Cleaning and Disinfecting Your Home After Potential Covid-19 – Exposure With upward of 202-million confirmed COVID-19 cases worldwide within the last 18 months, it is no wonder that the possibility of someone in your household contracting COVID-19 is a real, significant threat.
Whether you had a recent illness within the family, or a visitor has come down with COVID-19, there are several disinfection and cleaning techniques you can use to keep your family and household safe, and healthy. If you are interested in learning an effective way to rid your home of the COVID-19 virus, continue reading – Cleaning and Disinfecting Your Home After Potential Covid-19 Exposure!
Corona Virus Disease or COVID-19 is a highly communicable virus responsible for the recent outbreak of respiratory illness across the globe. Despite the recommendation of public health officials for social distancing, mask-wearing, and vaccinations, new variants, and modes of transmission continue to present themselves.
If you or anyone in your household find yourselves ill with COVID-19, you may be wondering what actions you can take to clean your home and rid it of the virus after your recovery. Despite the strength of the virus, there are still several means of creating a safe, inhabitable, COVID-free living environment.
Even if you already had COVID, you can still contract the virus again. Antibodies make this process less likely, but not impossible. When touching surfaces that have come into contact with COVID-19, wear proper PPE (personal protective equipment) such as a face mask and gloves to prevent recontamination.
If you are cleaning because one of your family members or housemates had COVID-19 but you did NOT, this step is especially crucial for your protection. Be cautious not to touch your eyes, nose, or mouth with dirty gloves, and throw out any masks after use!
Before breaking out the gloves and disinfectant spray, consider airing out your home for 12-24 hours before cleaning. COVID-19 is not proven to survive long periods of time if not in a living host such as a human but can last up to 5 days in the air or on hard surfaces.
Most commonly, people contract COVID-19 through air droplet infection, inhaling the virus through their nose or mouth. Airing out of your home ahead of time allows any lingering bacteria in the air to escape the confines of your home. It is particularly important to air out the spots of the home that had the most contact with the COVID-infected person.
For example, if you contracted COVID and isolated in your bedroom, be especially sure to adequately ventilate the bedroom.
Before cleaning hard surfaces in your home, be sure to launder any soft items such as bed sheets, pillows, clothing, or towels that the COVID-19 positive person had contact with. It is suggested that you wash these items separately from items belonging to other household members to exterminate the possibility of contamination.
Wash these linens on the highest temperature setting that your washer offers. Many washing machines offer sanitizing options, especially soiled linens.
“Soaked” linens are linens that if rung out, would drip with excess fluid. Any linens soaked in saliva, vomit, sweat, tears, blood, or other bodily fluids of the COVID infected person should be thrown out and immediately disposed of outside of the home or soaked in a disinfectant before laundering.
Laundry detergent designed for medical professionals is a great option for laundering linens soiled with COVID-19 germs. These detergents contain a bactericidal agent and are often used by nurses working in COVID-19 wards to launder their scrubs after contact with COVID-positive patients.
You must also be sure to consider your carpeting. If you fear bacteria and viruses may be present in your carpet, there are a few options for you.
Finding the right cleaner is vital when sanitizing a home. Sprays and wipes such as Lysol or Clorox brand are proven to kill 99.99% of COVID-19 and are an effective, affordable option for this.
Other options for disinfecting include hydrogen peroxide and isopropyl alcohol. It is important to note that hydrogen peroxide and alcohol can be harmful to porous surfaces in your home such as leather or fabric, but are perfectly safe for hard items such as your kitchen sink, toilet, refrigerator, or door handles.
The disinfectant spray is more effective at killing all viruses including COVID-19 when compared to disinfecting wipes. Sprays allow the liquid to seep into the surface more thoroughly and hit harder-to-reach areas. The spray also has the ability to sit on surfaces before being wiped up, whereas disinfectant wipe liquid evaporates quickly.
Spraying disinfectant, allowing it to sit on a surface for 120 seconds, and then wiping with a clean rag or paper towel is the most effective way to kill COVID-19. If using disinfectant wipes, be sure your wipes are not expired or dried out, because this greatly reduces their effectiveness.
“Hot spots” for germs are areas that you and your household touch most often. These areas include doorknobs, kitchen and bathroom faucets, oven and refrigerator handles, toilet seats and handles, staircase railings, and TV remotes or computer mice.
When cleaning electronics, be sure not to spray liquid into the sensitive parts of the hardware. Consider spraying the paper towel with disinfectant rather than the electronic directly.
The potential of COVID-19 being present in your home is a scary one, but not one to panic over. With proper disinfection, your home will be free of all COVID-19 germs.