According to health officials, the COVID-19 virus can stay on surfaces. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that the best practice measure to prevent COVID-19 and other viral respiratory illnesses is to clean these surfaces and disinfect them.
- Residential Carpet
- Hardwood Floor
- Tile and Grout
- Air Duct Cleaning
With the US continuing its lockdown and people now self-isolating at home, we have shed helpful tips to clear up any confusion over the new guidelines. A team of experts at ServiceMaster of Savannah will share some top tips for stopping the spread of coronavirus in our homes through cleaning.
What’s the difference between cleaning and disinfection?
There’s a useful distinction to make between cleaning and disinfection.
- Cleaning means physically removing organic matter such as germs and dirt from surfaces.
- Disinfection means using chemicals to kill germs on surfaces.
Cleaning is very important, because organic matter may inhibit or reduce the disinfectant’s ability to kill germs.
How long will coronavirus survive in your house?
We are not exactly sure how long this coronavirus will survive on surfaces. If it is similar to other coronaviruses, it could survive a few hours – potentially up to several days. How long it survives could depend on temperature, humidity and what the surface is made of.
What could be contaminated in your house?
It’s hard to say exactly. When someone coughs or sneezes, especially if they don’t cover their mouth, it is likely surfaces close to them will be contaminated.
Hands are often responsible for transferring pathogens from one place to another, so items that people often touch are at the greatest risk of being contaminated. Frequently touched items may include TV remotes, fridge doors, kitchen cupboards, kitchen surfaces, taps and door handles. And of course, there are devices such as phones and iPads – but these may not be shared or touched by others frequently.
What should you use to clean and how?
The coronavirus is a delicate structure and it is vulnerable in the environment. Both heat and detergents, including soap, can stop it from functioning.
This very dangerous virus has to be killed and may exist in your home.
Remember to wash your hands after cleaning (or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer) and avoid touching your eyes, mouth or nose.
There are many options for what to use to clean, including paper towels, cloths or disposable wipes.
Dishes and cutlery
Washing with hot water and detergent is fine for dishes and cutlery. A dishwasher is even better because it can use hotter water than your hands will tolerate
Clothing and linen
Use the warmest setting possible to wash contaminated laundry and make sure you allow it to dry completely. You may not want to ruin clothing or other materials, so always look at the manufacturer’s instructions.
Laundry from someone who is sick can be washed with other people’s items. If you are handling contaminated items such as towels or sheets, avoid shaking them before washing to reduce the risk of contaminating other surfaces.
Also, remember to wash your hands immediately after touching any contaminated laundry.
Prevention is best
Remember that surfaces play a role in transmitting pathogens, so preventing them from becoming contaminated in the first place is as important as cleaning. There are some things you can do to reduce the amount of contamination of the surfaces in your house:
- cover your cough and sneezes, ideally with a tissue but otherwise into your elbow, and wash your hands immediately
- wash your hands often, especially after going to the bathroom and before eating.
With so much news circulating about the coronavirus outbreak, it can be hard to know what to trust, and how to protect yourself and your employees. At ServiceMaster of Savannah, we understand how important it is to maintain a clean, healthy environment at work and home. Provided nobody in your household is showing symptoms, your main concern should be in minimizing the risk of introducing the virus into the house. You can do this by encouraging everybody to wash their hands as soon as they enter, and regularly wiping down high-touch areas such as door handles, light switches, TV remotes, and faucets, using EPA-approved disinfectants.
Maintaining a clean home is always a good idea to protect against all kinds of infections and viruses. A clean home can help you stay healthier and live longer. COVID-19 isn’t the only organism that can make you and your family sick, but there are steps you can take to reduce your risk of infection at home.
For more assistance, follow ServiceMaster of Savannah’s simple tips to stay on top of keeping your home clean. Contact us today to see how we can help you protect your workforce and household from germs all year round.