During winter, we spend a lot of time indoors. While we enjoy the warmth of our homes, so do germs which stand ready to attack. We can win the battle by regularly cleaning and disinfecting surfaces to remove contaminants. Here are some home disinfecting tips to help kick germs to the curb.
Knowing the Difference
According to the CDC, cleaning with soap, water and a little elbow grease removes most germs, dirt and impurities from surfaces. Sanitizing reduces germs to levels public health codes or regulations consider safe. Disinfecting kills most germs on surfaces and objects.
How to Clean Your Home Properly
Cleaning removes most harmful viruses or bacteria from surfaces. All you need is soap and water or household cleaners that contain soap or detergent. Surfaces should be wiped down before they are sanitized or disinfected. Clean high-touch surfaces regularly, such as door knobs and lightswitches, especially if you just had visitors. Be sure to use products that are meant for the surface you are cleaning.
It’s best to use soap and water on hard surfaces, such as counters or toys. Consider putting a wipeable cover on electronics, so they can be easily cleaned and disinfected. For soft surfaces, such as carpet, rugs and drapes, use an appropriate cleaning product. Use a vacuum to sweep up dirt from the ground.
Do the Laundry
Toss clothing, towels, cloth toys and linens into the washer and dryer. It’s safe to wash dirty laundry from a sick person with the rest of your stuff. Clean the clothes hamper or laundry basket as well. Wash your hands when you’re done..
How to Sanitize
Sanitize anything an infant or child may use, such as feeding items, toys and play surfaces. Areas that come into contact with food should also be sanitized.
Sanitize items by either boiling, steaming, or using a weaker bleach solution. A dishwasher with a sanitizing cycle can be used for some items as well. Allow items to air dry on a clean dish towel or paper towel. Clean hard surfaces, such as kitchen countertops, with hot, soapy water. Sanitize surfaces that raw meat has touched with a homemade bleach solution or a sanitizing product.
How to Disinfect Safely
Always disinfect your home when someone is sick or at higher risk due to a weakened immune system. Use an EPA approved disinfectant to clean surfaces and follow the instructions. Wear protective gear such as gloves or goggles. Leave the disinfectant on the surface long enough to kill germs. This amounts to about 5-10 seconds. Alcohol solutions with at least 70 percent alcohol can be used as a disinfectant. Wash your hands for 20 seconds after disinfecting.
Tackling the Kitchen
Most disinfectants aren’t safe to use in areas of the kitchen where food is prepared. Always rinse surfaces after you disinfect them. Spray or wipe down handles, faucets and hard surfaces with a disinfectant, and let the areas dry. Clean and disinfect trash cans and lids regularly. The best way to clean a garbage disposal drain is to turn it on and run hot water through it for one minute.
Clean the Air
To reduce the transmission of airborne illnesses in your home, keep your HVAC system clean and filtered. Replace filters about every three months. HVAC systems only filter air when the fan is running, so keep it on if someone is sick. An air purifier can reduce contaminants in the air, including allergens, germs and viruses. Again, be sure to regularly clean or change the filter.
Freshen Up the Air in Your Home
Let the professionals at Will Air help freshen up the air inside your home. Will Air is a high-quality, residential and light commercial, heating and cooling company in Central Maryland. We specialize in HVAC systems, duct cleaning, and preventive planned maintenance. Call us today at 410-549-9300 or go to our website to request a free estimate.