The COVID-19 pandemic has well-and-truly put cleanliness front and center in our minds. It has reinforced the importance of maintaining a clean home in order to protect ourselves from the virus and other dangerous pathogens.
Maintaining a clean home is particularly important for seniors, as they are more likely to suffer severe symptoms if they contract COVID-19. It is also common for seniors to have underlying conditions like emphysema and diabetes, which dramatically increase their risk of mortality from COVID-19.
A recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine suggests that the COVID-19 virus can live on surfaces for anywhere between a few hours and several days. The virus can remain on cardboard surfaces for up to 24 hours and on stainless steel for up to 72 hours. These findings highlight the importance of maintaining a clean home.
The key is to have a regular cleaning schedule and follow the recommendations of experts. To help you maintain a safe home environment, I will share the CDC’s recommendations for keeping a clean household.
Cleaning should always be performed before disinfecting, as it is the most effective way to remove dirt and other impurities from a surface. Using soap or detergent on a hard surface will break down the oils and fats that protect germs — instantly killing up to 97% of germs.
Cleaning should be followed with disinfection. Soak the surface with a disinfectant solution for between 5 to 10 minutes to kill any leftover traces of germs. Wipe clean with a damp cloth. Always use gloves when disinfecting surfaces as it can be harsh on the skin.
In terms of choosing a disinfectant, the CDC suggests that the most effective option is either diluted household bleach or alcohol-based disinfectants with at least 70% alcohol content. These solutions will kill COVID-19 and other viruses on contact.
It is important to remember that disinfectants are potentially dangerous substances and should be used with care. Keep the following pointers in mind:
Use a high-quality vacuum with a HEPA filter to remove dust and debris from soft furnishings, rugs, carpets, and so on. To give soft surfaces a deeper clean, use carpet shampoos or detergents.
Wash sheets, towels, and clothing in a washing machine with detergent. Avoiding shaking or hitting rugs, clothing, towels, pillows, and other soft items as you may disperse the virus through the air.
Particular attention should be given to horizontal surfaces and frequently touched surfaces such as:
The CDC recommends that frequently touched surfaces and items should be cleaned daily. Other daily tasks include sweeping/vacuuming, mopping the kitchen floor, dishwashing, and cleaning kitchen sponges.
The cleaning of infrequently touched items like waste bins, hard-surface floors, mirrors, toilets and sinks only needs to be performed weekly.
It is usually unnecessary to wear PPE in your home. However, the following precautions should be taken:
All Heart Home Care is the leading provider of in-home care in San Diego. We offer a wide range of services including professional cleaning services. Our caregivers will ensure that your home is tidy, hygienic, and completely safe.
For more information on the services provided by All Heart Home Care, please contact our friendly team today at (619) 736-4677.