Now that the coronavirus outbreak has most Americans spending a lot more time at home, you might be thinking about doing some spring cleaning. This season, as you begin to tackle the big cleaning projects you’ve put off all winter, don’t forget the small spaces where germs can hide.
Cleaning and disinfecting these inconspicuous and often-forgotten areas is especially important this spring, as we all work to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
Here are some often-overlooked spots to tackle during the current COVID-19 pandemic.
1. Remote Controls, Keypads and Other Electronics
Everyone in your home touches them, but how often do you clean remotes, touchscreens, keyboards, keypads and other electronic items? To keep the germs away, you’ll want to clean them daily. Here’s how:
- Follow the manufacturer’s cleaning instructions if you have them
- If you don’t have specific instructions from the manufacturer, most of these items can be cleaned and disinfected with alcohol-based wipes or sprays
- To properly disinfect touch screens, look for a product that contains at least 70% alcohol
- Dry the surface thoroughly after cleaning so liquid doesn’t collect
- For easy cleaning, enclose electronics with covers that can be wiped down
2. Doorknobs and Door Handles
Door handles are possibly one of the most frequently touched spots in your home — and yet they’re easy to overlook during a traditional spring cleaning. But these surfaces are a likely spot for germs to collect and hide.
To make sure you don’t miss any, go room-to-room looking for handles you might miss such as:
- Cabinet handles in the kitchen and bathroom
- Faucets and shower doors
- Refrigerator handles
- Toilet handles
Don’t forget any outside doorknobs or handles, which are even more likely to be touched by people outside your household.
3. Light Switches and Lamp Pulls
Do you remember the last time you cleaned light switches and lamp pulls in your home? If you’re like most people, it may have been a while. And yet, these commonly touched surfaces are likely places for germs to fester. As you travel from room to room, clean all these surfaces, too.
4. Countertops, Tables and Chairs
Not only do countertops, tables and chairs get touched often by the members of your household, but they’re also frequently the surfaces that hold grocery bags, mail, delivery boxes and other objects brought into your home.
5. Bedding, Rugs, Pillows and Drapes
Don’t forget to clean the soft surfaces in your home as well.
- Wash bedding according to instructions on the label, using the warmest appropriate water setting and drying items completely
- Clean surfaces like drapes, pillows and rugs with soap and water, or with cleaners specifically designed for these fabrics. After cleaning, disinfect using a household disinfectant that is approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for fighting COVID-19
6. Kids’ Toys
Routinely clean, sanitize and disinfect toys, games and other items your children touch often. If your little ones put toys in their mouths, clean them in a dishwasher or by hand with detergent and water, then rinse and sanitize with an EPA-approved disinfectant. Air-dry after cleaning.
You can wash cloth toys and animals in the washing machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Use the warmest water setting possible and dry items completely. You may also hand-wash these items with soap and water, then air-dry or throw them in the dryer.
How to Clean and Disinfect During Coronavirus
Before you start, put on a pair of disposable gloves and throw them away after each use so you don’t spread germs. If you must use reusable gloves, use them only for cleaning and disinfecting surfaces. As soon as you’re done cleaning, remove the gloves and wash your hands.
Once you’ve identified all the spots where germs might be lurking, you’ll want to hit them with a one-two punch. First, clean with soap and water and then disinfect to kill germs.
To disinfect, you can use:
- An alcohol solution that contains at least 70% alcohol
- A diluted bleach solution using 1/3 cup bleach in a gallon of water or four teaspoons of bleach in a quart of water. Be sure to leave the bleach solution on the handle or knob for one minute. And remember: Never mix bleach with ammonia or any other types of cleanser
- A household disinfectant that’s been approved by the EPA for killing coronavirus
Why It’s Important to Clean During Coronavirus
Although the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other experts believe coronavirus is primarily spread from close contact with an infected person, they think it may also be spread on contaminated surfaces like doorknobs and countertops.
Because data suggests the virus that causes COVID-19 may live on some surfaces for hours or days, cleaning these high-traffic areas is a good way to stop the virus from spreading. And during the COVID-19 outbreak, the CDC recommends cleaning and disinfecting most of these areas every day.
Get the Latest Coronavirus Updates
Guidelines about the outbreak can change. Stay informed on the latest coronavirus information, including how to best protect yourself and your family, by visiting the CDC online. Here at AdventHealth, we also offer lots of information about coronavirus, including answers to frequently asked questions, on our Coronavirus Resource Hub. Visit often to get the latest updates.