Things To Disinfect in Your Home
These days it is normal to walk out of your house and see people wearing face masks. We don’t touch, we don’t get too close, and we frantically hunt the grocery store shelves for the best hand sanitizer options.
As we all (somewhat) get used to living in a pandemic, we may be getting more relaxed about cleaning everything as thoroughly as we should be. You might be someone who wears your mask every time you go to the grocery store and washes your hands before leaving the house, but have you been wiping down your phone recently? Did you remember to clean the handles on your faucet?
The CDC recommends “routine cleaning of frequently touched surfaces (for example tables, doorknobs, light switches, handles, desks, toilets, faucets, sinks, and electronics)” to prevent the spread of Coronavirus. But even when we are not living in a global pandemic, it’s important to keep your house as clean as possible. Regularly disinfecting your surfaces will help curb the spread of germs and disease.
Read on to learn about some things commonly overlooked in the disinfecting process. We will also discuss some of the best types of cleaning products for different uses.
We touch our electronics constantly. We carry our cell phones around in our pockets, touch them with our fingers, and put them up to our faces. Scientists have found that there are ten times more germs on your phone than there are on a toilet seat. And your computer probably isn’t much better. We sit at our computers all day, perhaps eating or having video conferences, effectively covering our laptops in germs.
The best way to keep your electronics as germ-free as possible is to take a preventative approach. You can use wipeable covers, such as a silicone keyboard cover for your laptop, that can easily be removed and disinfected. For your phone, choose a case that comes with a protective covering on the front, so that the entire case can be removed and cleaned to help keep your phone germ-free.
If you are unable to use a protective cover on your phone or laptop or want to clean and disinfect underneath a wipable cover, first make sure your electronics are unplugged and turned off. Wipe your device down with a microfiber cloth to clean any dust off the surface. You can also use q-tips or brushes to clean in the cracks of a keyboard or any other hard to reach places.
Then use disinfecting wet wipes or rubbing alcohol to disinfect your electronics afterward. Make sure to clean and disinfect your cases as well! You can wash anything made of plastic or silicone in soapy water. For anything made of wood or leather, use a small amount of water or vinegar on a microfiber cloth.
Another common electronic that we often forget to disinfect is the TV remote. You might never think about cleaning your remote, but it’s something you touch often! You can purchase a silicone sleeve for your remote to protect it from any germs. This sleeve makes it easy to wipe the remote down with a disinfecting wipe or wash with soap and water.
Don’t forget to disinfect all of the handles in your house! This includes everything from your front doorknob to the handle on your refrigerator. Drawer and cabinet handles, closets doors, washing machines, and ovens are all things that we touch constantly and may forget to disinfect.
To properly clean the handles in your home, first make sure they are clean with a mixture of soap and water or an all-purpose cleaner spray. Then use either an EPA-registered household disinfectant or a mixture of bleach and water to disinfect the handles. The CDC recommends preparing a bleach solution by mixing four teaspoons of bleach per quart of room temperature water. Bleach solutions will be effective for disinfection for up to 24 hours.
To disinfect your floors, you do not want to use a bleach solution as it can damage your flooring. For laminate and vinyl flooring, use one cup of vinegar per one gallon of warm water in a mop bucket to clean your floors. For hardwood, you want to use as little moisture as possible to avoid damaging the wood. Use a damp mop with a cleaner specifically designed to disinfect hardwood floors and dry the surface with a clean, dry towel to remove any moisture.
Make sure to change your mop head every two to three months, and store it off the floor so it can dry thoroughly. Mopping with mildewy or dirty mop heads does not help to disinfect anything!
4. Other Items
There are lots of other small household items that you may forget to disinfect, such as your keys, glasses, and credit cards. You can use disinfecting wipes to wipe down keys or credit cards, but be careful if there is an electronic fob. A little bit of rubbing alcohol on a rag can clean a key fob, but be sure to let it air dry. For your reading glasses or sunglasses, make sure to clean them often with a bit of soap and warm water. Wipe dry with a lens cloth, not a shirt or towel, as they can scratch the lenses.
Make sure to wear disposable gloves while cleaning and disinfecting any surfaces in your home.