How to Disinfect Your Home and Yourself

Staying inside is the new norm.  It is the safest way to protect yourself from Covid-19 and from possibly spreading it to others.  According to CDC, Covit-19 transmits via respiratory droplets and the virus can also remain on a surface for hours to days.

But what if we have to leave our home to conduct essential activities? How do we protect ourselves and others when we do go outside?  Besides the obvious of maintaining a distance of at least six feet from other people, avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands and washing your hands when you come home for at least 20 seconds, we need to develop a new habit – disinfecting our home and ourselves everyday.

My husband and I tracked all the surfaces that we touch from the moment we left our house to the moment we returned and unlocked our door.  It was hard to believe how many surfaces we touched just by leaving our apartment unit to do laundry downstairs. I am not even talking about going outside to conduct absolutely essential errands.

We realized that washing our hands when we get home is just not enough. The door knobs, faucet knobs and keys that we touched with our unwashed hands, our sleeves that we used to push open a door are all surfaces that need to be disinfected.

While there seems to be a lot of surfaces to disinfect, it’s actually very easy to internalize and develop it into a habit.  Have spray bottles in high touch areas.

It takes time to develop the habit of spraying/wiping down high-touch surfaces regularly.  But with a checklist, it’s so much easier than trying to remember what you need to disinfect.  I made one checklist for daily disinfecting, and one for entering and exiting your home.  Simply download and print out.  If you don’t have a printer, write the checklist out and place it by multiple high traffic areas in the house.  For us, we have one by the entry door and one by the bathroom sink. Please share the link with all your family and friends so we can do our best to prevent getting sick.  Here are surfaces that we need to disinfect regularly:

 

High-touch Surfaces

●  Door knobs (entry, bathroom, bedroom)

●  Light switches

●  TV remote controls

●  Tablets (screen, case & button)

●  Phone (screen, case & buttons)

●  Chargers Computer, keyboard, mouse & mousepad

●  Table and desk surfaces

●  Kitchen counters

●  Refrigerator doors

●  Cabinet & drawer handles

●  Hard dining chairs (seat, back & arms)

●  Bathroom counter

●  Faucets and faucet knobs

●  Toilets (seat & handle)

●  Glasses

●  Game controllers

 

When Enter & Exit Your Home

●  Keys

●  Wallet

●  Watch, ring & other jewelry  (Reduce wearing jewelry on or around your hands)

●  Bags & handles

●  Outer wear sleeves

●  Door knobs

●  Light switches

●  Phone

●  Outwear sleeves if not to be washed immediately

 

When Shopping

●  Shopping cart & basket handle

●  Shopping bag handles

●  Credit cards, cash & coins

●  Car key & garage opener

●  Car door handle

●  Steering wheel, gear stick & turn signal

●  Mail & packages

 

When Doing Laundry

●  Wash clothes and soft goods using warmest water setting if possible

●  Cloth hamper / handles

●  For areas that can’t be wiped down such as rugs, carpets, couch and cushions.  Spray with disinfectant and let it dry completely before walking or sitting on them.

●  Hangers / hooks

●  Washing machine knobs

●  Laundry room light switch

 

Difference between Cleaning, Sanitizing and Disinfecting

●  Cleaning is about removing debris and dirt from a surface.

●. Sanitizing is about reducing the germs and pathogens to a safe level.

●. Disinfecting is about killing germs and pathogens

CDC recommends that we clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces in our home at least once daily. To clean the surfaces, simply wipe them down with soapy water and a hand towel /cloth.  To disinfect, you can use disinfecting wipes or sprays.  The EPA has a full list of disinfectants that can be used against the virus.  Follow the instructions on the label.  You can also type in the product / company name / EPA registration number in the search box to find out how long you need to wait for the disinfectant to work.

 

Homemade Hand Sanitizers With Alcohol

CDC-recommended alcohol-based hand sanitizers greater than 60% ethanol or 70% isopropanol

●  2/3 cup isopropyl alcohol (70%-99%)

●  1/3 cup of aloe vera gel

●  Well sealed dispenser (so the alcohol doesn’t evaporate between uses)

Simply mix them together and they are ready to be used.  As this is a sanitizer, it does not kill all pathogens.  You should always wash your hands whenever you can.  I recommend have your hand moisturizer near your sink so you can moisten your hands after you have washed your hands.

 

Homemade Disinfectant Spray

To make your own disinfectant, you will need either hydrogen peroxide (3% concentration) or bleach.  Keep your sprays at high traffic areas and DON’T FORGET to disinfect the spray bottles themselves regularly.

 

Hydrogen Peroxide

A 3% concentration of hydrogen peroxide can be used alone or diluted to 0.5% for decontaminating.  We used them as they are.  They do smell funny but after they dry up, the smell disappears.  Here’s the diluted solution:

  • 1/4 cup 3% hydrogen peroxide
  • 1 cup of water
  • Dark spray bottle (light exposure may weaken the solution)
  • Spray on surface to disinfect, let sit for 5 minutes, wipe away with wet cloth

Bleach

Please be careful using bleach solution since it can damage or discolor sensitive surface.  If you make a bleach solution, make small batches because the disinfectant weakens with time.  CDC bleach formulas

●  1/3 cup of bleach

●  1 gallon of cold water

●  Container / Spray bottle

●  Spray on surface to disinfect, let sit for 10 minutes, wipe away with wet cloth

The best advice right now is to stay put and keep our distance from other people including family and friends.  We have to do everything we can to minimize the spreading of Covid-19.  Please share the link with all your family and friends so we can do our best to fight this pandemic. 

All of these printable below are FREE for you to download.  Just SIGN UP to receive access to our FREE DIGITAL LIBRARY.  

●  Daily Disinfecting Checklist

●  Enter & Exit Disinfecting Checklist

●  Wash Your Hands Sign

●  Safe Distance Sign

●  Disinfectant and Hand Sanitizer Labels

Would you like a visual disinfecting guide to display for your home?  Check out my hand-illustrated disinfecting set on Sprinkles Shop.

More housekeeping posts for you!

8 Best Natural Cleaners For Your Home

Divide & Conquer Household Chores

Get Kids Involved In Spring Cleaning & Decluttering

DIY Grocery List Magnets

 

Thank you for taking the time to read my post.  Leave a comment or share it with others that will enjoy it as well.

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