While experts research and deal with the critical effects of COVID-19, we can do our part by staying indoors. Other than observing personal hygiene and physical distancing, we can also clean and disinfect our homes to keep it virus-free. Here are some of the most recent and common questions regarding cleaning and disinfecting one’s property to prevent catching diseases.
- What is the difference between cleaning and disinfecting?
Cleaning is the process of removing contaminants from any surface of your home. The physical act of cleaning entails getting rid of dirt on the floor, walls, doors, and other areas. Disinfecting is the process of killing pathogens, and this is done through the use of chemicals.
- Why is doing both important?
Cleaning takes care of organic matter or foreign materials on the surfaces in your home that may impede the ability of disinfectants to kill germs. Cleaning and disinfecting daily (or as often as possible) puts your entire household at a lower risk of getting infected by germs and viruses.
- How should I clean and disinfect?
First, clean the different surfaces in your house by removing contaminants, dirt, dust, debris, or other foreign materials. You can use a hand towel and some soapy water or a cleaning spray for this task.
Disinfection should be surface-appropriate. Stock up on disinfecting wipes or disinfectant sprays, and check their labels to know which part of the house you can use them on.
- Why do I have to use a disinfectant?
While this strain of coronavirus is new and experts are still learning as much about it as they can, disinfectant products are known to kill different viruses. According to an infection and prevention control expert, disinfectants have worked against other types of viruses in the past, notably influenza, so why not use it against COVID-19?
- What disinfectants can I use?
In response to the crisis, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a list of disinfectants for use against SARS-CoV-2. Most disinfectants are readily available at local stores. In these times, they may be ordered online as well. Do your research on the disinfectants you are planning to use and look for information about them online and on their labels. So far, herbal-based cleaners have not been found to be effective against the virus while products with no or less alcohol have a lower chance of disinfecting.
The EPA list includes active ingredients and product providers too. Be reminded that these disinfectants are to be used exclusively on surfaces and not on living beings.
- What do I do if I don’t have disinfectants?
If travel/driving restrictions and stay-at-home orders prevent you from acquiring store-bought disinfectants, make do with the cleaning agents or soaps that you already have at home. Thoroughly scrubbing with soap and water can make a difference.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) suggests a homemade recipe for a cleaning solution using bleach. At times, though, bleach may damage surfaces and objects and be harmful to you. So in applying disinfectants and alternatives, be careful, use gloves, and make sure there’s proper ventilation in the area you are disinfecting.
- What else should I remember about cleaning and disinfecting?
After cleaning first and disinfecting the second, let the air surface dry as recommended. Wash cleaning towels regularly and throw away disinfectant wipes after use. If the surface you are disinfecting makes contact with toys or food items, rinse them with water after air drying. Also, remember to disinfect high-contact objects such as phones or high-contact surfaces such as doorknobs.
You can also call Blackhill Restoration to help with your cleaning questions.