The global crisis brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic calls on everyone to be more mindful of proper hygiene, which begins at home, first and foremost. From frequent handwashing to disinfecting things that you buy outside, all of these measures are meant to keep the coronavirus at bay and prevent it from infecting any of your family members.
Is it enough to do a quick cleanup of your home, then? You want to be really thorough in sanitizing your home from the inside out, so here’s a step-by-step guide that you can follow.
1. Know how the virus spreads
First off, person-to-person transmission of COVID-19 may happen when you come into close contact—about 1 to 2 meters—with a person who is already infected. A face mask should give you protection from inhaling any droplets if the sick person talks, coughs, or sneezes.
Another way that the virus may be transferred is when you touch contaminated surfaces or objects and then touch your eyes, nose, or mouth without washing and disinfecting your hands.
Although the World Health Organization and other health agencies cannot confirm how long the novel coronavirus can survive on surfaces, it is safe to treat it like other coronaviruses, which can survive for a few hours up to several days. The timeframe may depend on the type of surface or the humidity in the surroundings.
That’s why you should do all three steps as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), namely cleaning, disinfecting, and sanitizing to reduce the number of germs on frequently touched surfaces around your home.
Use water and soap as your cleaning agent, and avoid products that release harsh chemicals. Protect your hands by wearing gloves when you are handling cleaning solutions with bleach. Then, immediately throw disposable items that you used for cleaning surfaces following proper disposal procedures.
2. Avoid bringing in items that you used going out
As much as possible, you should reserve a spot in your garage, porch, or veranda where you can leave the things that you used when you went to the grocery, bank, pharmacy, and so on. This step can help you keep the interior of your home free from any virus that may be present in crowded areas or public places.
Have a box ready to hold your personal belongings or accessories, such as your purse, shoes, car keys, watch, sunglasses, and so on. Bring them in only after you have disinfected them.
Once you get inside your home, change your clothes and immediately put the used ones in the laundry, especially if you came from hot spots like hospitals. Regular washing should be able to get rid of any virus that might have survived on your clothing, but you also need to avoid tossing your dirty laundry so that the virus won’t be released into the air.
3. Sanitize even the little things
Your home has bits and pieces of things that you touch very often, causing the virus to spread from one family member to another. These little things include light switches, doorknobs and cabinet handles, remote controls, taps, and the like. Keep them virus-free by cleaning them frequently during the day.
4. Do a deep clean of each room
Starting from the top floors going down, take the time to give each room a complete tidying up. Be sure to dust off and mop the floor or have the carpet in the bedrooms vacuum-cleaned. For the bathroom, scrub the tiles, sink, and surfaces and wipe them dry afterward.
Make sure your kitchen’s clean, especially since this is where you put or sort the items you bought from the grocery. Although the novel coronavirus is not known to infect a person with exposure to food or food packaging from outside your home, you do not want to place them on unclean surfaces in your kitchen. You may use a regular cleaning cloth or a disposable one, but be sure to throw it away right after use.
5. Spend the lockdown period giving your home a makeover
You probably have a good amount of time these days to do what you have been putting off for the longest time, like giving your home a new look or feel. You may want to move around the furniture in your living room, bring out your unused set of drapes, paint your favorite subject, and so on. All of these things can make your home cleaning a lot more fun and satisfying, as well as lighten up your everyday mood.
Needless to say, keeping your house clean helps you protect yourself and your family from getting sick with the COVID-19 or any other virus. These tips can be part of your cleaning routine, regardless if there is a pandemic or otherwise.