Here’s How To Disinfect Your Home After A COVID-19 Infection

In spite of the rollout of vaccines, most countries still see a continued uptick in COVID-19 infections. In fact, in many instances, hospitals can no longer accommodate mild to moderate COVID-19 cases. Many folks resort to caring for their sick family members at home. However, this home care practice may lead to other household members getting infected if people don’t follow health protocols correctly. 

One crucial step to stop the spread of COVID-19, and even other diseases, including those caused by bloodborne pathogens like hepatitis, is disinfecting your home after a COVID-19 infection. Below are some tips on how to do just that: 

  • Protect Yourself First

Before you even think about getting a mop to clean your home after a COVID-19 infection, you should first think about protecting yourself. Thus, wear a mask when you enter the room used by the infected family member. The virus may stay airborne indoor for hours and can still get you infected. According to experts, wearing a mask could reduce infections or, at least, lower hospitalization rates. Aside from the face mask, you should also wear gloves to protect you from surface transmissions and the chemicals you may be handling when you disinfect.

  • Clean The Surfaces

Prior to disinfecting, it would be a wise idea to clean all surfaces to get rid of dirt and grime. Remember to focus on cleaning high-touch areas, such as doorknobs, remote controls, and light switches. Aside from wiping surfaces, cleaning also includes vacuuming the floor.

For people who want to use natural cleaning ingredients, vinegar may be an effective cleaning agent. However, vinegar’s disinfectant properties only destroy germs that mainly cause foodborne illnesses, such as salmonella and E-coli. There may be no study yet to back its efficacy against the SARS-COV2 virus that causes COVID-19. 

  • Don’t Forget The Soft Materials

Virus droplets don’t only land on tables, floors, and other hard surfaces. They can also land on soft surfaces, such as carpets, drapes, rugs, clothes, and couches. So, you must include them among the items you need to clean and disinfect. Pop rags, clothes, and other fabric materials into your washing machine, and set the wash cycle at a high temperature, if possible. For couches and oversized items, follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how they can be best cleaned and sanitized. 

  • Disinfect Your Home Safely

Cleaning your home with water and soap is typically enough to sanitize your home. However, suppose someone infected visited your house within the last 24 hours, or someone in your household just recovered from COVID-19. In that case, you must consider thoroughly disinfecting your home to kill the remaining virus. Again, because wearing a mask could reduce infections, always wear one when you set out to disinfect your home. You can use bleach and 70% alcohol to disinfect surfaces. However, not all sanitizing products available on the market may meet the requirements to get rid of coronavirus. To know if the product you’re using is effective against COVID-19, you can check EPA’s list on their website. Here are essential things to remember while disinfecting your home:

  • Carefully read the product’s label. Follow the instructions for safe product use. Most disinfectants contain chemicals that could irritate the skin and eyes. Sometimes, you may need to use goggles and other protective equipment if you’re using powerful agents.
  • When using disinfectants, you should ensure proper ventilation of the room. Please don’t forget to open all windows and doors. You can even use exhaust fans if the room is small, enclosed, or has no windows.
  • Bleach should not be used as-is. To dilute bleach, you could add four to five tablespoons to a gallon of water. Unless otherwise indicated in the label, it’s advisable to use water at room temperature for dilution.
  • Some things that you should never mix with bleach are ammonia, rubbing alcohol, and vinegar.
  • People with asthma should handle disinfectants carefully. Read the label carefully to ascertain that the product you’re using would not trigger asthma attacks.

 

  • Utilize Disinfecting Wipes And Sprays For Small Items

If the wipes and sprays you’re using are on the EPA list, they can effectively sanitize your home. You can use wipes to disinfect gadgets, remote controls, game consoles, light switches, handles, and doorknobs. Let the items dry for 60 to 90 seconds before you start using them. Meanwhile, you can use a disinfectant spray to sanitize shoes, clothes, soft surfaces, and hard-to-reach corners of your home. It usually takes three to four minutes to dry sprayed items.  

  • Wash Your Hands After Cleaning And Disinfecting

Even if you wore gloves when cleaning and disinfecting, you should still wash your hands using water and soap. Proper washing can protect you from viruses and from the chemicals that you used for sanitizing your home.

Bottom Line

When a family member is sick with COVID-19, you need to take extra precautions to prevent spreading the illness to other members of your household. One way to avoid virus transmission in your home is by regularly cleaning and disinfecting your home.

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