Knowing what to do to protect yourself and your family can be challenging and stressful, but we’ve compiled a list of coronavirus cleaning tips to help give you some peace of mind and allow you to deep clean your apartment.
Before you start wiping down every surface and object you can think of, it’s important to know which type of coronavirus cleaning products to use and how to safely use them.
Purchase the right cleaning supplies
When it comes to coronavirus cleaning, not all products are created equal. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has provided a list of approved disinfectants to help fight coronavirus and we’ve briefly outlined them below, as well.
- Disinfectant wipes and sprays: It’s recommended that any disinfectant wipes or sprays have at least 70 percent alcohol in them to be effective. Disinfectant wipes made by brands like Lysol or Clorox are effective.
- Bleach: Bleach is another cleaning supply that can be used on countertops, plastic cutting boards, sinks, tile floors, toilets and toys. While it’s an effective cleaning product on its own, it should never be mixed with any product other than water. When using bleach, wear gloves and a mask and make sure you’re in a well-ventilated area. To ventilate in a smaller apartment, try opening the window or turning on a fan when cleaning with bleach. Because bleach is a strong cleaning agent, proper precautions need to be taken when using it.
- Soap and hot water: Soap and hot water are cleaning supplies that can be used to help kill coronavirus. When possible, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend cleaning with alcohol-based products, but soap and water will work, too.
Know the difference between cleaning and disinfecting
Often, people confuse cleaning with disinfecting. While both leave the home feeling more organized and tidier, there’s a difference between the two that’s important to know to keep your apartment safe from coronavirus.
- Cleaning removes clutter, germs and dust from a surface, but doesn’t necessarily kill the harmful pathogen
- Disinfecting kills dangerous viruses, germs and pathogens on surfaces using chemicals and prevents them from spreading
To get the best results, you should always clean before disinfecting. The combination of both coronavirus cleaning techniques helps better your odds to stay safe and healthy.
Wash your hands frequently
It may seem obvious, but washing your hands, even if you’ve been at home all day, is crucial. Everyone’s known since kindergarten that it’s smart to wash your hands after you cough, sneeze, blow your nose or use the restroom, but it’s more important now than ever to follow these guidelines. Also, it’s important to wash your hands after cleaning, disinfecting, doing laundry and dishes.
Clean household items frequently
Before the coronavirus outbreak, apartment dwellers frequently cleaned their apartments as part of weekly chores. In addition to the regular tasks like sweeping, vacuuming and mopping, people need to sanitize household objects daily, as well. So, which household items need to be wiped down?
Here are our recommendations:
1. Cellphones and tablets
Your smartphone and tablet might be the only things keeping you sane right now. Not only are they how we stay connected with loved ones, they’re also a huge source of our daily entertainment. Because we’re frequently picking them up and down, we may be placing them on objects that are less than sanitary. There’s no point in washing your hands just to pick up a dirty phone or tablet.
Cell phones and tablets need to be disinfected at least once a day. It’s wise to disinfect them before and after other people use them, too. Apple has said that it’s safe to use Clorox wipes on your phone, tablet and keyboard. While Clorox wipes are OK to use on such products, bleach is not. Avoid getting any liquid in any of the openings of your phone and try to clean the case and back of the phone daily, as well.
2. Remotes and gaming consoles
Chances are you’re getting your money’s worth on your gaming and streaming services right now. But whether you live alone or with family, you should still be cleaning your remotes or gaming consoles daily, as well. Use a disinfectant wipe to scrub the controller, buttons, on/off buttons and console itself.
3. Doorknobs, toilet handles and light switches
It’s recommended that people should be disinfecting their handles, doorknobs and light switches at least once daily as part of coronavirus cleaning. These household features are the most used surfaces in your apartment and are often touched after you’ve been in a public, potentially exposed place.
For example, you go to the grocery store, return home, open the door, flip on the light switch and go wash your hands. While your hands are now clean, you’ve put all the germs you touched when out and about on the surfaces of your home now. So, it’s essential to wipe down these areas daily to stay safe and clean.
Doing laundry may seem like the cleanest activity out there. But, this is not an area to skimp on when it comes to cleaning. When doing laundry, it’s recommended that you wear disposable gloves while touching the dirty laundry and then washing your hands when you’re finished. If you don’t have access to gloves, wash your hands after touching the dirty clothes. By washing your clothing at the warmest temperature, you’re reducing the chance of germ spread.
If someone in your apartment is sick, it’s OK to wash their clothing along with other items of laundry. But, you’ll want to make sure they get dried all the way. After you’ve finished the wash, wipe down the washing and drying machine handles, too. This is especially important if you’re using communal washing machines.
5. Countertops and hard surfaces
This may seem obvious, but you should be wiping down your countertops several times a day with disinfectant wipes, soap and water or bleach. A tip from the CDC is to clean the area first with soap and water to remove, dust, dirt or germs and then go over it again with disinfectant to kill the germs entirely. Don’t wipe down the counter afterward immediately, let it sit for at least 10 minutes and then if you wish you can wipe it down again with water.
6. Soft surfaces
To clean things like carpet, rugs and drapes, you can use soap and water. Another solution is to launder them if that service is available in your neighborhood.
Coronavirus can live on surfaces, however, the duration it lives on different surfaces does vary. For example, it can live on plastic and stainless steel for two to three days and can live on cardboard packages for 24 hours.
So, before bringing in your packages from the online shopping you’ve done, make sure you use the proper precautions. You can either let it sit in a confined room for 24 hours or wipe it down with wipes and wash your hands after disposing of it.
Staying safe, clean and sane
Let’s be honest, it’s a crazy time right now with everything going on in the world. Keeping your apartment safe with these coronavirus cleaning tips will help you feel more in control and protected, plus you’re doing your part to flatten the curve.