How to Clean and Disinfect Yourself,
Your Home, and Your Stuff
These are our in-depth best practices for keeping yourself (and just about everything else) clean and virus-free.
To Keep Yourself Virus-Free
Wash Your Hands
You’ve heard it a million times by now, and you’ll hear it a million more, but the best way to lower your risk of contracting Covid-19 (or pass it on to someone else) is to wash your hands after you cough, sneeze, touch your face, use the restroom, or are about to leave one place for another. You should wash your hands when you leave and return from the grocery store, for instance.
If you can find any, hand sanitizer is a fast cleaning method that works wonders. Hand sanitizer is no substitute for washing your hands with soap and water, though. Using soap and water can also be a little easier on your hands. It won't necessarily kill all pathogens, but if you wash your hands properly, it'll wash them away. The World Health Organization has detailed instructions (which we've all seen in meme form) on how to properly perform the 20-second hand wash.
It’s also important to liberally moisturize your hands. Dry, cracked skin is at greater risk for all kinds of infections, so after you wash, apply a little moisturizer. It's nice! Most moisturizing lotions have similar ingredients, starting with water and glycerin, so the brand doesn't really matter. (Here are some hand lotions on Amazon.) If your hands are extra dry, look for something dermatologist recommended with an "intensive" label, like Eucerin Advanced Repair or Neutrogena Hydro Boost.
Wearing protective masks
Wearing protective gloves
Disinfecting high-touch surfaces
Even if you're not sick, just stay home if you can. Being in large crowds or going out to restaurants pose unnecessary risks not just to yourself but to the people around you. The more you're in public, the more chances the novel coronavirus has to hitch a ride on your hands, clothes, or person. Millions of people are very vulnerable to this virus. Putting yourself at risk also puts them at risk.
Why You Should Avoid Face Masks (for Now)
They serve an important purpose for people who are sick or are caring for an ill person, but face masks are in short supply and needed by health care workers and those who are sick with the virus. Wearing a mask may also give you a false sense of security, causing you to put yourself at greater risk.
"You may in fact be touching your face more often because you're adjusting your mask. Or you may be trying to keep your eyeglasses from fogging up, then the portal of entry might be your eye," Townes said. "I think we need to deemphasize wearing masks in public as a strategy."
As far as we know, the novel coronavirus is transmitted through person-to-person contact, or respiratory droplets. Those droplets don't stay suspended in the air, they fall to the ground within about six feet of the infected person.
To Keep Your Home Virus-Free
Clean and Disinfect
The first thing you'll want to know is that cleaning and disinfecting are two very different things. The CDC recommends we all do a bit of both, even if nobody in your home is sick.
Cleaning is about removing contaminants from a surface.
Disinfecting is about killing pathogens.
Do both daily if anything or anyone has entered or exited your home.
Transmission from person-to-person is a much greater risk than transmission via surfaces, but the CDC recommends we clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces in our homes at least once daily just to be safe, assuming we have had contact with the outside world in some way, either a person leaving and returning or goods coming in.
Target Your Home's High-Touch Surfaces
Researchers have found that the novel coronavirus is capable of living on surfaces such as cardboard for 24 hours, but up to two or three days on plastic and stainless steel. So cleaning and disinfecting high-touch surfaces is a step we should all take.
High-Touch Surfaces to Clean and Disinfect Daily:
Hard dining chairs (seat, back, and arms)
Faucets and faucet knobs
Toilets (seat and handle)
TV remote controls
Everyone’s home is a little different, so just think about the surfaces you interact with most. For me, that includes the above, plus desk surfaces and mousepads (we'll get to gadgets in a bit). Now that you know what you're cleaning, here's how you should do it.
First Clean, Then Disinfect:
First, clean the surfaces, removing any contaminants, dust, or debris. You can do this by wiping them with soapy water (or a cleaning spray) and a hand towel.
Then apply a surface-appropriate disinfectant. The quickest and easiest way to do this is with disinfecting wipes or disinfectant spray.
That’s it. Just adding these to your daily routine can help lower the risk of infection for you and anyone else in your household. If you aren't able to obtain disinfectants at this time, just do a thorough job with the soap or cleaning agents you do have.
The EPA has a full list of disinfectants that will kill the novel coronavirus, but here are a few essentials to keep an eye out for. You can find most of these disinfectants online at Amazon or Walmart if your local grocery store is out of stock. Most disinfectants should have a label that lists the viruses they're effective against, and that's what you'll want to look out for more than any particular active ingredient.
"If a disinfectant product has an indication for killing influenza, RSB, SARS virus, or other coronaviruses, then it should work against this one also," Townes said.
Disinfecting wipes (Clorox, Lysol, or store brand will do)
Disinfectant spray (Purell, Clorox, Lysol, all make sprays that will work)
If You Cannot Find Store-Bought Disinfectants
Store shelves are bare in a lot of places, especially in the cleaning section, but you still have plenty of options. First off, please do use more soap, water, and scrubbing. That can make a huge difference.
The CDC also has a recommended recipe for a homemade cleaning solution using household bleach.
How to Make Homemade Bleach Disinfectant Spray:
4 teaspoons household bleach
1 quart water
Pour both into one quart spray bottle, shake vigorously
Spray on surface to disinfect, let sit for 10 minutes, wipe away with wet cloth
Bleach is excessive in most cases. You should never ever mix bleach solution with any other cleaning chemical, and it's likely to damage or discolor sensitive surfaces. Use it as a last resort if you can't source or acquire any other kind of disinfectant. With bleach, remember to wear gloves, open your windows (ventilation is your friend), and be careful.
Our detailed cleaning service is a meticulous cleaning that is typically performed on an initial residential visit. In this first, deep cleaning, we pay attention to every detail in every room of your home.
The kitchen is often the center of activity in your home. In order for it to look its best, it may need more than a sweeping after dinner.
From dens to sun porches, the common areas of your house receive a lot of use. A visit from a professional cleaning crew will make your floors and furniture look new again.
Bedrooms often receive the least attention of any room in the house. A detailed cleaning will make your sleeping space more comfortable.
Doors and door frames
Window sills and blinds
Absolut Cleaning Services Company provides a faster, deeper, detailed cleaning than anyone else. We will send not just one worker to your home, but a professional crew. We can offer you set days, times and crews if requested.
We provide homeowners with customizable, high-quality cleaning and maintenance services. We are a local leader in residential cleaning services. We are dedicated to creating clean, safe and healthy environments.
If you are interested in learning more about our residential cleaning services, contact us today.