Clean and Disinfect Your Chicago Home Against Coronavirus
With the Coronavirus pandemic making its rounds through Chicago, it’s a good idea to clean and disinfect your home frequently to prevent the spread of the virus. The last thing you want is for you or any of your family to get sick. And, if anyone does get sick, you want to keep the rest of the family from getting the virus.
We can help you keep your family safe. We’re happy to share some of these easy cleaning tips, some of which come directly from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
Here’s how to get it done right:
First – Preventing the Coronavirus From Entering Your Home
If you’re following the stay-at-home orders, you should be leaving home as little as possible. Practice social distancing whenever possible.
However, we all need to eat and the grocery store is likely one of the places you’ll venture out to unless you have items delivered to you. If you really want to be rigid about it, don’t bring any grocery bags into your home. Perhaps you can use a patio table to set everything on. Then:
- Wipe down canned goods with disinfecting wipes or a soapy towel and dry them up.
- Take items out of boxes and bring only the internal contents into your pantry. For instance, if you buy a box of cereal, take the bag of cereal out of the box and place it in your pantry. Throw the cereal box in the trash can.
- Have a second member of the family near the door to your home to get items from you once they’re clean so they can put the groceries away.
- Also, bring produce in and wash well before putting in your refrigerator or eating.
Take your shoes off before entering your home and wash your hands well once you’re done. Also, wash the clothes you wore out right away and take a shower if you can.
Hand Washing Matters
If there’s one thing the experts have stressed again and again, it’s “Wash your hands often.” The coronavirus enters the body through your mouth, nose, and eyes. Studies show that the average person touches their face with their hands at least 16 times an hour.
And the coronavirus lasts longer on surfaces than other typical viruses. Because of this, the CDC recommends that you thoroughly wash your hands for a minimum of 20 seconds. Some recommend singing a few verses of your favorite song to make it fun!
In any case, soap and water are enough to help get rid of any virus germs. Otherwise, you can use an alcohol-based sanitizer.
In addition to frequent and routine washing of your hands, you’ll want to be sure to wash:
- After you’ve had contact with a sick person
- Anytime you return home from venturing out
- After you handle mail or any other deliver
- After blowing your nose, sneezing, or coughing
- Before and after handling food
- After using the bathroom
- After contact with other people or animals
The CDC also recommends making a conscious effort to avoid touching your face. Some experts even recommend wearing a mask to train yourself to stop from making contact with your face.
Frequently Clean These Things Everyday
Wear disposable gloves when cleaning and disinfecting. You don’t want to transfer germs to or from your bare hands.
As long as we’re dealing with an outbreak, you’ll need to clean the items you touch the most as often as possible. If someone is sick in your home, you’ll need to do it even more. These items include:
- Light switches
- Remote controls
- Phones, including cellphones
- Laptops and keyboards
- Tables and desks
- Toilets and toilet handles
- Faucets and sinks
- Refrigerator, coffee pot, and microwave handles
You can use simple soap and warm water, a disinfectant, or an alcohol-based cleaning solution. Cleaning these items regularly can help prevent the rampant spread of germs should the coronavirus make its way into your home.
Disinfecting Your Home
In addition to the simple cleaning measures outline previously, you want to disinfect your home. This includes the floors of your home, your bathroom, and kitchen areas. To disinfect, use an appropriate cleaner for the surface.
For instance, you would ordinarily follow the manufacturer’s instructions for disinfecting electronics. But the current guidance is to use a 70% alcohol-based wipe to eradicate any possible coronavirus germs. Once you’ve wiped the area, make sure to dry it well to avoid damage.
Any items that can withstand a diluted bleach solution, such as white sinks and bathtubs, should be cleaned that way. The correct ratio is ⅓ cup of bleach for each gallon of water. You can also use hydrogen peroxide or alcohol instead of bleach.
Though they’ve been hard to find lately, Lysol disinfecting products can often be used on almost any surface, whether in liquid form or disinfecting wipes.
The EPA also lists a number of disinfectants that will work against the novel coronavirus, COVID-19.
Remember to always wear gloves when cleaning and have enough ventilation to keep you from breathing in harmful fumes.
Extra Precautions to Take When Someone in Your Home Has Coronavirus
Once the virus is known to have entered your home and infected someone, you need to step up sanitizing your home to prevent everyone else from getting infected.
- The first rule of thumb is quarantine. If at all possible, the sick member of your family should be kept separate from everyone else. Assign them their own bedroom and bathroom if you have multiple bathrooms.
- Minimize contact with your loved one. Create a basket or container with cleaning supplies to leave with your loved one. If they’re strong enough, have them clean up after themselves. You can include disposable paper towels, appropriate cleaners, disinfecting wipes, a garbage pail, and whatever else you can think of. Instruct them to discard any tissues they use right away after a cough or blowing their nose.
- If you must share a bathroom with a sick person, disinfect the bathroom after every use. The person who is ill should do it whenever possible. Otherwise, if you do it, wait a while to give the germs time to settle.
- Use a lined bag for any trash can the sick person uses. When changing out liners, always make sure to wear gloves to prevent the transfer of germs.
- Set food just outside the door of your loved one. Any sick people should eat separately from other members of the family. When washing their dishes, use gloves and hot, soapy water. Better yet, use disposable utensils and dishes if possible. Remember to wash your hands thoroughly when touching items a sick person has used.
- When washing clothes or linens, be careful not to shake the laundry, particularly items that were used by the sick member of the family. Laundry using the warmest water you can, then dry items in a hot dryer. The heat should kill any germs. Once again, use gloves and wash your hands after handling any items or performing any tasks.
- Once your loved one has recovered, do a thorough cleaning of your home and focus extra attention where your loved one stayed while they were ill.
You may also want to hire a cleaning agency to clean and disinfect your home on a regular basis, as well as after someone has been ill. This can help you avoid taking any chances, particularly while the coronavirus makes its way around Chicago