Scientists have now confirmed that coronavirus can live on surfaces for up to 36 hours, depending on the substance, which means that public areas are now more dangerous than ever.
But since many of us spend more and more time at home, it is no longer the public places that pose a threat.
If you or one of your family members is one of many victims who do not have symptoms of an outbreak, then your whole family could be at risk, all within days. The risk increases if you have elderly or immunocompromised loved ones in your home.
Do you want to reduce the chance of a coronavirus spreading in your home or, at worst, among your family members? Take these cleaning precautions:
1. Regularly cleaning highly used contact surfaces
This includes places such as door handles and kitchen counter, light switches, toilets, sinks, and main knobs, and even TV and mobile remotes. Pay close attention to places like the living room and kitchen, where your family may gather a lot. If you cook daily, also clean the stove and fridge handles.
2. Use appropriate detergents
Not all cleaning agents are effective in killing the virus. CDC recommends using a diluted home bleach solution or an alcohol cleaning solution with at least 70% alcohol. Hydrogen peroxide is also effective, but it needs to stay on the surface for at least a minute to kill the virus.
Here is a complete list of detergents you can use to kill the coronavirus:
Chlorine solutions (5 tablespoons of chlorine per gallon of water).
- Alcohol-based detergents with at least 70% alcohol.
- Household disinfectants such as Clorox (NYSE: CLX) and Lysol (OTCMKTS: RBGLY).
- This full list of cleaning products is here.
What will not work in coronavirus? Vodka, hand or vinegar antiseptic. (The latter does not smell very good either).
3. Wear gloves when cleaning
In the event of surface contamination with coronavirus, you must ensure that it is protected. Wear disposable latex gloves and replace them each time you start a new round of cleaning. Be careful not to touch any additional surfaces, mattresses, or family members during cleaning, as the virus can be transferred to gloves from a contaminated surface.
4. Change your bedding frequently
Don’t use towels and reuse them during this time (even hand towels) as the virus can easily live on fibers. Your best bet is to use towels only once after showering or bathing, and use paper towels when drying your hands. Another option is to customize a hand towel for each family member to be safe.
5. Wash clothes with warm water
Coldwater won’t kill germs, so be sure to wash hot (or even hot) clothes at this time. If you pick up clothes in a linen bag, you should also throw them away with your lambs. If you suspect someone was injured in your home, put your clothes in a separate garbage bag and treat them only with gloves.
The bottom line
Even if you or someone in your family is not ill or has symptoms, caution is necessary at this time. Take proactive steps to keep your home clean and sterile – and this can be what keeps your loved ones safe, healthy and virus free in the long run.\