How to Disinfect Everything: Coronavirus Home Cleaning Tips

Most moisturizing lotions have similar ingredients, starting with water and glycerin, so the brand doesn’t really matter. (Here are some hand lotions on Amazon.) If your hands are extra dry, look for something dermatologist recommended with an “intensive” label, like Eucerin Advanced Repair or Neutrogena Hydro Boost.

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Why You Should Avoid Face Masks (for Now)

They serve an important purpose for people who are sick, or are caring for an ill person, but face masks are in short supply and needed by healthcare workers and those who are sick with the virus. Wearing a mask may also give you a false sense of security, causing you to put yourself at greater risk.

“You may in fact be touching your face more often because you’re adjusting your mask. Or you maybe trying to keep your eyeglasses from fogging up, then the portal of entry might be your eye,” Dr. Townes said. “I think we need to de-emphasize wearing masks in public as a strategy.”

As far as we know, the novel coronavirus is transmitted through person-to-person contact, or respiratory droplets. Those droplets don’t stay suspended in the air, they fall to the ground within about six feet of the infected person.

To Keep Your Home Virus-Free

Clean and Disinfect

The first thing you’ll want to know is that cleaning and disinfecting are two very different things. The CDC recommends we all do a bit of both, even if nobody in your home is sick.

  • Cleaning is about removing contaminants from a surface.

  • Disinfecting is about killing pathogens.

  • Do both daily if anything or anyone has entered or exited your home.

Transmission from person-to-person is a much greater risk than transmission via surfaces, but the CDC recommends we clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces in our homes at least once daily just to be safe, assuming we have had contact with the outside world in some way, either a person leaving and returning, or goods coming in.

Target Your Home’s High-Touch Surfaces

Researchers have found that the novel coronavirus is capable of living on surfaces such as cardboard, plastic, and stainless steel for two to three days. So disinfecting high-touch surfaces is a step we should all take.

High-Touch Surfaces to Clean and Disinfect Daily:

  • Doorknobs
  • Table surfaces
  • Hard dining chairs (seat, back and arms)
  • Kitchen counters
  • Bathroom counters
  • Faucets, faucet knobs
  • Toilets, (seat and handle)
  • Light switches
  • TV remote controls
  • Game controllers

Everyone’s home is a little different, so just think about the surfaces you interact with most. For me, that includes the above, plus desk surfaces and mousepads (we’ll get to gadgets in a bit). Now that you know what you’re cleaning, here’s how you should do it.

First Clean, Then Disinfect:

  1. First, clean the surfaces, removing any contaminants, dust or debris. You can do this by wiping them down with soapy water (or a cleaning spray) and a hand towel.
  2. Then, apply a surface-appropriate disinfectant. The quickest and easiest way to do this is with disinfecting wipes, or disinfectant spray.

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