The coronavirus pandemic has us running to the sink to wash our hands every single time we touch something, even when we are at home. Taking the necessary precautions has, as it should, become our number one priority. But germs and bacteria lurk in many corners and surfaces of our homes and thus, in these trying times, it would be a good idea to keep our homes clean and disinfected. Here, we tell you how you can do just that.
Use chlorine bleach for utensils and glassware
Just hand washing your dishes isn’t enough to keep the bacteria and virus away from them. To get them fully sanitized, you have to use chlorine bleach to clean them. After washing your dishes with regular dish washing soap, soak them in a mixture of one tablespoon of unscented chlorine bleach poured into one gallon of water for two to three minutes. Then let these dishes air dry for an additionally five minutes before putting them away. You can do the same thing for your glassware but avoid using chlorine bleach on things made from aluminum and silver as it will damage them. Make sure your bleach has a high concentration of sodium hypochlorite before buying and using it.
Wipe down surfaces you touch frequently with disinfectants
Think about the items you touch and use very often but don’t bother cleaning like doorknobs and handles, remote controls, mobile phones, cabinets, refrigerator doors, sinks, kitchen slabs etc. A lot of germs and harmful bacteria are always clinging on to and thriving on such surfaces. The best thing to do would be to disinfect these surfaces at least twice every day. You can use whatever disinfectant you have around your house for this—even anti-bacterial wipes work. What’s important is that you let these surfaces dry for five to 10 minutes after you disinfect them before touching them again.
Don’t forget your electronic gadgets
Your electronic gadgets are far from safe as germs and bacteria can stay on the surfaces of phones, laptops, gaming controllers, speakers and earphones. Remember to disinfect these items regularly too. The best way to do this is by wiping down these surfaces with disinfectant and antibacterial wipes as they don’t hold enough water (or liquid) to damage your gadgets but still do their job well. You could also spray disinfectant or sanitizing sprays onto surfaces like TV, laptop, desktop and phone screens, let them air dry for a few minutes before wiping them dry with a microfiber cloth.
Regular detergents aren’t enough for your clothes
Although the washing machine will clean your clothes and other fabrics used around your house, just a regular spin in the tub isn’t enough to properly disinfect your clothes. So, make sure you wash your clothes in higher temperature—especially if you’re washing items like bedsheets, curtains and cushion covers. You should also use laundry sanitizers while washing your clothes to ensure your clothes are completely clean and sanitized. If you’re someone who handwashes your clothes, just rinsing the clothes in diluted laundry sanitizers—after you clean them regularly—will be enough to disinfect them. If you don’t have laundry sanitizers, you can use chlorine bleach and pine oil instead.
Clean your bathroom and toilet thoroughly
Besides washing and cleaning the harder surfaces in your bathroom like the tiles, showerheads, counters and sinks, you should also remember to wash and disinfect items like the bath mats, hand towels and wash towels frequently. You should replace these things (mats and towels) with a clean and fresh one at least once every day. Also, anyone who has recently recovered from a cold should throw out their old toothbrushes and loofahs, and get a new one immediately.
Use disinfectant sprays or liquids to disinfect your bathroom and toilet at least once every 12 hours. After the cleaning and disinfecting is done, air out the space for 10 to 20 minutes before using it again. Also, make sure you clean your toilet commode and pan multiple times in a day with a strong toilet cleaner or bleach.
Important things to keep in mind
Mop your floors once or twice every day with a strong disinfectant liquid. Let it dry for a few minutes before stepping on it. Also, dip the head of your mop in diluted disinfectant or chlorine bleach for a few minutes after every use.
Hydrogen peroxide can also be used to disinfect and sanitize a lot of things like floors, bathrooms, furniture, etc. According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), three percent hydrogen peroxide can inactivate rhinovirus within eight minutes. You should use it directly on whatever it is that you want to disinfect, leave it for 10 to 15 minutes and then scrub it with a microfiber towel.
Remember to put on a pair of protective gloves before you start cleaning and disinfecting anything as a lot of these cleaners are very strong and can thus be harsh on your skin. Also, remember to wash your hands thoroughly with a strong handwash for at least 20 seconds after cleaning anything.