Cleanliness has become top of mind for many of us during the coronavirus pandemic, but how often and what you should clean depends on your household.
The primary way the coronavirus spreads is through respiratory droplets from an infected person which often land on surfaces, but droplets can live on those surfaces for several hours.
It’s important to disinfect high-traffic areas as much as needed. These high-traffic areas include kitchen counters, door knobs, bathrooms, TV remotes, light switches, and refrigerator handles.
The rate at which you need to disinfect is dependent on how often you and your household members leave your house. You definitely want to disinfect daily if you or another household member is leaving every day for work, the grocery store, or another area with lots of people. It’s important to remember that even if you or another household member has not interacted with someone who appears to be sick, they can be asymptomatic and still be infected with the coronavirus.
The Environmental Protection Agency has a list of the best cleaning products to use to disinfect your home.
The New York Times listed out best practices to disinfect your home including washing your gloves and then your bare hands after you’ve finished disinfecting.
If someone in your family is sick, follow these cleaning guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Remember to avoid sharing kitchen utensils – be sure to clean plates, glasses and cutlery thoroughly after they’ve been used. Additionally, you should avoid licking a utensil and then placing it in a commonly used jar like peanut butter, or drinking directly from a carton of milk or juice.
The CDC does not recommend disinfecting your fruits and vegetables, but instead suggest using soap and water especially if you’ll be ingesting the skin and not cooking it.
Remember that disinfecting does not eliminate the need for you or your housemates to wash their hands after sneezing, coughing, or after coming home from work.
Make sure to also disinfect your phone or tablet especially if it’s commonly used by other members of the household.
While these disinfectants will create cleaner surfaces, many chemical cleaners emit volatile organic compounds. These VOCs are harmful to air inside your home.
The best way to combat airborne viruses is to clean those surfaces with disinfectants while combining it with a 3-part Aprilaire Healthy Air system.
A fresh air ventilation system will help dilute the VOCs in your air from all of those disinfectants or any other cleaning procedures like dusting or vacuuming.
Air Filtration is the next step in the Healthy Air System. Air filtration through the use of a MERV 16 air filter or a whole-home air purifier will help filter out those harmful VOCs and other airborne particulates that can cause respiratory problems like allergies or asthma.
Our final step, Humidity control, will help keep your home and you in optimal health. The American Society of Heating Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineers recommend keeping humidity levels between 30-60 percent. Moisture is constantly added to your home’s air from daily activities such as showering, washing your hands, laundry or the dishes. If humidity is not properly maintained between 30-60 percent, it can have harmful health effects and make your home more susceptible to mold or mildew or you more susceptible to airborne viruses.
By practicing these measures, you can best protect you and the members of your household from getting sick. While these practices will not totally eliminate every germ, they will significantly reduce the risk of transmission.
Continue to monitor updates from the CDC and the World Health Organization to stay informed on the coronavirus pandemic.