Coronavirus: How to Disinfect Your Home | Maid4Condos

Coronavirus: How to Disinfect Your Home

Coronavirus: How to Disinfect Your Home
April 20, 2020

Considering the fact that most of us have a lot of time on our hands due to self-isolation, it makes sense to take advantage of the situation and learn some new healthy cleaning habits. Let’s face it, many of us tend to let our homes “go,” since cleaning is not something most of us enjoy. Our team loves cleaning, but since we’re not able to assist at this time, we thought we’d provide advice on how you can keep your home disinfected during the COVID-19 outbreak. Here are our disinfecting tips based on the current government recommendations.

How to disinfect your home during this quarantine

The Difference Between Cleaning and Disinfecting

When you clean, you are removing dirt and germs, but you are not “killing” them. This means, despite your best efforts, the germs can remain on surfaces, which makes it easier to spread the virus. Disinfecting, on the other hand, literally kills germs, and this is why you should focus on disinfecting during self-isolation.

A List of High Touch Surfaces

You’ve probably heard this term used repeatedly on the news, and there’s a good reason for it. These are the surfaces constantly touched in your household and, therefore, those that need regular disinfecting, including:

  • Tables
  • Doorknobs
  • Light switches
  • Countertops
  • Handles
  • Desks
  • Phones
  • Keyboards/mice
  • Toilets
  • Faucets
  • Sinks
  • TV and video game controls/changers
  • Toys and games

Routine cleaning of these services using disinfectant wipes or disinfectant cleansers is a must.

Clean, then Disinfect

You should first clean surfaces that appear dirty, such as kitchen counters and bathroom sinks, with your usual cleaning products. However, you then need to take it one step further and use a germ-killing disinfectant, preferably containing bleach to kill germs. If the surface does not appear dirty, you can go right to the disinfecting stage. Because of being shut in, it might be tempting to use products past their due date, but this is not advisable. These products will lose their potency and, therefore, might do nothing more than moving the germs around on surfaces. You can make a bleach cleaning solution with 5 tablespoons of bleach to a gallon of water. You can also use alcohol solutions with at least 70% alcohol.

To get the best results, follow the product instructions. If you make your own, a good tip is to leave the cleaning solution on the surface for several minutes before wiping it away, so it increases its germ-killing effectiveness. Always wear gloves to protect your skin and open a window to reduce exposure to the fumes.

Don’t Forget to Clean “Soft Surfaces”

Soft surfaces include drapes, furniture like your couch or upholstered chairs, pillows, and rugs. These surfaces must be cleaned if someone in the household is sick with the virus or potentially could be. Be sure you choose cleaning products that won’t damage your stuff, and then be extra safe by trying the product on a less noticeable area to make sure it doesn’t cause discolouration. Some items can be thrown into the laundry, such as drapes and even some pillows, so read the labels for cleaning instructions. You can also use spray disinfectants on soft surfaces, but again, follow the instructions.

Linens and Clothes

Towels, blankets, and bed linens should all be washed regularly, as should clothes. Don’t shake anything out before placing it in the washing machine, and if someone is sick or has been exposed to the virus, wear gloves. Sick people’s clothes and linens can be washed with the rest of the families’ items. In this case, however, if they used a laundry hamper, then the hamper should be disinfected. Don’t forget to wash your hands even if you used gloves. Use the warmest water possible according to the laundering instructions on the label.

Have a Cleaning Regime

Even if no one is sick in the home, it’s important to have a safe cleaning regime that you stick to during the outbreak. Do a disinfecting wipe down at least twice a day of all high-touch surfaces. Ask family members to wash their hands often. Make a new rule where people can’t use things such as TV and video controllers/changers and shared handheld and computer devices without washing their hands first. If someone sneezes, coughs or blows their nose, make sure they wash their hands immediately. When wearing gloves, you still have to wash your hands when you remove them. Do not dust during the outbreak; instead, use only wet cleaning methods, as you can release droplets captured in the dust.

If you use reusable cleaning cloths such as microfibre cloths, wash them often. Remove visible dirt right away from surfaces and be more diligent with shared areas such as kitchens and bathrooms.

Living with an Infected Person

If you are caring or living with a person with the virus, you have to be diligent in disinfecting yourself and anything they touch. Wear gloves whenever you are in contact with them or touch anything they have used or touched. If you’ve got it, use a hand sanitizer often; if not, wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds, even if you have worn gloves. Keep the person in a separate room or, if this is not possible, keep them two metres apart from others. It is best to have them use a different bathroom than the rest of the household.

As a caregiver, it is very important to avoid close contact as much as possible and to be obsessive with hand washing and not touching your face.

Food Preparation

Hopefully, you are already using safe food preparation practices at home, including washing your hands before and after handling food. If you are living with a sick person, have them eat in a different area than the rest of the household, and wear gloves when bringing their food and clearing their dishes.

Dishes and utensils must be washed wearing gloves and using a dish-friendly antibacterial dishwashing liquid whenever possible. Have a special set of dishes put aside for the sick person. Dishwashers are excellent as they have a high temperature that can kill germs. We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: Wash your hands even if you wore gloves.


Sick people should have their own lined trash can, especially for used facial tissue. You must wear gloves when removing their trash and wash your hands thoroughly afterwards.

At Maid4Condos, we are a responsible community business and want everyone to stay healthy. These cleaning tips will help keep you healthy during this difficult time. Stay well, and we look forward to serving you soon.

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