With all the information circulating about Covid-19, the myriads of both helpful and misinformation alike can cause uncertainty in already uncertain times. One thing you can do is to take the time to clean your home with simple products made to disinfect. Done correctly, you can effectively kill the Covid-19 virus. As a bonus, you will also eradicate any other cold, flu, or germ, living on the surfaces of your home.
The best part? It doesn’t take more than regular disinfection with cleaning supplies you probably already have in your home! First, walk around your home, taking note of the surfaces you and your family touch every day. Door knobs, light switches, faucet handles, your phone, are all examples of high touch surfaces. As you clean, focus your efforts on your household’s most frequently touched surfaces. In this way, you will not only kill and remove the virus that causes Covid-19 but also other germs that can make you and your family sick.
Soap and Water
Did you know that plain soap and water is a fantastic way to clean your home? As we wash our hands and surfaces with soap, the hydrophobic barrier many viruses and germs are surrounded by is stripped away by the soap’s surfactants and ruptures. Once the soap removes the barrier, it allows the vital internal proteins and genetic material to spill from the ruptured membrane rendering it harmless as you rinse it down the drain. Plus, soap is generally very safe for almost all surfaces in your home!
For hands: Wet hands, apply soap, lather and wash for 20 seconds, (getting between fingers, under nails and the top of your hands) rinse with water, and dry thoroughly.
Around your home: Simply add 1-2 tablespoons of dish soap to a bucket of water. Work your way around your home, scrubbing all your most often touched surfaces. To keep from spreading germs around your home, start from areas like the kitchen first and end in the bathroom.
Bleach is also an impressive germ killer. The coronavirus and nearly any other germ out there don’t stand a chance against the correct ratio of bleach to water. Did you know how little is needed to disinfect? Neither did I! To make a highly effective sanitizing solution, all you need is 5 tablespoons (1/3 cup) of bleach to 1 gallon of water or make a smaller quantity of 4 teaspoons of bleach to 1 quart of water. Since bleach-water solutions degrade quickly, you will want to make a fresh batch daily for maximum effectiveness.
Please use Caution. Bleach has a strong odor, can not be mixed with other cleaners and can be harsh, sometimes damaging what you wish to clean. Use in a well-ventilated area, to protect your skin, wear gloves. NEVER mix bleach with ammonia or other cleaners. Always test an inconspicuous area of what you want to clean, being cautious not to let it splash onto your clothes or other fabrics.
Using the desired ratio of either 5 Tablespoons of bleach to 1 gallon of water; or 4 teaspoons of bleach to 1 quart of water, sanitize hard surfaces around your home after cleaning with your soap solution. Allow surfaces to remain wet for a minimum of 2 minutes before drying or allow to air dry. Again, starting from your kitchen and finishing up in the bathroom to minimize the spread of lingering germs.
Using rubbing Alcohol of at least 70% or more is another excellent disinfectant. Which is why we’ve seen it fly off the shelves in recent weeks. Unlike bleach, it is much less harsh, making it safe for nearly all surfaces. Use caution, however, not to let it sit on finished wood surfaces as it can damage the varnish.
Don’t dilute alcohol for cleaning. Use it on a rag or in a spray bottle and wipe down surfaces.
Peroxide is also less strong and safer on most surfaces than bleach. That said, it can also fade some fabrics, so test before use! You can use hydrogen straight with no dilution necessary.
Use on a rag or in a spray bottle to wipe down surfaces
Bonus: a fantastic cleaning solution that I have used with great satisfaction.
In a spray bottle mix:
1 teaspoon-1 tablespoon baking soda
a squirt of soap – tip: use one that has a scent you like (I’ve used dish, hand, even laundry detergent)
fill with hydrogen peroxide
(depending on what you are using it for, you may wish to dilute with water)
All of the above cleaners effectively clean, disinfect, and sanitize surfaces. So armed with proven ways to clean your home, you can feel confident knowing you have all the tools you need for a happy, healthy home.