Covid-19 is a virus that no one wants to be infected with for obvious reasons. While recovery is the main goal for anyone who tests positive, the next priority is to make sure no one else gets infected.
Even after the end of isolation, your test showed that the worst is over and the symptoms are no longer present.
There is still this fear that the virus is lingering somewhere in your home, and that is why this article on how to disinfect your house after covid is important.
The virus that causes COVID-19 can land on surfaces. People can become infected if they then touch these surfaces and further touch their mouth, nose, or eyes.
According to the CDC, in most situations, the risk of infection from just touching a surface is usually low.
The most effective and reliable way to prevent surface infection is to wash your hands regularly with water and soap, or you can use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Cleaning and then disinfecting surfaces can also minimize the risk of infection.
Additionally, recent studies have revealed that the novel coronavirus can stay in the air for up to three hours, live on surfaces like cardboard for up to 24 hours, and on stainless steel and plastic for up to three days.
But now that we are slowly returning to our normal life, it is still important to take care of ourselves and our loved ones.
We need to make sure we feel good enough to do what needs to be done without distractions or obstacles in the way.
A lot has changed during the pandemic, but thorough house cleaning and disinfection, and the general knowledge of where the virus might have circulated and how to disinfect your house after covid, is still crucial.
You can’t get rid of everything in a day or two. It’s essential to take one step at a time and make sure you do what it takes to keep your environment clean and safe.
If you recently had a case at home or have already passed the isolation phase of covid, read below the ways of how to disinfect your house after covid.
What you Need to Know About Surface Viruses
According to experts, viruses, in many ways, are not alive outside of their hosts. “This means that viruses, novel coronaviruses or otherwise, do little to household items other than slowly decompose.
The virus may be present on the item, but the items themselves cannot be infected, and the virus cannot replicate or grow on any item in your home or elsewhere.
Over time, viruses on household surfaces break down, and certain factors can accelerate this process.
Generally, the longer you leave them, the higher the ambient temperature, or the lighter they are exposed to, the faster they break down. However, approved disinfectant chemicals may also work.
Clean Before Disinfection
After the disease runs its course, it is necessary to clean before disinfecting the room or rooms used by the patient, as well as the objects with which he has been in contact.
Cleaning visibly dirtied surfaces, followed by disinfection, “is the best measure to prevent COVID-19 and other viral respiratory illnesses in the home and community,” the CDC says.
By the way, cleaning and disinfection are not the same:
- Cleaning involves removing germs, dirt, and impurities from surfaces. It does not kill germs, but it does reduce the number of germs on surfaces.
- Disinfecting means using chemicals registered with the Environmental Protection Agency to destroy germs/viruses on surfaces. This is done after cleaning and can further reduce the risk of spreading infection.
If you can, the easiest way to secure a room after someone in your household has contracted COVID-19 is to lock it down for a week, says Colleen McLaughlin, associate professor of epidemiology at Albany College. of Pharmacy and Health Sciences in Albany, New York.
“If the room isn’t needed, just close the door for seven days,” she says. The virus will then be inactive. “The longer you will wait, the safer it will be to clean.”
However, this is not always practical. If you cannot wait that long, immediately take the necessary precautions, then additionally clean and disinfect the area. If possible, you can also contact special cleaning services and be sure to indicate the reason for the cleaning so that they can come prepared.
However, there are many products you can use to clean hard surfaces, such as soapy water and vinegar.
And while cleaning high-traffic surfaces to remove contaminants, dust, and debris is a necessary step in cleaning your home, you should still disinfect those surfaces from the novel coronavirus, which is why it is essential to know the ways on how to disinfect your house after covid.
What Cleaning Products Kill the COVID-19?
It’s not just about knowing how to disinfect your house after covid but making sure the products you use are effective enough for the job to be done.
However, not all cleaning products are effective against all types of germs, so you need to know exactly which products kill COVID-19.
The EPA(environmental protection agency) provides a comprehensive list of disinfectants that can kill the novel coronavirus.
It is possible you may already have some of these effective products at home, like:
- Disinfecting wipes, including Clorox, Lysol, or store-brand name wipes
- Disinfectant sprays, such as Purell, Clorox, or Lysol
- Isopropyl alcohol
- Hydrogen peroxide
And while it’s essential to use effective anti-virus products, it’s also important to follow proper techniques for thorough disinfection of surfaces.
