We understand that it’s hard enough to make your bed and fold your laundry, but it’s never been more important than now to step-up your cleaning game. Every time you or your roommates leave your place, there is a chance you could come in contact with a virus. You already know to wear a mask and practice physical distancing. But another way to prevent yourself from getting sick is to make sure your living space is clean and safe. 

According to the CDC, coronaviruses can live on surfaces, though not for long. They naturally die within hours to days. It may be possible to get COVID-19 by touching a surface with the virus on it, and then touching your mouth, nose or even eyes (How COVID-19 Spreads, CDC). I am so not okay with COVID-19 hanging around surfaces in my apartment, and you probably aren’t either. So we broke down how to properly clean and disinfect your house or apartment into 4 simple steps.

1. Cleaning vs. Disinfecting. Know the difference.

It turns out cleaning and disinfecting aren’t the same thing. Cleaning – wiping down with soap and water, for example – reduces the NUMBER of germs on a surface. It’s step one of protecting yourself from getting sick, but not the whole process.

In order to kill germs, you have to go further and disinfect. Disinfecting KILLS germs on surfaces and works by using chemicals. This is why it’s so important to both clean and disinfect. 

2. Routine cleaning.

Create a cleaning schedule that includes wiping down surfaces and areas used regularly. Things like door knobs, remotes, phones, and faucets are all frequently touched surfaces. If you live with roommates, try rotating the responsibility so that one person isn’t stuck with all the work. You can also leave a roll of paper towels and spray out, so it’s within easy reach at the end of each day. It will also be a visual reminder to keep you on track!

3. Instructions are important. 

If you’re like me, you probably didn’t realize that disinfectant sprays even have directions. As it turns out, those directions are really important. 

Most EPA-registered household disinfectant products recommend letting the surface stay wet for a set amount of time in order to work. Spoiler alert – it’s longer than the 5 seconds it takes to put the spray down and pick up paper towels. In fact, to be effective, most of these disinfectant sprays say to wait a full 5 or 10 minutes before wiping the spray away. 

Many products also recommend safety precautions during use, such as wearing gloves and making sure you have good ventilation during use of the product. 

Always read and follow the directions on the label to ensure safe and effective use.

4. Handle waste properly.

Throw disposable cleaning items in the trash immediately after use. Avoid touching dirty items when emptying the waste baskets by lining them with trash bags. And always wash your hands with soap and water afterwards. If you have a large trash can with a lid, remember to regularly wipe it down too.

If you still have questions – or want to learn more about how to clean more specific items (electronics, laundry, etc.), the CDC has a great page on cleaning and disinfecting with a lot more information!

Hannah Frier | Marketing