This century has witnessed the worst pandemic of all. Corona virus has hit the world like nothing has ever done before: more than 88.5 million people across 218 territories have been affected with COVID-19. There seems to be no stopping the spread any time soon with the Covid-19 virus apparently evolving fast. Our main hope seems to be placed on the vaccinations that governments are just beginning to roll out; our frontline healthcare workers are the first to receive the vaccination while the vulnerable and senior population segments will be next.
In view of worsening economic situations, it isn’t viable for restaurants, clubs, museums, theatres, and specialist shops or malls to remain closed for much longer. Recent months have seen many starting to operate but with Covid-19 precautionary measures in place. These measures comprise proper cleaning and disinfection procedures and other advisories issued by the World Health Organisation (WHO), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and the Centres for Disease control and Prevention (CDC) which have painstakingly developed the best safety tips to help stem the spread of the pandemic.
People can prevent catching an infection if they duly follow all forms of precaution – from maintaining physical and social distancing, washing or sanitizing hands regularly, and wearing masks. As responsible citizens, it is essential for us to clean and disinfect surfaces around us, including clothes we wear outside of our homes, in a concerted effort to reduce cross transmission of diseases.
The survival of coronavirus on inanimate surfaces
A research paper published in April 2020 shared details about the “survival and infectivity of coronavirus on inanimate surfaces in households”. It stated that “during the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak, the contamination of paper documents, paper money, and mail wrapping paper is a concern for people who handle such documents in their daily work. After visiting hospitals and returning home, people worry that their cotton clothes or impervious gowns may carry fomites bearing SARS-CoV-2 into their homes.”
The researchers stated while “a dry or less humid environment is unsuitable for viral survival… the human coronavirus strain 229E (HuCoV-229E) can remain infectious on inanimate surfaces at the right temperature from 2 hours to 9 days on different types of materials. At 21-degree Celcius… the HuCoV-229E persisted on polyfluorotetraethylene (Teflon), polyvinyl chloride (PVC), ceramic tiles, glass and stainless steel for at least 5 days, and as well as on silicon rubber for 3 days.”
If you want to take care of your family and preventing them from getting infected by the coronavirus, then following certain cleaning and sanitizing measures at home is imperative. Read the rest of the article for everything that needs to be cleaned and disinfected – from cleaning frequently used personal items to disinfecting your environment to protecting your clothes with active antimicrobial layers!
How to maintain Personal Hygiene?
The CDC recommends regularly cleaning and sanitizing surfaces that we touch in our daily routine. This step is the first and also the most important for us to live in a safe and secure environment. Now, let us get into details about the various types of disinfection and antimicrobial treatments for us to stay healthy and protected.
Wash your hands
- After you sneeze or cough
- Before touching your face
- Before preparing or eating your meal
- After coming back home
- Before wearing and after removing your mask
- After using the restroom
- Before applying makeup or lenses
According to CDC, washing hands for 20-30 seconds is necessary to avoid picking up the SARS-Cov-2 virus present on different surfaces. Keep a bottle of hand sanitizer always in your bag or pocket so that you do not have to look for places to wash your hands. Sanitizers must contain 60% to70% of alcohol to kill all the viruses and bacteria on your hands. However, rapid washing or applying sanitizers can result in dry and cracked skin, making them even more vulnerable. Thus, you must apply a little amount of moisturizer after every wash to nourish your hands.
Cleaning and disinfecting your home
After you have learned how to manage your personal hygiene, let’s now move learning about the importance of cleaning and sanitizing surfaces correctly.
The first thing is to understand that both cleaning and disinfecting/sanitizing are two very different concepts.
Cleaning is about removing the dirt from surfaces or crevices. Disinfecting is about killing the bacteria, viruses and germs that actually harm your health. However, it is important to carry out both cleaning as well as sanitizing of surfaces regularly given that we now live in a pandemic crisis.
According to the CDC, it is crucial to have a clean and infection-free environment, even if the chance of getting infected from touching surfaces is relatively low than human transmission. Thus, it is crucial to both clean and disinfect your entire living space daily. The virus can sustain on the surfaces for a different period depending upon the surface's nature.
The following is the list of the surfaces which need to be sanitized regularly.
