus before opening your doors to visitors. Some experts agree that setting up your own social bubble (people you frequently spend time with and can confidently say that they are COVID-free) will help establish a step towards becoming more open to socialisation as a whole as we learn to live with the virus.

As much as possible, limit who should enter your home especially if you live with people who are at a higher risk of getting coronavirus (the elderly, those with health conditions, and the like.)

The Takeaway: Be Safe

Coronavirus might still be here to stay and unless a vaccine is released in the near future, you will always be at risk. For now, the best way to keep yourself and your family healthy is by maintaining a clean home environment and practicing good hygiene.

Pristine Home prides in itself as one of the industry’s best reviewed home cleaners in Sydney. This pandemic has brought new meaning to the act of cleaning and we are here to help you ease through this challenging time. Our cleaners come prepared and ready to take on the task of making sure that your home is as clean as can be.


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