COVID-19 has caused many to question how to disinfect a home properly during the pandemic. COVID-19 can spread from person to person through droplets from the mouth or nose from an infected person. If these droplets land on hard surfaces, they can also infect others who later touch the object and later touch their eyes, nose or mouth. People can also get infected with coronavirus by inhaling said droplets from another infected person.
With the public stocking their homes with essentials and household products quickly selling out, it is important to know what to clean, how often to clean and which disinfecting products to use.
What to disinfect
Right now is the time to go beyond your typical cleaning routine. Instead of simply picking up the mess on the kitchen table, get some gloves on and thoroughly disinfect. It is especially important to focus on hard surfaces. A study conducted by U.S. researchers for the New England Journal of Medicine found that the coronavirus can stay on hard surfaces for up to 72 hours.
Using gloves, the CDC recommends disinfecting high touch surfaces in your home including:
- Light Switches
After you are done cleaning, remove your gloves by pulling them inside out and do not touch the exterior part of them with your hands.
How often to disinfect
During the coronavirus outbreak, the CDC recommends cleaning high touch areas daily, especially if you or anyone around you is ill. Also, increase your disinfecting habits if you are still out in public. Disinfect all the surfaces you come in contact with until you washed your hands after returning home.
Which disinfecting products to use
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has a complete list of approved disinfectant cleaning products that neutralize COVID-19.
Some products the EPA recommends include:
- Purell Multi-Surface Disinfectant
- Clorox 4 in 1 Disinfecting Spray
- Clorox Disinfecting Bathroom Cleaner
- Lysol Brand bleach multi-purpose cleaner
- Lysol Disinfectant Spray
- Clorox Disinfectant Wipes
- Clean Machine
If you do not have any approved disinfectant cleaners and your local store is sold out, the CDC recommends disinfecting surfaces with alcohol solutions that have at least 70 percent alcohol. If you do not have access to EPA-approved products or alcohol, you can disinfectant solutions at home.
Before handling bleach, wear proper clothing, rubber gloves, and facemask. The CDC recommends using ⅓ of a cup of bleach per gallon of water.
Hydrogen peroxide can also be used for disinfection purposes. Ideally, look for at least 3 percent hydrogen peroxide to make your own cleaner. Take your hydrogen peroxide and pour it into a spray bottle. Spray the surface you are disinfecting and let it sit enough for it to bubble or approximately five minutes. Wipe the surface clean when you are done.
Please keep in mind that vinegar is not a disinfectant and should not be used if your purpose is to disinfect.
If you are using rubbing alcohol to disinfect, make sure to open a window to keep your home ventilated. Mix 2 parts of at least 70 percent rubbing alcohol to 1 part water in a spray bottle. Spray directly on the areas you want to disinfect. Also, be careful not to clean finished surfaces as alcohol can damage these.