The coronavirus spreads mainly through respiratory droplets of an infected person when they get into the mouth, nose, or eyes of nearby people. The virus is also known to survive on surfaces for a few hours or up to several days. Thus, having a clean home regularly is essential to keep your family members safe and away from the virus at home. Here are a few pointers that we can follow to maintain our homes’ cleanliness.
Cleaning and sanitizing surfaces
It is essential to clean the surfaces regularly that are prone to touch. This is an important precaution to lower the risk of infection. We must follow the safety instructions for the effective use of the cleaning products. Precautions must also be taken while applying the products, such as wearing gloves while handling the products and having proper ventilation in the house to let go of the toxic gases, if any produced. The WHO recommends having an increased ventilation rate through mechanical or natural means.
Thus, if you don’t have proper ventilation, hire a building contractor and get a few windows added to improve your home’s ventilation. The most touched surfaces in the houses are door handles, chairs, tables, computers, laptops, mobile phones, TV and AC remote controls, etc.
Cleaning and sanitizing depend on the surface of the object. If the surface is dirty, we need to first clean it with soap or detergent and water. Then, we need to use a disinfectant with an alcohol percentage of 70% or more to further clean the surface. In some cases, diluted bleach solutions may also be used for cleaning. Disinfectant solutions need to stay wet on the surfaces of the objects to work. It is advisable not to wipe it off immediately after spraying or applying it on the surface. Disposable gloves must be used to carry out cleaning activities as an extra precautionary measure.
It is still unknown how long the coronavirus stays on fabrics and other clothing material. But we do know that we carry many plastic and metal items in our clothes, such as mobiles, keys, and money. The coronavirus can stay on these surfaces for a few hours or even a few days. Thus, we need to be careful while cleaning our clothes. Some good cleaning practices included changing into clean clothes once you enter the house. Removing shoes outside the house and washing hands with soap immediately are also recommended. Similarly,
- It is advisable to clean the sheets, towels, and clothes regularly.
- Shaking of dirty laundry must be avoided to reduce the possibility of dispersing the virus through the air.
- Try to use warm water, soaps, and detergents while laundering the clothes. This can be effective in killing the virus.
- After washing the clothes, rewash your hands with soap or alcohol-based hand rub, having the recommended alcohol content.
- Wash and disinfect the laundry bag used to store clothes. If possible, consider storing clothes in disposable bags.
Handling food items
While there is no evidence that the coronavirus spreads through food or food packages, we must take precautionary measures while handling and preparing food items. Good hygiene is also important while handling food to prevent any food-related illness. Some precautions that need to be taken while handling food packages are:
- Unnecessary food packaging must be removed immediately and thrown in the dustbin.
- Food must be kept on clean plates, and the take-out containers must be disposed of immediately.
- Packaging cans must be wiped clean with disinfectants before they are opened.
- Fruits and vegetables, mostly unpacked, must be washed under running water before use.
- After disinfecting the food packages, we must wash our hands with soap or alcohol-based hand rub.
Some precautions to be taken while cooking food are:
- Before we start cooking, we must wash our hands with soap for at least 20 seconds.
- Separate chopping boards must be used while preparing uncooked meat and fish.
- Food must be cooked at a recommended temperature.
- Washed spoons and knives used for cutting vegetables and meat must be cleaned properly before cooking it.
- The food waste and packaging must be disposed of immediately to avoid the buildup of any refuse which could attract pests.
- It is advisable to wash utensils with warm water, if possible.
If followed correctly, all these points can help us reduce the spread of the coronavirus to a great extent in our homes and ensure the safety of our family.