The coronavirus that causes COVID-19 is tenacious in several ways. First of all, you can carry it for up to two weeks without knowing that you’re sick. Secondly, it can live on surfaces including metal, glass, plastic and cloth. To make sure that you’re fully protecting your household, you’ll need to study the cleanser that you’re using, your methodology and the frequency.
Wash bedding, towels and rugs in warm water. The SARS-CoV-2 virus has a lipid coating that can be broken down with soap bubbles. Once the lipid layer is breached, the virus is inactive. If you have especially hard water, consider adding a foaming agent to your laundry with the soap.
For those who have someone infected in the house, be aware that you can mix laundry. In fact, you may keep the rest of your household safer if you just roll up laundry from the sick person’s bed and wash it without shaking it out.
Shaking linens will turn any virus in the space airborne. When it’s time to make the bed, mask yourself and do your best to stretch out the bedding with as little rustling or shaking out as possible. Wash your hands after this project, or glove up to handle any products from the room where the sick person is spending most of their time.
Map where you touch as you enter your home. Door knobs, light switches, coat rack handles and countertops can all serve as a home for a coronavirus. To both clean and disinfect
- clean with a microfiber cloth and a cleanser to remove stains, dirt and debris, then
- apply a disinfectant, such as rubbing alcohol with at least 70% alcohol in the solution
Cleaning gets rid of bacteria, which are much bigger and more vulnerable than viruses. Only disinfecting can render a virus inactive.
Your shoes can serve as a haven for coronavirus. It only takes one poorly covered cough to spray water droplets all down the aisle of your grocery store. If the virus can live for an extended period of time, it may become attached to your shoe and come home with you. If at all possible, encourage family members to leave their outdoor shoes beside the door and switch to house shoes or slippers indoors. Leave the viruses at the front door so they can die before you put your shoes back on again.
Make part of your deep cleaning a thorough vacuuming of your home to capture any viruses that may have come in with family members, parcels or bags. Tools such as Miele vacuums can gather up the dust and dirt that may be harboring the virus in your carpets and on your solid surface flooring. It’s important to remember that viruses on a surface are basically inert. You have to touch them to catch them. They spread via transmission by a carrier or host.
Current science indicates that the longest the virus can live without a host is three hours. Some surfaces, such as cardboard, serve to host the virus for only 1 hour. For your safety and the security of your family, simply plan on three hours.
Hand-Washing to Avoid the Spread of COVID-19
In addition to disinfecting, using soap and not shaking out laundry, make sure that you wash hands whenever you arrive in a new space. You may be working part time or back in the workplace at pre-virus hours. Before you get in your car, wash your hands to avoid transferring the virus from work to home. If you stop at the grocery store and are allowed to use your own bags, try to bag your own groceries to avoid additional contact. When you get home, before you unload, wash your hands.
Once you’re back to your regular life, the virus will still be around. Hopefully you won’t be exposed, but if you are there are steps you can take to avoid carrying it home. If you have a co-worker who has tested positive, consider masking at home for a time until you can get tested. If you have someone in your home who’s at special risk, consider masking around them for two weeks to avoid putting them at risk.
About The Author: Rayanne is currently working towards her BA in English from Oregon State University. She loves to read, travel, and paint. She enjoys finding new coffee shops with friends and expanding her cooking skills with her husband.
Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash
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