With the worldwide spread of the coronavirus (Covid-19), it is more crucial now than ever to ensure that your home is effectively sanitised to reduce your chance of contracting the virus. While it is impossible to eliminate the risk completely, taking sensible and proactive precautions will help to protect you and your loved ones.
We have all witnessed the deep cleans on TV, and we are not suggesting that you go to the same extremes. However, performing a thorough clean in your property is very sensible. We also recommend following the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) advice and keep abreast of the latest developments via their website and reliable news networks.
For the purpose of this article, it is essential to understand what some key terms mean, and the two following definitions are in line with those on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Cleaning: involves the use of water and/or materials to remove “dirt and impurities” from hard surfaces. It reduces the number of bacteria present but does NOT kill them.
Disinfecting: involves the use of specially formulated chemicals to kill bacteria on hard surfaces. However, it does not necessarily mean that it removes dirt and impurities. Disinfecting should be conducted after surfaces have been cleaned. It is the primary method of reducing the spread of infection.
Here are five ways to sanitise your home:
1. Thoroughly Clean and Disinfect Hard Surfaces
Scientist and the medical professional still stress that there is an awful lot that is still unknown about Covid-19. Although some professionals argue that additional cleaning is not required the vast majority believe that it is wise with suggestions that the virus can survive for up to nine days. The most emphasis should be placed on door handles, kitchens cabinets, the frames of beds and all surfaces within one metre of the bed.
Dr Rick Martinello of Yale New Haven Health System believes that excessive cleaning is not essential. However, he advises that if you do live in a household with high footfall from different visitors, there wouldn’t be any harm in doing additional cleaning.
2. Avoid Using Herbal Cleaners or Disinfectant Wipes
There have been a lot of reports on social media regarding the benefits of natural products. It is terms of both food and cleaning products. However, Dr Robyn Gershon, professor of epidemiology at New York University, believes they have been proved to be ineffective. Experts still regard Home-friendly bleach as being the most effective disinfectant for frequently touched items.
Concerns have also been raised about the effectiveness of disinfectant wipes, especially in hotter climates. Some experts believe that the moisture will evaporate too quickly to be effective with surfaces needing to remain wet for “a few minutes”. Liquid soap and water is a far more effective alternative than wipes while also being cheaper, according to Dr Bharat Pankhania, a clinical lecturer at the University of Exeter.
If panic buying does result in shops selling out of soap or detergent, an alternative could be diluted vinegar. However, vinegar should not be mixed with bleach as this can trigger a dangerous chemical reaction. Most experts are stressing the importance of using “common sense”.
3. Focus on Light Switches and Commonly Touched Items
Throughout your cleaning, most of your attention should be concentrated on objects which are touched the most. A study by the University of Arizona found that light switches, TV remote controls and mobile phones are touched on average 3.3 times per hour. These items should be thoroughly cleaned frequently as the same study suggested that we also touch our faces 3.6 times per hour. It is this touching of the face after our hands have come into contact with the virus that is one of the most likely ways that the virus is spread.
Bill Keevil, professor of environmental healthcare at the University of Southampton, believes that the virus can survive for longer on stainless steel, glass, ceramics and plastics.
4. Encourage All Family Members Involvement
The best way to help sanitise your house is if it is done frequently. An excellent way to encourage this is for more people to become involved in the cleaning process. It can even be made fun for children and will also help to educate them regarding the dangers of the virus without causing too much alarm. In addition, you could also place a hand sanitizer near your front door. It would be best if you encouraged everyone to use it as it may also promote healthy habits.
5. Clean Clothes and Fabrics
It is still not known if the coronavirus can survive for long periods on clothing and fabrics. However, the current advice is that clothes should be changed and washed frequently and where possible, disposable gloves should be worn when handling laundry. If you don’t wear gloves, make sure you wash your hands thoroughly afterwards.
Other tips include trying to refrain from shaking dirty laundry and items should be washed at the highest possible temperature according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Where possible, let things dry completely outdoors. The wash basket should also be frequently disinfected. If someone in your household contracts or is suspected of having contracted the virus, their clothing should be kept separate.
The WHO has stressed that the most effective way of reducing your chances of contracting the virus is by thoroughly washing your hands with hot water and soap for a minimum of 20 seconds. It would be best if you washed your hands after touching surfaces which haven’t been cleaned or coming into contact with another person or animal. Regardless, the process should be completed every two to three hours to reduce your risk of infection or passing the virus on to others.
Want to Know More?
We strongly advise that you keep up to date with all the latest news regarding the Covid-19. We will endeavour to provide you with as much information as possible as well as being Bangkok’s number one on-demand laundry service. Visit our website for further details.