Household cleaning is a part of everyday life, but now, during the pandemic, it’s more important than ever. The question on everyone’s mind is how to disinfect their homes and places of business properly. The correct method and materials are paramount in keeping yourself, your coworkers, and your family safe during this uncertain time.
How Does COVID-19 Spread?
COVID-19 is spread primarily through person-to-person contact, as the virus travels via exposure to respiratory droplets. Coughing, sneezing, and even just speaking can transfer the droplets. This is why it is recommended to stay at least six feet away from others not residing in your household.
These respiratory droplets can also land on surfaces and stay there for periods ranging from 24 to 72 hours, depending on the surface material. For that reason, it’s also critical to thoroughly wash your hands and disinfect frequently-touched surfaces.
What You Should Be Doing Every Day
The CDC recommends frequently wiping down surfaces like doorknobs, light switches, drawer handles, countertops, desks, faucets, and toilets because all members of the household use them. Use cleaning solutions that are intended for each type of surface for best results.
If surfaces are dirty, clean them with water and/or detergent before disinfection. Click here to see an EPA-approved list of disinfectants that are effective for COVID-19. Be sure to check the label for contact times and warnings.
The space you’re cleaning should be well-ventilated, so you don’t inhale the fumes. Proper ventilation also protects you from droplets that linger in the air. The length of time it takes the droplets to dissipate depends on the size of the space and the ventilation quality.
It’s especially important to keep your phone and other electronic devices clean as you touch them throughout the day. Follow the manufacturer’s cleaning guidelines if available or use wipes or spray with at least 70 percent alcohol content.
If you suspect that someone experiencing COVID-like symptoms has been in your home or business, there are a few extra steps you can take:
- Vacuum porous items like fabric seats, carpets, and drapes, and launder them where applicable
- While cleaning, use disposable gloves
- Do not touch your face, mouth, ears, or nose while wearing the gloves
- Make sure to remove and dispose of your gloves properly after each cleaning.