As coronavirus spreads throughout our community, it’s important to be aware of the methods in which your home can be most effectively deep-cleaned. As community or household members are frequently touching surfaces (namely doorknobs, light switches, handles and faucets) within homes, it’s essential to employ thorough cleaning and disinfecting practices to maintain a healthy and sanitary home environment.

Here are a few things you can do to disinfect your house if you suspect it may have been contaminated by coronavirus. These tips are aimed at the limitation of the survival of coronavirus in home environments – and if someone in your house either has symptoms or tests positive for COVID-19, it’s even more essential to clean and disinfect your home and areas of the house as regularly as possible.

The Difference Between Cleaning And Disinfecting

When it comes to the order of cleaning and disinfecting practices, the best course of action is to first clean the surfaces to remove the dirt, germs and impurities, then apply a disinfectant to remove the virus and lower the risk of spread infection from the surfaces.

Routine Cleaning

Whether you suspect a member of your household has been subject to COVID-19 or whether you’d like to take extra precautions, it’s important to be educated about routine cleaning that can be done to prevent the spread of the virus in homes. First things first, if you think a surface, item or area of your home may be contaminated, ensure you clean and disinfect while wearing gloves.

Coronavirus has quickly gained a reputation for being long-lasting, as it can survive on surfaces for up to 17 days. Therefore, thoroughly cleaning and disinfecting surfaces, electronic devices and linen and clothing is an effective way in ensuring the safety and sanitation of your home.

  • Surfaces

A beneficial cleaning routine is to clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces in common household areas daily. This includes tables, chairs, doorknobs, remote controls, light switches, desks, toilets, sinks, etcetera. Before you begin cleaning, make sure whichever product you will be using won’t damage the surface you’re focusing on. For this surface-level cleaning, hot soapy water and a light disinfectant should do the trick.

When cleaning these surfaces, it’s important to wear disposable gloves that should be discarded after each cleaning. If you only have reusable gloves available, they should be dedicated for COVID-19-related cleaning only. Once you’ve finished using your pair of gloves, clean your hands immediately.

A good technique to keep in your back pocket is to employ an ‘S’-shaped pattern to clean your surfaces. By doing so, you’ll avoid re-contaminating areas on the surface that you’ve already disinfected. For the disinfectant product to have the best effect, make sure it has contact with the surface for a minimum of five to ten minutes to effectively kill all potential bacteria and viruses.

  • Dishes and cutlery

First and foremost, it’s important to avoid re-using water in your kitchen sink to ensure both the sink and your dishes remain as clean and uncontaminated as possible.

When it comes to washing dishes and cutlery, using detergent is adequate, but a dishwasher is even better because it will use water hotter than your hands can withstand. Care should be taken that all items are thoroughly cleaned and dried, and then all dishes and cutlery should be stored clean and dry.

  • Electronics

For mobile phones, tablets, remote controls and keyboards, it’s important to remove visible contamination if it is present. When cleaning these, follow manufacturer instructions, and consider using a wipeable cover to prevent future contamination.

If your electronics aren’t accompanied by a manufacturer’s guide, consider the use of alcohol-based wipes or sprays with at least 70% alcohol to adequately disinfect electronic surfaces. Be sure to dry these surfaces to avoid pooling of liquids, and also make sure to remove your phone or tablet’s case to clean underneath it.

  • Linen and clothing

When handling dirty laundry in a home you suspect is susceptible to coronavirus, wear either disposable or reusable gloves. If you don’t have gloves available, be sure to wash your hands immediately afterwards. Use the warmest setting possible to wash laundry.

It’s important to avoid shaking dirty laundry to minimise the possibility of dispersing the virus throughout the air. Once dry, clean and disinfect laundry items according to the above cleaning guidance for surfaces.

Disinfectant To Use

There are plenty of disinfectant products available either in-store or online. Examples include disinfecting wipes, disinfectant spray, isopropyl alcohol or hydrogen peroxide. If your chosen disinfectant product indicates it is effective against influence or the SARS virus, it should be suitable to work against coronavirus.

If you need to create a household disinfectant, prepare a bleach solution by mixing five tablespoons of bleach per gallon of water.

Stopping Spread In Your Home

When you arrive home, a good way to ensure you are leaving your outdoor activities outside is to remove your shoes at the front door, wipe down anything you’re bringing into the house, and washing your hands (and subsequently, your sink) thoroughly.

Also, if you’re expecting any packages from an online delivery service, make sure you disinfect any cardboard packages you receive. Research has found that coronavirus can live on cardboard for close to 24 hours, so using a light disinfectant is a good idea to stop any potential spread in your home. The same goes for plastic-wrapped packages – it’s best to be safe and lightly disinfect the package before bringing it inside and amongst your other possessions and members of the household.

While there are certain steps (like the above) that you can take to disinfect your house and belongings, there are always going to be trace amounts of things left over. That’s why it’s so important to have your home professionally cleaned by those that are qualified and certified to do so – like our team at Forensic Pathways.

Give us a call on +61 428 583 545 or email us at enquiries@forensic-pathways.com.au for more information.