Coronavirus: Recommendations for Cleaning and Disinfecting Your Home

09 June, 2020
Cleaning and disinfecting your home has become more important than ever with the worldwide coronavirus epidemic. Find out more here.

Cleaning and disinfecting your home is crucial to help prevent the risk of infection. That’s why the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have given recent recommendations to help.

These days, learning important recommendations for cleaning and disinfecting your home is a good idea. With the concern that exists around the issue of the coronavirus, we need to know what we can do in our homes to reduce the risk of infection and spread.

As explained by the World Health Organization (WHO), Covid-19 – the infectious disease caused by the coronavirus – can spread from person to person when there’s close contact. Transmission occurs through respiratory droplets, which can come from the nose or mouth of an infected person. The droplets can also fall onto nearby surfaces and objects, which also pose a risk of infection. In these cases, if the person has contact with them and then touches their eyes, nose, or mouth, then they can become infected.

Therefore, proper general cleanliness is also important.

So, what should we do?

Cleaning and disinfecting your home: How to do it

Strategies for cleaning and disinfecting the home are aimed at limiting the survival of viruses that may reside on different surfaces. Although we’re going to refer in particular to the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on the subject of Covid-19, they’re also guidelines that can help to prevent other infectious processes.

In general, adequate cleaning of the home is synonymous with well-being. It allows the removal of germs, dirt, and all kinds of impurities that can facilitate the transmission of infections. Also, combined with disinfection products, this helps to kill the germs present on surfaces.

Let’s have a look at this in detail.

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A woman cleaning.
Cleaning and disinfection of the home should start with all the surfaces we have continuous contact with.

Routine cleaning and disinfection at home

Often, throughout the day, we have continuous contact with certain surfaces in the home. Whether it’s tables, doorknobs, light switches, toilets, taps, etc., it’s important to ensure that we disinfect them well.

Why disinfection?

Because superficial cleaning isn’t enough.

In this regard, the CDC advises us to use EPA-endorsed household cleaners and disinfectants that are appropriate for each surface. So, ideally, you should take a few minutes to read the information on the label. This is important so that you’ll know how to use them correctly.

Households with people in isolation: What to consider

For households with people who are isolated at home, because of suspected or confirmed Covid-19 infection, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has given more stringent recommendations for cleaning. Their specific instructions here are that the isolated person stays in a separate room, away from other family members as much as possible.

Here are some general guidelines for caregivers and the sick in these situations:

  • Perform daily cleaning and disinfection of surfaces that you have continuous contact with, such as those mentioned in the previous section.
  • Wash the bathroom and personal items of all family members more carefully, especially those of the sick person. This includes towels, bedding, clothing, etc.
  • Unless it’s a child, a disabled person or someone who can’t have contact with disinfectants, the caretaker should provide personal cleaning products for the isolated person.
  • If there’s only one bathroom in the home, it should be cleaned and disinfected by each person after each use.

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Final recommendations for cleaning and disinfection

Cleaning the toilet.
All items that have been in contact with a sick person, or a person suspected of being sick, should be disinfected with appropriate products.

There are other preventive measures that we can put into practice during the cleaning and disinfection process in the home. You must apply these both in the case of suspected viral infection and also in confirmed cases. Remember, this is not only with the current Covid-19 situation, but also whenever there’s a risk of such infections:

  • Wear disposable gloves when cleaning and disinfecting surfaces. They should be used only once.
    When removing the gloves, hands should be washed thoroughly for at least 20 seconds with soap and water.
  • You can use a diluted solution of household bleach to clean some surfaces, but follow the instructions for ventilation and use. You can prepare this solution by mixing 5 tablespoons of chlorine per gallon of water.
  • Clean any soft or porous surfaces regularly with appropriate cleaning products, such as carpets and rugs. Also, it’s a good idea to wash these items using hot water.
  • Wear gloves when handling a sick person’s dirty clothes. These clothes shouldn’t be shaken and should be washed in very hot water, if possible.

Final recommendations

Finally, it’s important to remember the importance of ensuring optimal hand hygiene. Washing your hands with soap and water, several times a day is key to reducing all kinds of risks of infection and spread. Washing should be reinforced if there are sick people in the home.

Also, you should repeat this procedure when in contact with pets, when preparing food, before eating, after entering the bathroom, after blowing one’s nose, coughing or sneezing, and other situations.

  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2020). Environmental Cleaning and Disinfection Recommendations. Recovered from https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/home/cleaning-disinfection.html
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2020). Preventing the Spread of Coronavirus Disease 2019 in Homes and Residential Communities. Recovered from https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/guidance-prevent-spread.html