Angie's List: How can I clean to prevent the spread of COVID-19 at home?
As you’re caring for your household, you may be wondering what extra steps you can take to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in your home. To help, we’ve put together a list of cleaning recommendations from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) to keep top of mind in your daily routine.
Clean and disinfect surfaces
To prevent the spread of disease, it’s important to both clean and disinfect hard surfaces in your home, which means doing more than the usual wipe-down. First, clean surfaces with a rag and a mixture of detergent or soap and water. This will remove impurities, dirt and germs from the area. Then, disinfect the clean surface using an EPA-registered disinfectant. You can find a list disinfectants for use against COVID-19 on the Environmental Protection Agency’s website.
If you’re struggling to find name-brand disinfectants to clean your home, it is possible to make your own disinfectant. A solution of one-third cup of bleach per gallon of water is effective in killing germs around the home, says the CDC. Alcohol solutions with at least 70% alcohol should also do the trick. Take care to never mix bleach with ammonia or any other cleanser, and be sure to launder or dispose of any rags before your next cleaning.
Pay extra attention to frequently touched items
Chances are, there are areas (and items) in your house that get more use than others, so be sure to clean and disinfect these areas frequently. Make sure you’re paying extra attention to tables, hard-backed chairs, doorknobs, light switches, remotes, gaming consoles, handles, desks, toilets, toilet handles, sinks and faucets. Placing disinfecting wipes or cleaning supplies in multiple areas throughout your home will remind you to wipe down these surfaces regularly.
Don’t forget to clean soft surfaces
Though it’s trickier than cleaning hard surfaces, there are ways to keep soft surfaces like rugs and blankets as germ-free as possible during this time. For this project, you’ll want to first remove any visible blemishes from the fabric. Then, clean the material with the appropriate solution according to manufacturer instructions. If possible, throw items in the laundry with water on the warmest appropriate setting and then allow them to dry.
Wash your hands
In addition to taking precautions to clean and disinfect regularly around your home, one of the most effective ways to protect yourself is to wash your hands often. Use soap and water and scrub for at least 20 seconds, says the CDC. This step is especially important after grocery shopping, blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. Be sure to avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth as much as possible, but especially with unwashed hands. If soap and water aren’t readily available, hand sanitizer will do in a pinch. Make sure the sanitizer contains at least 60% alcohol.
Jenna Schuster is a reporter for Angie’s List, a trusted provider of local consumer reviews and an online marketplace of services from top-rated providers. Visit AngiesList.com.