Schools are being closed. Companies are requiring employees to work from home. Festivals, conferences, sporting events, and concerts are being cancelled all over the world. As we enter into a time of quarantine culture in the age of coronavirus, making sure our home is clean and germ-free is more crucial than ever. These tips will help.
Wash your hands. No, REALLY wash them.
It seems so easy, but the fact is that most people don’t wash their hands properly—and some—disgustingly—don’t wash their hands at all. “Proper handwashing is particularly important because it is such a critical step in preventing the spread of germs, yet a study found that 95 percent of people are doing it incorrectly,” said the American Cleaning Institute. They advise to scrub your hands, after lathering with soap, for at least 20 seconds. To make it fun, sing Happy Birthday twice while washing, or try a few of these options.
Use hand sanitizer
If you’re in a place where soap isn’t an immediate option, hand sanitizer is your friend. If you can find it, given the fact that it’s sold out everywhere and price gougers were charging up to $300 a bottle on eBay, you’ll want to use it liberally when you’re out in public. Touch a table? Sanitize. Forget you’re not supposed to be shaking hands? Sanitize. Remember that it has to have at least 60 percent alcohol to be effective.
Give your house a good scrubbing
Now is the time to take your regular cleaning program up a few notches. Stock up on your favorite disinfectant spray and paper towels and get those surfaces spic n span. Counters, appliances, bathrooms, and floors should all be thoroughly cleaned on a regular basis. And surfaces that are touched often should be wiped down at least a few times a day.
“Practice routine cleaning of frequently touched surfaces (for example: tables, doorknobs, light switches, handles, desks, toilets, faucets, sinks) with household cleaners and EPA-registered disinfectants that are appropriate for the surface, following label instructions,” said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Don’t forget to observe safety precautions including spraying away from your face and wearing gloves. “For disinfection, diluted household bleach solutions, alcohol solutions with at least 70% alcohol, and most common EPA-registered household disinfectants should be effective.”
Keep those bleach wipes handy
Clorox wipes are among the registered disinfectants on the EPA’s list for killing coronavirus and they’re great to keep in every room (if you can find them). If you’re anything like us, you’re more likely to clean off your surfaces with a wipe than you are with a bottle of spray.
“To keep the germs at bay, use a disinfectant wipe to quickly sanitize those areas,” said c|net. “Once or twice a day should do the trick to remove germs, but if someone in your house is sick, you may want to wipe down surfaces more frequently. After you wipe the area, let it air dry to give it time to kill any bacteria that could linger.”
Leave your shoes outside
If you haven’t already developed a habit of leaving your shoes outside the front door, now is the time. There are a number of different takes on the length of time coronavirus can live on different surfaces and whether it can be tracked in on your shoes. But erring on the side of prevention is key to staying healthy. In addition. “Swapping outdoor shoes for indoor slippers” will help you “cut down on the transmission from the big dirty world into your home of fecal-borne bacteria and viruses that can cause gastroenteritis,” said MEDPAGE TODAY.
Swap out your outside clothes
While you’re getting into the habit of taking off your shoes as soon as you get home, do the same with your clothes. According to pediatrician, Dr. Kelly Fradin, “The likelihood a child’s clothing carrying an infection is still ‘relatively low,’ but having your child change out of what they wore to school and into something fresh and clean is an easy precaution to take,” said Business Insider. Same goes for adults. With more information about how long coronavirus remains active on surfaces still coming out, it makes sense to strip down and toss your clothes right into the laundry when you enter your home.