6 Things You Can Do Right Now To Disinfect Your Home Against Coronavirus
Each winter and into the early spring months -- and especially this year when growing Shelter-in-Place orders require our homes to be locked up tight against the new Coronavirus -- our comfortable fortresses can quickly turn into dingy dungeons. With dirt, germs, and the cold and wet weather tracked in from the outside, and even our own daily usage, sweeping and wiping of surfaces often isn’t enough to keep all surfaces and corners from becoming far more filthy than many people presume. It is important to regularly clean and disinfect your home, and pay special attention to areas that may have gone ignored. Other lingering viruses, bacteria, and allergens all pose a threat to a family’s wellbeing, so taking additional preventative measures can be invaluable; thankfully our team has prepared a handy checklist to kick off your full disinfecting routine today!
✅ Focus First on Hotspots Around the Home
Begin your routine by tackling the hard surface areas you typically touch as you go about your day. Light switches, doorknobs, and even things like the garage door opener should be sanitized using an antibacterial and antiviral cleaner -- we recommend using sanitizer wipes for this job as they are convenient, safe for most hard surface materials, and disposable. However, if you prefer to use cloth for cleaning for less waste, be sure to select a cleaning spray that will disinfect and kill common bacteria and viruses. Here is a list of CDC recommended cleaners effective against the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19. For best results and effective sanitization, allow the cleaning agent to sit on these surfaces for a minimum of three minutes, and be sure to allow the items to completely dry before using them.
Kitchen faucets and sinks can be crawling with bacteria and germs from foods, waste, and even handwashing. Like sinks, a family’s high-frequency usage of the stove and fridge can lead to a build-up of bacteria on knobs and handles. Make sure to thoroughly disinfect these hotspots prior to moving on to the larger, lower-risk areas around your home.
✅ Deep Clean Counters and Hard Surfaces
After all high usage contact areas have been cleaned, you should dedicate time to do a full wipe-down of the kitchen counters, bars areas or kitchen tables, dining room tables, living room table tops, and bathroom sinks and counters. Consider all horizontal surfaces in your home, areas where you may drop your things before moving on, and especially those areas where you like to sit and relax. These surfaces are often used by guests and can house some of the highest concentrations of germs introduced from outside the home. Cleaning wipes mentioned in the prior step are perfect for this step as well.
Just as when cleaning doorknobs and switches, make sure to allow affected areas to sit with the cleaning agent for a minimum of three minutes and fully dry before use.
✅ Clean ALL Electronics
Once high-use areas and main surfaces are cleaned, it’s time to turn your attention to phones, tablets, laptops, and accessories like headphones and chargers. Cell phones especially are used dozens of times a day and unfortunately, very few people wash their hands immediately before each use (though you’re unlikely to find one who admits it). This unmitigated usage leads to a perfect environment for germs to assemble and thrive, with close contact to our faces. Because of this proximity of use to our noses, mouths, and eyes, it is especially important to regularly wipe and sanitize cellular devices before using them.
For laptops and computers, as well as smaller tech devices, clean in between keyboard keys and remove cases and protective covers so you can fully disinfect areas that may have bacteria hidden. For most electronics, it is simple to sanitize using a slightly dampened microfiber cloth with a mixture of one-part isopropyl alcohol and one-part water in a misting spray bottle. This simple solution is fantastic for killing germs and dries quickly. Electronics can be sensitive to moisture, so be sure to check your manufacturer’s manual and take care to not submerge or soak your electronics when cleaning, and fully dry before reassembling cases and accessories.
✅ Floors & Cabinets
There are numerous places around the home that can become hideaways for dirt and bacteria. Flooring and cabinets are two of these often-overlooked places. Steam cleaning is a great way to effectively kill germs and bacteria on tile flooring and backsplashes while assisting with the removal of buildup on grout. Steam cleaning can also be a wonderful weapon for deep cleaning carpet flooring and rugs, but be sure to effectively vacuum excess water from the flooring to avoid mold and mildew setting into the subfloor and padding. Moisture-proof padding (typically referred to as “Pet-Friendly” carpet padding) is highly recommended to protect subflooring.
For more water- and chemical-sensitive flooring options like hardwood flooring and laminate, a simple damp mop can be your best weapon. Normal cleaning solvents can wreak havoc on wood flooring, but a mop that is dampened with a mixture of wood-safe soap and warm water will clear the way for cleaner floors. Frequently rinse and wring your mop thoroughly during this process to wash away dirt and germs.
There are numerous flooring options that allow for easy cleaning, so consider tile, laminate, and engineered hardwood when selecting new flooring and keeping a clean home in mind.
✅ Toys and Games
As many parents will attest, children (and their accompanying toys, games, and stuffed animals) are filthy, disease-carrying cutie-pies. Just as children are best cleaned by regularly dunking them into a bath or shower, their stuffed animals and plush toys can likewise be washed in hot water. For ease, stuffed animals can even be washed with bedding in the washing machine, and if fully dried in an open area with plentiful airflow, this method eliminates common bacterial and viral threats.
Hard plastic or wood toys and games should be subjected to regular wipe-downs and disinfections while working through a full home cleaning. However, many parents do not realize the extent of nooks and crannies in these toys that can offer sanctuary to germs and viruses. Antibacterial/antiviral wipes are a great way to tackle small amounts of hard toys, but a disinfecting bath is an easy way to take care of a deep clean on a large number of (waterproof) items. The CDC recommends a simple mix 1/3-cup of bleach per 1-gallon of water, or 4 tsp of bleach per quart of water, and allow the items to soak for 5 minutes. Then wipe with a sponge, rinse, and allow to fully air dry on a clean surface.
✅ Vehicle Interior
The last place many people think to begin a home cleaning is in the garage, and because of this, your vehicle can be a safe harbor for germs and viruses. You may wipe down the dust, or wash windows regularly, but rarely are you sterilizing the steering wheel, door handles, or climate and radio control knobs. These areas should be part of your routine as well. Using disinfectant wipes, or even regular soapy water with regular rinsing and water changes, consider every surface where the rogue droplets of a sneeze or cough could potentially fall, making your way through the cabin of the vehicle to wipe all hard surface areas.
For soft-surface areas like seats, headrests, and children’s car seats or boosters, use a cleaner that is appropriate for the particular fabric type in question. Avoid bleach-based cleaners, and test a new cleaner on a small inconspicuous area before continuing to avoid ruining the interior.
It is always a good idea to keep a stock of hand sanitizer with you, to regularly disinfect your hands on the go. A container of antibacterial wipes can help manage spills and accidents, and reinforce regular clean-up with effectively guarding against the spread of the new Coronavirus and other pathogens. Revisit this list regularly as you clean your home, especially during the months of traditional viral transmissions like the common cold and flu. We are all in this together, and The Good Guys wish you well!
READY TO TALK ABOUT YOUR PROJECT?
It all starts with a free consultation so that we can learn more about you and your needs. Complete this simple form to get started.