Washing your hands constantly throughout the day is one of the best ways you can help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and stay healthy. However, what about the surfaces in your home? Germs can also live on them, and sometimes for long periods of time. It is important to take time on a regular basis to clean and disinfect these places in your home.
Learn about the difference between cleaning and disinfecting as well as the surfaces in your house to tackle first.
The difference between cleaning and disinfecting
Cleaning is when you use soap and water to remove germs, impurities and dirt from a surface, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). While cleaning does not kill germs, it does reduce the number of them on a surface.
Disinfecting is when you use chemicals to kill the germs on a surface. When it comes to getting rid of germs, it’s best to first clean household surfaces to remove as many germs as possible, and then follow up with disinfecting to kill any germs that remain.
With the current COVID-19 outbreak, it is important to make cleaning and disinfecting in your home a regular habit.
Which surfaces have the most germs?
Surfaces touched many times throughout the day and located in common areas are the ones you should focus on. These include:
- Touch screens
- Chairs with backs
- Light switches
- Remote controls
How to get rid of germs
Wearing disposable gloves while cleaning and disinfecting is recommended by the CDC.
Begin by using soap and water to clean your surface. After cleaning, you’ll want to disinfect using a spray or a wipe. Use an EPA registered disinfectant, or you can also use a homemade bleach solution or alcohol solution with at least 70% alcohol. Carefully remove your gloves and wash your hands right after cleaning and disinfecting your home.
The CDC’s website has great information regarding cleaning and disinfecting specifically for COVID-19. For all products, remember to follow the label instructions for effectiveness as well as to stay safe.
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