Much has been said about the rules of personal hygiene to avoid getting infected or not to infect other people with COVID-19, but in this article, we want to focus on how to stay protected at home, according to recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The first thing we need to have clear is that there are differences between the concepts of cleaning and disinfecting.
Cleaning is about eliminating germs, filth, or impurities on surfaces. This process doesn’t kill germs, but removing them diminishes their quantity and the risk of spreading the infection.
Disinfection uses chemical products, such as disinfectants registered in the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), to kill germs from surfaces. This process not necessarily cleans dirty surfaces or removes germs, but by killing the germs on the surface, you can diminish even more the risk of propagation of the infection.
Having said this, let’s talk about how to clean and disinfect hard surfaces (non-porous), such as floors, granite tops, bathrooms, doorknobs, faucets, among others:
- Use disposable gloves when cleaning and disinfecting surfaces. Gloves must be discarded after every cleaning. If you use reusable gloves, these gloves must be worn exclusively when cleaning and disinfecting surfaces with possible contamination with COVID-19, and they must not be used for other purposes. Check the cleaning product and disinfectant manufacturer’s instructions you use. Wash your hands immediately after using the gloves.
- If the surfaces are dirty, you should clean them with a detergent or soap and water before disinfecting them.
- For disinfecting tasks, the most common domestic disinfectants registered in the EPA should be effective.
- There is a list of products approved by the EPA to combat the virus that causes COVID-19. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions of each one of the cleaning and disinfection products you use (concentration, application method, time of contact, etc.).
- Furthermore, you can use a solution of bleach and diluted domestic chlorine (at least 1000 ppm of sodium hydrochloride) if it is appropriate for the surface. Follow the instructions of the manufacturer when using the product, make sure to let it act for at least a minute and ventilate the places properly during and after application. Verify that the product is nor overdue. Never mix bleach, chlorine, and ammonia or other cleaning products. The bleach and chlorine that is not past due will be effective against the Coronavirus if it is properly diluted.
- Prepare a solution of bleach with chlorine by mixing: 5 spoons (1/3 cup) of bleach with chlorine by a gallon of water or 4 tablespoons of bleach with chlorine per quarter gallon of water.
Remember, the recommendation is to clean and disinfect these continuous contact surfaces in the common house areas as a routine. Prevention is the key to avoid the spread of the virus.