These are definitely interesting times with the rise of Coronavirus and all the social complications that arise from that. Uppermost in many peoples minds is Coronavirus and cleaning; how can you protect yourself, and your family, from this invisible, but very real, enemy?
Turns out that it is as basic as your mother ever taught you. Here are some steps you can take to help eliminate the Coronavirus (and other infectious agents) from your bathroom and home.
Coronavirus and Cleaning
Cleaning and disinfecting are two different processes; each plays a part in killing the Coronavirus and protecting your family.
Cleaning. This refers to the removal of dirt, grime, and any germs (both bacterial and viral) from surfaces. Usually this involves wiping tables, cabinets, sinks, and faucets etc using a cloth and soap and water. This action doesn’t kill any bacteria or viruses, but physically removes them from the surface.
Disinfecting. This technically refers to the killing of bacteria and viruses from a surface; it does not imply that you have cleaned the surface, only that you have killed the germs. Disinfecting requires the use of some type of chemical agent – whether that chemical agent is natural or not doesn’t matter but it has to interact with the bacteria or virus and kill it. Combined with cleaning, disinfecting provides the highest level of security against disease producing agents.
It’s important to both clean and disinfect frequently, and even more often for surfaces that are constantly being touched. Items such as doorknobs, light switches, faucet handles, TV remotes, toilet handles, stove knobs, toothbrush handles etc should be cleaned and disinfected at least daily, if not more often.
The COVID-19 virus can lay dormant, and alive, on plastic and metal surfaces for 3 days or longer. Frequent and thorough disinfecting is the best defence against getting ill from the virus and ensuring that your family stays safe.
The Best Disinfectant for Coronavirus on Household Surfaces
The absolute best disinfectant agent for household use is bleach. It’s cheap, readily available, and has the highest kill-rate of all household disinfectants.
A diluted solution of 1/3 cup bleach to one gallon of warm or hot water is sufficient. Use gloves while handling bleach, clean the surface with soap and water ahead of time, and NEVER mix a bleach solution with ammonia (it will produce toxic gas that is harmful to breathe). If possible, it’s best to leave the bleach solution on the surface for a few minutes before wiping/rinsing away.
Not all surfaces are tolerant of bleach. An alcohol solution of at least 70% can be used in these cases. Again, be sure to clean the surface thoroughly first and, if possible, leave the solution on the surface until it dries. There is no need to rinse this solution off.
Are Natural Cleaners Effective Against Coronavirus?
The CDC doesn’t list any natural agents as effective against Coronavirus.
If bleach and/or alcohol are not available to you for some reason then the best defence is vinegar and hydrogen peroxide.
Clean the surface thoroughly with soap and water. Spray the surface with undiluted white vinegar, let sit for a few minutes and then spray with a 3% hydrogen peroxide solution. Let the surface dry – don’t wipe or rinse.
Mixing the vinegar and hydrogen peroxide together is not as effective; you must apply one solution, and then the other to get the full disinfectant effects.
To be clear; if you are able to use bleach or alcohol, you should. There is a time and place for natural cleaners, but during a global pandemic is not one of them. Natural cleaners should only be used if there is not other option available to you.
Wash Your Hands
The best advice is to wash your hands. Thoroughly, for 20 full seconds. Sing a song, hum a tune, recite a poem, or simply count. Wash them often. More often than you think you need to. And then do it again.
With proper ‘social distancing’ in place, and solid cleaning and disinfecting plan, we can all ride out this difficult time. Take care of yourself. Take care of your family. Take care of each other.