Disinfect your home regularly to keep your family healthy.
The CDC has provided a number of helpful resources and guidelines since the outbreak of COVID-19. We’ve learned to limit our outings to essential trips, wash our hands for two minutes at a time, and wear a face mask when possible.
We’ve also heard that it’s important to disinfect our home and belongings, although we may not know exactly what that entails. What cleaning supplies should we use, how often should we clean, and what extra precautions should we take if someone in our household has fallen ill?
Our team at ADA Smile Place reviewed the CDC guidelines for household disinfecting to put together these simple, easy-to-follow instructions.
Read on to find out more about how to clean your home and belongings so you can stay virus-free.
Choosing Your Disinfectant
The CDC recommends using a household disinfectant that the EPA has approved for use against COVID-19. This includes gentler products, such as hydrogen peroxide, as well as more aggressive cleaners like bleach.
Make sure you follow the instructions on your cleaner. For example, some cleaners are most effective when left on the surface for a while and wiped away after several minutes. You should also make sure your disinfecting solution has not expired, or it may not be as effective.
Remember not to mix chemicals without doing some research first. Bleach does not mix well with most non-bleach household cleaners and doing so will create toxic fumes.
For example, mixing bleach with the natural cleaner, vinegar, will produce chlorine gas. Mixing a bleach-based cleaner with an ammonia-based cleaner will create chloramine vapor.
Cleaning High-Touch Surfaces
How often do you need to disinfect your house? What areas should you focus on?
It’s best to disinfect common areas like the kitchen and dining room once a day. You can wipe down counters, tabletops, and hardwood or metal chairs during this daily sweep. We recommend using a sponge to do your cleaning and popping it in the microwave for 45 seconds afterward!
You may want to disinfect what we call “high-touch” areas two or three times a day, depending on how often people are coming in and out of your home. High-touch surfaces include doorknobs, light switches, faucets and taps, appliance handles, toilets, and any desks or tables you may be using to work or school from home. If it’s touched on the regular, it needs a little extra TLC!
How to Disinfect Laundry and Other Soft Surfaces
Try to wash your day-wear, like jeans and shirts, after each use if possible. That doesn’t mean you have to do laundry every day. Instead, it means you should try to avoid wearing clothing items more than once between washes.
Wash each clothing item on the highest heat possible—be careful not to shrink your favorite sweater! Make sure to thoroughly dry each item in the dryer so it gets an extra zap of heat.
Other soft surfaces may be a little trickier if they aren’t machine washable. For example, many area rugs are too large for the washing machine; however, you can use carpet cleaners and bleach disinfectant to clean your rugs, drapes, and upholstered furniture.
Keeping Electronics Clean
We touch our electronics constantly, so how do we keep them clean?
The CDC recommends we use sprays or wipes with at least 70% alcohol in them to clean electronics. Wipes are best for our keyboards, cellphones, landlines, and remote controls. If you’re worried about damaging your electronics with disinfectant, look for waterproof, wipeable covers to encase your electronics that are easy to clean.
It’s a good idea to try and disinfect your most frequently used electronics two to three times a day. For lesser-used electronics, aim for about two to three times a week.
How to Clean When a Member of Your Home Is Sick
If someone in your household is sick, especially with COVID-19, you will need to take extra precautions. Let’s take a look at how you should handle materials and objects that were used by this member of your household.
Provide separate amenities and supplies.
To avoid further spread, anyone with COVID-19 should be physically separated from the rest of the household.
Designate a specific bathroom and bedroom for them to use. Provide them with their own personal supplies, such as toilet paper, towels, and alcohol-based cleaning wipes. That way, they’ve got everything they need while they recover!
While you may feel inclined to disinfect this area of the house more than others, try to limit your comings and goings here. Only enter these areas to clean if they really need it and make sure to wear protective gear like a mask and gloves.
Wear disposable gloves when cleaning.
Quarantined members of your household will still need to have their dishes cleaned and their clothing washed! Always wear disposable gloves when handling these items and throw them away as soon as you have finished cleaning. Then, wash your hands with soap for two minutes.
You can wash their dishes and clothing with the rest of the household’s belongings—no need for separate loads! Make sure you don’t shake out the clothing or over-handle it before laundering, and everything else will be taken care of in the washer and dryer.
Use a separate trash can for any waste.
Place a designated trash can that has both a liner and a trash bag in the “quarantine zone.” When it is time to take this garbage out, wear disposable gloves to tie up and remove the bag. Try to avoid carrying the full trash can through the rest of the house and instead just take the sealed bag outside.
After you’ve removed and replaced the bag in this trash can, throw away your gloves and wash your hands with soap for two minutes.
Stay clean to stay healthy!
Whether you’re a routine home cleaner or not, it is time to get into the habit of disinfecting your belongings on a regular basis! Follow the CDC guidelines to disinfect your home and keep it clean and safe so you can stay healthy.
Don’t forget to keep your teeth, gums, and tongue clean, too! Please call us for any dental-related questions or emergencies, and remember, we can still schedule routine appointments in advance. We’re here for you and miss your beautiful smiles!