As the world struggles with COVID-19, one thing that has become abundantly clear is the need to clean and disinfectant properly. In addition to washing our hands the correct way (for 20 seconds with warm water and soap), we also need to keep our homes clean and safe. Even while following shelter-in-place orders, there are many essential workers who must leave their homes, and then they worry about bringing home coronavirus germs.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “Current evidence suggests that SARS-CoV-2 may remain viable for hours to days on surfaces made from a variety of materials. Cleaning of visibly dirty surfaces followed by disinfection is a best practice measure for prevention of COVID-19 and other viral respiratory illnesses in households and community settings.”
As a certified water damage restoration in Tampa FL, Dririte knows how to clean and restore homes – including how to sanitize against COVID-19. Today, we are sharing our expertise with fellow Tampa residents to help you keep your homes safe.
The Difference Between Cleaning and Disinfecting
Many people use the words “cleaning” and “disinfecting” interchangeably, but they are actually different. Cleaning is when you clean dirt and germs from surfaces, but it does not mean you kill germs. On the other hand, disinfecting is when you use disinfectants, or chemicals, to kill germs on surfaces.
With that being said, the CDC claims you should clean first with soap and water and disinfect with after with an EPA-registered household disinfectant. This is because disinfectant does not clean surfaces. For example, if you clean and remove dirt and debris, and then disinfect, you do a much better job of removing germs. Therefore, it is important for homeowners to both clean and disinfect their homes.
Start with Commonly Touched Surfaces
Begin by doing some touchpoint cleaning. Touchpoint cleaning is when you clean surfaces that are touched often, such as tables, counters, light switches, doorknobs, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks. Basically, you want to clean and disinfect anything people touch. This explains why the Clorox and Lysol wipes disappeared from grocery store shelves. If you are having a hard time locating disinfecting wipes, you can make your own bleach solution. The CDC recommends mixing 5 tablespoons (1/3rd cup) bleach per gallon of water.
How to Disinfect Soft Surfaces
In addition to disinfecting commonly touched surfaces, you should use disinfect soft surfaces, such as carpets, rugs, and upholstered furniture. This is because the evidence suggests COVID-19 is transmitted through respiratory droplets, such as when someone coughs or sneezes. Unfortunately, there is no one set way to clean and disinfect soft surfaces. Each surface will need to be cleaned and disinfected according to the manufacturer’s instructions. In general, you will need to clean the surface with an appropriate cleaner and launder the items if possible.
How to Disinfect Electronics
Too often, people neglect to clean and disinfect some of the objects they use the most often, such as their mobile devices and remote controls. For example, when is the last time you sanitized your cell phone? Since these devices can be ruined if they are cleaned improperly, it is important to check the manufacturer’s guidelines first. If you cannot find guidelines, then use wipes containing at least 70% alcohol. Then, be sure to dry the device completely.
How to Disinfect Clothing
Clothing should be laundered according to washing instructions, but you should aim to use the warmest water that is acceptable for the material type. The CDC also recommends that you not shake dirty laundry. According to the CDC, “This will minimize the possibility of dispersing virus through the air.” It is also important to clean and disinfect the hamper where dirty clothes are stored. If you happen to have a Tampa FL water damage event due to all the extra laundering, Dririte is ready and willing to help.
What to Do if Someone in Your Home Has COVID-19
If someone in your home is suspected of having COVID-19, then you must take additional measures to clean and disinfect your home. The CDC recommends having the family member stay in one room of the home and have access to a separate bathroom if possible. This will eliminate having to clean multiple home areas. In addition to the previous measures discussed, you should be extra careful when doing the laundry by wearing disposable gloves when handling the infected person’s laundry.
Important Things to Remember When Disinfecting
Since you are using chemicals to disinfect your home, it is critical to be safe. Safety precautions include wearing disposable gloves when using disinfectants and making sure to keep the area ventilated. It is also important to understand that strong chemicals, such as bleach, can damage surfaces and materials, so you should read the manufacturer’s guidelines before applying any chemicals.
Hire Professional Restoration Services of Tampa Bay Inc
If someone in your home has had COVID-19, consider hiring professionals to clean and sanitize your space. Dririte has the equipment and know-how to sanitize spaces safely and effectively. Or, if you happen to discover another issue while deep cleaning your home, such as mold, Dririte offers mold remediation in Tampa residents can trust.