Disinfect high touch points with disinfectant cleaner or an antimicrobial spray
- Table surfaces
- Dining chairs (seat, back, and arms)
- Kitchen counters
- Bathroom counters
- Faucets and faucet knobs
- Toilets (seat and handle)
- Light switches
- TV remote controls
- Game controllers
- Mobile phones
- Wardrobe knobs
Now that you know all the things that you need to disinfect daily, let's find out the ways in which you will need to carry out disinfection properly.
- Always keep in mind you need to clean the surface first before disinfecting.
- Use a cleaning spray, or a detergent of your choice, with along with a clean towel or napkin to clean all the contaminants like dust or debris from the surface. Also, clean all the debris from the floor using a broom or a mop.
Then use a floor disinfectant and/or surface disinfectant to kill all the pathogens living on the surfaces quickly. Check the directions of use on the product labels for correct usage of each disinfectant.
- Ensure you clean all cloths, towels, napkins, mops and brushes sufficiently and replace them with new ones once every 8 to 10 weeks.
Achieve peace of mind with active antimicrobial protection at home
The technology of antimicrobial products for protecting surfaces and textiles is flourishing. These antimicrobial protectants are able to cut off the pathogens’ pathways to prevent the escalation of germs and bacterial on textiles. If you want to get a more insights about this technology and learn how the antimicrobial disinfecting process works when you use a First Health surface protectant, then watch our 2-minute explainer video here.
Disinfect your mobile devices (phones and tablets)
Our mobile phones and device are infamous for their part in the transmission of viruses and bacteria. We move around carrying our mobile phones in our hands all day; we never know how much bacteria, germs or virus it carries. Thus, for added vigilance, we must develop a habit of disinfecting our mobile phones on a daily basis. This will ensure that you stamp out the possibility of an infection reaching your face, or your nose or mouth directly from your hands and your mobile phone.
Wipe your phones with an alcoholic disinfectant cleaner regularly. Make sure to pay attention to the buttons, mic, screen, and everywhere dust tends to get trapped. Remove the case on your tablet or mobile phone to entirely clean your device with a disinfectant cleaner. You can apply a layer of antimicrobial coating on devices to destroy pathogens.
Disinfect your clothes
We can be working from home most of the time during this pandemic. However, being social creatures, we will invariably spend time outdoors including the times when we need to run essential errands. Clothes we wear while out of our homes can become a cause for concern when it comes to disease transmission.
Cotton material absorbs moisture and water droplets so it is highly possible for germs and viruses to get into what we wear while we are out. We have no idea how much infection is on the seat you sit or on the wall you are leaning. Thus, it is highly recommended to disinfect your clothes.
Use a laundry detergent along with warm water to ensure that your clothes are clean and use First Health NDF-Pro 5000™ in place of your fabric softener to keep all clothes and fabrics free from infectious pathogens. Other than that, you can also soak your clean clothes in a mixture of water and First Health NDF-Pro 5000™ for 30 minutes followed by normal washing.
All these methods are capable enough to mitigate the spread of the virus among people. Thus, it is essential to follow these processes regularly to create a protection layer against infection. If possible then you must disinfect every nook and corner of your house to avoid even a slightest possibility of getting contaminated.
Method to prepare disinfectant cleaners at home
Given the surge in the demand to purchase disinfectant sprays, it can get really challenging to find it every other time you need it. Thus, you should learn how to prepare an effective disinfectant cleaner at home. Here, we share a simple method that the CDC has recommended for a homemade cleaning solution prepared using household bleach.
Alcohol sanitizers are highly inflammable so you must avoid bringing gas or fire sources anywhere near disinfectant bottles. Never place such bottles near the area/s where you have cleaned with alcohol products. Always remember to wear your gloves before working with alcohol sanitizers. If not, then you may end up with cracked hands which would make you more vulnerable to catch infections.
Ingredients required –
- 4 tbsp. household bleach
- A quarter of the water
Pour both the bleach and the water into a spray bottle and shake it vigorously.
Spray the solution on the sanitizing surface
- Let it dry for 10 minutes
- Wipe it off with a wet cloth
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- Do not forget to wear disposable gloves
- Make sure to have proper ventilation
- Never mix bleach solution with any other cleaning chemical