In light of this pandemic situation, disinfecting your home is essential if you have children, infants, or individuals with compromised immunity in your household. Sanitizing residential areas is also important, especially if you have a potential case of Covid or recovered from an infectious disease.
NEA has published a list of possible disinfection suggestions to guide homeowners on how to disinfect homes when needed. In this article, we have simplified the suggestions to some simple steps below.
Difference Between Cleaning and Disinfecting
First, it is important to understand how to distinguish between cleaning and disinfecting to prevent COVID-19 from spreading to you and your home.
Generally speaking, cleaning refers to physically removing organic and inorganic materials (dirt and soil), and other impurities from a surface. The most common method of cleaning is using dish soap and water. Although routinely cleaning with dish soap and water won’t kill all germs or viruses, it will reduce the number of viruses on surfaces and objects, which will lower the risk of exposure and infection.
In disinfection, chemicals are used to reduce or eliminate pathogenic microorganisms (such as bacteria and viruses) from surfaces. As a result, disinfecting kills or prevents a great number of germs from growing.
Simple Guide to Disinfecting Home
In the Home Recovery period, practice the steps in this guide to keep your home clean and safe as you recover from your COVID-19 infection.
Visitors should not be allowed into the household until all isolation/quarantine periods have ended and the house has been thoroughly cleaned and disinfected. The COVID-19 virus can survive on surfaces of different materials, including surfaces of a residence, for at least 2 to 3 days while the residence is under-recovery.
1. Ensure sufficient ventilation
In order to keep the isolation room well ventilated, patients should avoid turning on the air conditioner and open the windows. Turning on the air conditioner with the windows closed could result in viral particles falling from under the door, potentially spreading the disease. A better alternative is to turn on the fan and point it away from the room door towards the windows.
Keep all windows widely open when cleaning and disinfecting the room to ensure sufficient ventilation.
2. Prepare cleaning tools and products.
For precaution, it is recommended to prepare personal protective equipment in addition to the cleaning products that you will be using. Otherwise, you should at least put on a surgical mask and gloves when cleaning and disinfecting your home.
Cleaning and disinfecting products and tools that you will need include:
- Trash bag
- Disposable cloths/rags
- Extra set of clothes
Make sure you have an extra set of clothes available so that you can shower and dress in a fresh set immediately after cleaning. By doing so, you will reduce any risk of viral transmission, just in case, the virus gets stuck to your clothes during the cleaning process.
*Recommended Disinfectant Solution
To clean surfaces, you can use a bleach solution (diluted to 1000ppm or 0.1% sodium hypochlorite), alcohol 75%, or other disinfectants listed in the NEA listing active ingredients for surface disinfection.
3. Wash bedding and clothes
It’s important to wash all linens since the virus can survive on surfaces such as curtains, bedsheets, carpets, mattresses, pillows, and cushions for up to 2-3 days. Wash and laundry the linens and clothes separately from other household members with laundry detergents. Engage professional cleaning service to clean and disinfect big items like mattresses, rugs, and curtains.
4. Clean the mattress after recovery
It is not necessary to throw away the mattress if you use common household cleaning products, such as bleach diluted in water to clean it. You can clean and disinfect your mattress by sunning the mattress or applying alcohol (>75%). Alternatively, engage professional mattress cleaners to ensure thorough mattress cleaning and sanitizing.
5. Start cleaning surfaces
Sweep the floor using the prepared cleaning solution, working your way from one end to the other.
It is best to avoid moving from an area that has not been cleaned to an area that has been cleaned in order to prevent dirtying the newly cleaned area.
Use the prepared cleaning solution to sanitize surfaces in the room(s) that are frequently touched (e.g. doorknobs, armrests, tables, switches, walls, keyboards, etc.). Be sure to thoroughly rinse and soak cleaning cloths before moving on to clean another surface, or use a second cloth.
6. Disinfect the bathroom
An important step to reduce the risk of transmission is to clean the bathroom. A thoroughly clean bathroom is extremely important, especially if it’s shared.
Fill the sink with one cup (about 250ml) of disinfectant and pour it into the pipes. You should then pour two cups of disinfectant (about 500ml) into the floor trap. Wipe down surfaces such as the tap, the soap dispenser, flush buttons, and the door with disinfectant and cloth, just as you would in other parts of your home.
You should pour disinfectant into the toilet bowl and brush it with a brush to clean it. Leave the toilet open for a few minutes and then flush it. As the last step, use the disinfectant to clean the toilet floor from the exit inward.
7. Dispose waste securely
It is important to segregate the waste generated by the infected person during Home Recovery Notice by putting double bags inside and tying them securely. It can be disposed of with gloves, masks, cloths, and other waste generated during disinfection of the room or home
Before disposing of outside, make sure they are safely tied. Be sure to wash your hands immediately after disposing of the waste.
There are many things to be aware of when disinfecting your home yourself. A more convenient way would be to engage professional cleaning services to handle everything for you.