Home sweet home. Home clean home.
As we’re following stay-at-home guidelines under the COVID-19 pandemic, we want to keep our living spaces as healthy as they can be. That means following the CDC’s advice to make sure our kitchens, bathrooms and other high-traffic areas are clean and disinfected.
To date, the CDC has found no evidence of surface-to-person transmission . But because COVID-19 may live on surfaces for hours to days, cleaning and disinfecting your home is a wise practice during this time.
Cleaning and Disinfecting 101
Cleaning refers to the removal of germs, dirt, and impurities from surfaces. It does not kill germs, but by removing them, it lowers their numbers and the risk of spreading infection. Regular soap and water is all you need.
Disinfecting refers to using chemicals, such as EPA-registered disinfectants to kill germs on surfaces (For the EPA list, click here.) This process does not necessarily clean dirty surfaces or remove germs, but by killing germs on a surface after cleaning, it can further lower the risk of spreading infection. Make sure you’re using the right products, like bleach or rubbing alcohol, which both kill the virus. And check those expiration dates.
Get in the habit of routine cleaning.
Clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces daily.
Think of all the things you and your family touch most often and give them a daily wipe. Focus on the following:
- Light switches
- Remote controls
- Toilets and sinks
- Video game controllers
Take special care with electronics.
Keep your smartphones, tablets and computers clean, following the manufacturer’s instructions for what products to use. Don’t have those instructions? Consider using alcohol-based wipes or a spray containing at least 70% alcohol to clean and disinfect touch screens and keyboards.
New rules for laundry.
Wash on the warmest setting your clothes and linens can handle. Avoid shaking dirty laundry – it can spread the virus through the air. After you’ve handled soiled laundry, wash your hands for the recommended 20 seconds.
Don’t forget your car.
Give the high-touch areas in your vehicle a thorough wipe down with a multi-purpose disinfectant spray or wipe. You can also use good old-fashioned soap and water. Start with the steering wheel, the dirtiest part of your car. And don’t overlook the door handles, gear shift, window and radio controls, seat adjuster and cup holders.
In 2020, spring cleaning takes on even greater importance. As we continue to live with the novel coronavirus, a clean home doesn’t just feel good, it’s good for our health and safety.
You’ve got a friend in soap and water!