Cleaning after coronavirus
COVID-19, a novel form of the coronavirus, has changed our day-to-day routines, from grocery shopping to commuting. While most of these new habits are probably temporary, regularly disinfecting our homes should be here to stay. “Frequent cleaning of high-touch surfaces is an effective way to stop the spread of germs, not just now during the current pandemic, but whenever anyone in the home is sick,” says Carolyn Forte, a consumer products expert. “I think consumers have really learned the benefits of cleaning these often-overlooked surfaces and will continue to do so even after the current situation subsides.”
Although you don’t need to scrub your home from floor to ceiling every day – especially if no one in your household is sick – smart hygiene practices can keep you and your family healthy once life goes back to normal (or the new normal).
It may seem like a no-brainer, but experts agree that frequent hand-washing is the best way to prevent coronavirus and a long list of other diseases. COVID-19, for example, can be transmitted when infected people cough or sneeze into their hands and then touch another person’s hands. That’s why “hands are the first and most important ‘surface’ that should be cleaned to protect us from infection,” says Dr Boris Lushniak, an expert in preventative medicine. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends washing your hands several times a day with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using a hand sanitizer that contains at least 70 per cent alcohol.
Working out which surfaces you should sanitize daily is straightforward enough – the more often something is touched, the more frequently it needs to be cleaned and disinfected. Odds are, your doorknobs are near the top of that list. Experts advise washing them with soap and water first to remove dirt or grime. Then, wipe the doorknobs with a disinfectant wipe or spray – such as bleach (sodium hypochlorite), rubbing (isopropyl) alcohol, or any product with an alcohol content of 70 per cent or higher. To ensure that the disinfectant is most effective, allow it to dry for the time recommended on the product label.