Everyone is madly cleaning at the moment. I want to let you know that I am not telling you how to NOT get the virus. I’m just sharing some sensible cleaning ideas you should be practicing now (and forever!).
COVID-19 (Coronavirus) is a VIRUS, not a bacteria. Hot soapy water will always be the first choice. There’s no hard evidence that making special sprays and concoctions will stop the virus in its tracks. BUT we do all like to feel like we’re doing our part in making sure this virus doesn’t enter our homes.
PLUS, this cleaning also applies to any flu or virus hanging around.
There are two things to remember –
We need to CLEAN and then DISINFECT
The first thing you’ll want to know is that cleaning and disinfecting are two very different things. We should all do a bit of both, even if no one is sick in your house.
Cleaning is the act of removing germs from surfaces. However, it does not kill them. While disinfecting is the act of killing germs but does nothing to remove them. The best option is to incorporate the two.
- 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.
What to use
Use cloths or sponges that you can either wash in some very hot water (or heat them in the microwave after use for 1 minute because it will zap about 99% of germs). Or even better use wipes you can toss out (don’t flush!).
Start with wiping everything with hot soapy water. This is your cleaning routine.
Look for sprays or wipes that promise to kill 99.9 percent of germs. This is your disinfecting routine.
Here’s a disinfectant spray recipe you can use
While I love making and using my own green and organic products, in this case it is better to be safe than sorry. Avoid using products that have not been proven to be effective against flu/virus. No need to use products that have those gross artificial fragrances. Just because things smell nice, doesn’t mean it’s a good cleaning product!
Bleach spray – Use diluted household bleach solutions if appropriate for the surface. 1/4 cup per 4L water. Bleach is excessive in most cases. You should never ever mix bleach solution with any other cleaning chemical, and it’s likely to damage or discolour sensitive surfaces.
Alcohol solutions with at least 70% alcohol – If you can find some you’ll need Isopropyl Cleaning Alcohol and you can use this to spritz over surfaces and let it dry, or dilute with some boiled cooled water to make a spray and use paper towel to wipe over surfaces. Here’s a hand sanitiser recipe.
Things to clean
- Remote Controls
- Sinks and taps
- Toilet flush buttons and lids
- Kitchen benches and handles
- Light switches
- Electronic devices – your computers and phones
- Refrigerator handles
- Car door handles, steering wheel and dashboard buttons
- Hand rails on stairs
- Kids toys
- Your bin
- Any frequently touched items in your home
Things to note
VINEGAR will not kill viruses. In will inhibit yucky things from growing and help keep things clean. But in this case, maybe keep it for your usual cleaning routine once we are no longer facing a vicious virus.
I use essential oils in all my cleaning for their antibacterial properties. Also, they will make things smell nice (not artificially!).
Let the fresh air in – open your widows every day if you can. Let the fresh air in and the germs out. Not only does it let out the toxins and gases emitted from within your home, it will keep the germs at bay.
Do the normal things – wash your hands with soapy water, throw away old food, clear your counters, vacuum often.
Be sensible with your cleaning. We can’t stop this thing entirely, but we can help minimise if we’re all doing the right thing!