Maybe you aren’t neat and tidy by nature, but during a pandemic, you want to take extra steps to protect yourself and your family. One way to do so is by keeping your home cleaner. But how do you clean your home during coronavirus isolation? Which types of cleaners should you use, and can natural formulas kill the virus? What if you must go out in public — can the germ linger on your clothing? Here are house cleaning hacks to help you during this period that is unlike anything we have experienced before.
1. Wear gloves and wash your hands
Even if you don’t typically wear gloves when you clean, now is an excellent time to start. This advice goes double if you are caring for someone who is sick.
Ideally, you want to have the infected individual isolate, but such measures aren’t always possible in close quarters. If you intend to reuse the gloves, wash them after each use.
You also want to wash your hands before and after you clean. Remember that you need to worry about more than the coronavirus.
Your hands can become contaminated with fecal matter when you clean bathrooms and pet messes. Even playing with furry friends can transfer microbes to your hands — and less than half of all people report lathering up after frolicking with Fido.
2. More house cleaning hacks: Choose the right cleaners
If you enjoy making natural cleaners using vinegar, you will need to store them for now. While the substance can kill mold, it won’t kill the coronavirus.
Only use items on the EPA approved list of disinfectants for COVID-19. Fortunately, many products with the active ingredient hydrogen peroxide qualify, so if you used that in the past, you might continue to do so. Do switch to a commercial formulation for now.
Which brands work best? Many popular formulations that use bleach make the list, so opt for things like Clorox disinfecting wipes. Lysol products also work, and you can’t beat the convenient spray container for items like light switches and toilet handles.
3. Clean frequently touched surfaces
You had your cellphone in your hand when you went to the grocery store and you laid it on the checkstand while you paid for your items. The coronavirus can live on surfaces for several days, so you want to disinfect anything that might become contaminated. These include the following:
Metal and ceramics
The virus can live for five days, so spray those doorknobs often.
Plastics and wood
The bug can survive here for up to two to three days. This category includes surfaces like your cellphone and credit cards.
Use an EPA-approved wipe that is labeled safe for electronics to clean these products. Do the same for remote controls, keyboards and computer mice.
The germ can survive for up to 24 hours on cardboard. If you have packages delivered to your home, consider making a safe space to stow them before opening. Wash your hands after retrieving them from the porch.
The trick is to make frequent cleaning less strenuous on yourself. While it may lack aesthetic appeal, try leaving a canister of wipes or spray near the things you touch most often. When you finish using the device, disinfect it in seconds.
4. Protect your attire
Experts remain unsure how long the coronavirus can live on clothing. They do know any garment may become contaminated, but fabrics like polyester might hold it longer than more breathable natural fibers like cotton.
You don’t have to wash your clothes every time you go out for a walk or grab a milk from the corner store. However, if you work in a health care facility or someone coughs or sneezes near you, do a load of laundry as soon as you can.
You should always remove your shoes when entering your house. Hard plastic soles may carry the virus farther, but they can also contain other nasties.
Nearly every step you take has been trodden by someone or something else. When you wear your shoes in the house, you drag a treasure trove of germs through every room.
House cleaning hacks to stay safer during coronavirus
Everyone should take extra precautions to stay safe and healthy during these uncertain times. Use a few simple tips to keep your home hygienic during the coronavirus pandemic as an extra step to spring cleaning habits.
About today’s writer
Kate is a lifestyle and wellness journalist from Pennsylvania. She particularly enjoys writing about topics related to women’s health and well-being. If you like her work, you can subscribe to her blog, So Well, So Woman.