The corona virus pandemic has drastically changed how we go about our daily lives. The issue of health and safety has been a major highlight in all of this. Cleaning and disinfecting protocols are being implemented in hospitals, commercial establishments and public spaces. Cleaning and disinfecting your home in the new normal is an important part of your household routine too.
While we prepare our household essentials to deal with an emergency; we also need to modify our way of keeping our homes clean and safe. We suggest that you try to declutter your home first. This would help you get rid of old stuff that you don’t use anymore so you end up with having less things to clean. Then, use these helpful guidelines to keep you on track in cleaning and disinfecting your home in the new normal.
Cleaning and Disinfecting
Cleaning and disinfecting may seem the same but they are 2 different processes. It is recommended that you disinfect after cleaning your home.
Cleaning means removing germs, dirt and impurities from surfaces. It only removes germs but it does not kill germs. It still lowers the number of germs, thereby lowering the chances of spreading them.
Disinfecting is usually done after cleaning. This is the process of using chemicals to kill germs on surfaces.
Be sure to wear disposable gloves when cleaning and disinfecting. Observe proper hand-washing right after.
Target High-Touch Surfaces
The corona virus can live on cardboard for 24 hours and 2-3 days on plastic and stainless steel. Make high-touch surfaces in your home a priority when cleaning and disinfecting to limit the possibility of exposure. You should be cleaning and disinfecting these daily or after every use.
High-touch surfaces include the following:
- Door knobs
- Table tops
- Dining chars (seat, back, arms)
- Light switches
- Refrigerator, microwave and oven doors
- Drawer pulls
- Kitchen counters
- Bathroom counters
- Faucets and faucet knobs
- Toilets (seat and handle)
- Light switches
- TV remote controls
- Game controllers
- Personal computers (monitor, CPU)
- Mouse and mouse pads
- Mobile phones and tablets
Clean the surfaces by wiping them with a wet hand towel or the appropriate cleaning spray. Then apply the designated disinfectant. This can be a disinfecting wipe or spray. Alcohol-based wipes or sprays with 70% alcohol can also be used for disinfecting. Leave on for a few minutes and wipe with a dry towel. Dry surfaces thoroughly to avoid pooling of stagnant liquid.
Hard (Non-porous) Surfaces
Common hard surface materials include stainless steel, laminate, porcelain, tile, granite and various types of plastic materials.
Clean the surface with water and soap or detergent. Disinfect by wiping the surface with the appropriate household disinfectant. Leave on for a few minutes and wipe with a dry towel.
Soft (Porous) Surfaces
Soft surfaces include carpets, rugs and drapes. Wash these items according to their instructions using designated cleaners for each material. Use the warm setting on the washing machine if possible and dry them completely.
If having these washed in a laundry shop, make sure to disinfect the room and floor where you unpack these items before storing them away or using them again.
Don’t forget to wear disposable gloves when handling dirty laundry. As much as possible, do not shake dirty laundry to minimize the risk of dispersing the virus through the air.
Curtains, linens, bed sheets and pillow cases should be changed and washed regularly.
- Curtains – every 3 to 6 months
- Pillows – at least once a week
- Bed sheets – once every 1-2 weeks
- Hand towels – every 2 uses
- Bathroom towels – every 3-4 uses or once a week
- Kitchen towels – every day
Wash items according to manufacturer instructions. Use the warmest possible setting if possible. Dry them completely. Clean and disinfect clothes hampers and hangers afterwards. You can also place a disposable bag liner or a washable one on your clothes hamper.
In the Kitchen
The kitchen is where we unpack our grocery items and where we stay to prepare food. Make sure to wipe the counters clean after every use. Wash utensils with soapy water and soak in hot water if appropriate. Soak the dish sponge in hot water after use and dry completely.
Throw grocery bags coming from outside or soak them in soapy water and dry in the sun if you want to reuse them. Empty your trash can daily to keep your kitchen and your whole house clean.
How and Where to Clean
Ideally, you should clean the areas with the least foot traffic first. You can start from the bedroom and tackle the bathroom last.
When wiping surfaces, do so in an “S” motion so you cover the whole area without much overlap. Use disposable gloves as you clean and disinfect and wash your hands afterwards.
You can also designate an area near your front door where the whole family can leave their shoes, bags, keys and other items that they need to carry with them whenever they need to go out to work or run errands. This way, you can limit spreading the virus to other parts of the house.
Cleaning and disinfecting your home in the new normal isn’t as difficult as it sounds. It does require consistency and vigilance so we can keep our homes the safest and healthiest place for our loved ones to be. A clean home helps keep you healthy in mind and body too so you can keep pursuing your goals and transforming your life for the better.