Wiping down and disinfecting – that’s what they say you should do to fight viruses in your home. It would help to know how to do it and what works… Here are tips from trusted international sources.

Here’s what you’re dealing with. As far as we know, coronavirus spreads mainly from one person to another in close contact. Droplets from coughs and sneezes can land in your mouth or nose or be inhaled.

But you could also get COVID-19 after touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching your mouth, nose, or possibly your eyes.

So it makes sense to disinfect regularly around the home. Luckily, coronaviruses are some of the easiest types of viruses to kill, according to the Environmental Protection Agency in the USA.

According to a recent study, COVID-19 can survive up to four hours on copper, up to 24 hours on cardboard and up to three days on plastic and stainless steel. It can float as droplets in the air for up to three hours before falling, but usually drops sooner.

So it can linger on surfaces, which is why you should disinfect them regularly – not deep clean once a week as you did before, but rather daily. The places to clean are ones that get touched often. That would be your kitchen counters, table tops, doorknobs, bathroom taps, toilets, all kinds of phones, tablets and handhelds, computer keyboard and mouse, bedside tables.

If a surface is dirty, wipe it clean first. After that you can disinfect. Don't wipe off a disinfectant right away. Leave it on for a bit to kill viruses.

Put on disposable gloves which you toss away afterwards. If the gloves are reusable, keep them separate for cleaning and disinfection and nothing else. Check the manufacturer’s instructions for washing them.

Make sure you dry surfaces such as worktops and chopping boards very well. Dampness helps germs to survive – and multiply, if there is enough water around.

Cloths and mops must be kept clean, or they’ll spread germs. And when you take off the gloves after a cleaning session, wash your hands right away.

Bleach is good. Mix 4 teaspoons bleach with 1 litre of water. Wear gloves while using bleach, and never mix it with anything else. Don't keep the solution for longer than a day because bleach will degrade some plastic containers. Clean the surface, let it dry, then apply the bleach mix. Leave for at least 10 minutes before wiping it off.

Bleach can corrode metal in the long run so don’t keep using it forever on taps and stainless steel. Rinse it off kitchen counters as well so it doesn’t discolour or damage the surface.

Solutions with at least 70 percent alcohol work on hard surfaces. Put the alcohol on a cleaned, dry surface and leave for at least 30 seconds to disinfect. Alcohol is fine for most materials but can discolour some plastics in the long run.

Hydrogen peroxide is often sold with a concentration of 3%. Use it like that or diluted to 0.5% and leave on surfaces for 1 minute before wiping. Or pour it undiluted into a spray bottle and spray it on. Hydrogen peroxide is not corrosive, but can discolour fabrics – as bleach does. You can pour some in a hard to reach place and leave it since it basically breaks down into oxygen and water.

With all of these disinfectants, keep kids and pets out the way so they don’t inhale fumes or lick where they shouldn’t.

Wash hands before and after handling food. Cut raw meat and vegetables on separate cutting boards. It’s not sure yet if the virus can spread through food handled by someone who’s infected and has unclean hands. With hot food, the cooking will probably kill the virus. But take extra care with uncooked food such as salads or sandwiches.

For washing clothes and bedding, use the warmest temperature allowed for the material and let it dry thoroughly. The sun is your friend!


CLEANING OUT CORONA CLEANING OUT CORONA Reviewed by Jet Club on March 20, 2020 Rating: 5
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