The EPA recommends leaving the product wet on surfaces or objects for up to 10 minutes, which will kill 99.9% of germs.
If you don’t have disinfectant products on hand and can’t find them in stores, the CDC also offers instructions on how to make a homemade bleach-based disinfectant spray.
And if you decide to use this product, be sure to wear gloves, open windows, and be careful, as bleach can damage or discolor sensitive surfaces.
How to Disinfect Your House After Covid?
COVID-19 can be transmitted by close contact with respiratory droplets emitted by an infected person, and by airborne viral aerosols, especially in poorly ventilated closed environments, such as an air-conditioned room.
People can also become infected if they touch their eyes, nose, or mouth after coming into contact with surfaces infected with the virus.
The first step you will want to take is to ensure that the room/area you are disinfecting is properly ventilated at all times. Simple ventilation circulation can be achieved by opening windows and running a fan.
1. Focus on High Traffic Areas
You don’t need to clean your house the top to bottom each day, which is why we are here to guide you on how to disinfect your house after covid, but you should focus on disinfecting areas that are breeding grounds for germs.
If this is an area that you or your family visit or spend most of the day, you should start by disinfecting it. This would include common areas such as the living room, kitchen, hallways, and bathrooms.
Start by using an aerosol disinfectant spray to kill any airborne particles. You can also hire a disinfection service, if possible. Then clean the parts of the surface you come in contact with the most.
Examples of the most common important items to disinfect include:
- Handles/knobs for cabinets and drawers
- Kitchen and bathroom counters and tables
- The toilet, especially the seat and handle.
- Handles for refrigerator, dishwasher, oven, and microwave oven
- Game remotes and controllers
- Cell phones, tablets, and other mobile devices
- Computer keyboards and mice
- Door knobs/knobs
- Table surface and countertops
- Stair railings
- Switches/switch plates
If possible, wear disposable gloves during disinfecting and dispose of them afterward. If you have reusable gloves, be sure to disinfect them when you’re done. And remember to always wash your hands.
2. Throw Away Potentially Contaminated Items
Most of these items would be in the bathrooms, especially if the COVID-positive member was using T&B. It would be a good idea to throw out and replace any items used, such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, mouthwash, dental floss, toilet paper, etc.
Take out the trash and immediately put it in the outside container. As for reusable items like dishes, you can simply wash them as usual. For more measure, you can immerse them in boiling water.
3. Thoroughly Clean the Rooms
This is only required for rooms where a sick family member stayed in or has stayed. Remove all sheets, blankets, and pillowcases from the bed and wash them immediately with warm water and bleach (colorless bleach for colored fabrics).
To clean soft surfaces, like carpets, rugs, and curtains, follow the instructions for those specific materials. If applicable, wash them in the laundry at the highest water temperature allowed for the item.
Linen, bedding, clothing, and other soft items that are washed can still be cleaned this way. Do not shake dirty clothes, which could spread the active coronavirus through the air.
Again, follow proper washing guidelines and use the hottest water possible. Ordinary laundry detergent is also suitable for this, as the combination of warm water, bleach, and detergent are enough to kill germs.
Steam pillows and mattresses to sanitize them. You can also vacuum them, if possible. Clean all devices that circulate air in the room, such as fans, air purifiers, and air conditioners. Finally, fumigate or disinfect the area with an aerosol disinfectant spray.
4. Don’t Forget Your Car
Knowing how to disinfect your house after covid is not complete if you forget other important places that need to be disinfected, such as the car.
However, if an infected person was in your home vehicle before the test was positive, you should also take this into account and disinfect it.
Roll down all windows to allow indoor air to circulate, and use a disinfectant spray to remove any remaining particles.
Then disinfect any surfaces touched, such as the steering wheel, console, and door handles. After initial disinfection, take it to a car wash for a thorough cleaning.
5. Use the Right Cleaning Products
Ordinary cleaning products may not work in this situation on how to disinfect your house after covid. For most viruses and infections, it is best to use bleach solutions on surfaces.
If you have strong bleach on hand, you can dilute it a little with lukewarm water or follow the ECA product recommendations.
When using on surfaces, make sure you have adequate ventilation to avoid burning your eyes or experiencing breathing difficulties.
After using the bleach solution/ disinfectants, you can wipe off the residue with a damp towel. It is also recommended to wear gloves (and even goggles) when disinfecting any area.
Finally, discard or thoroughly wash the towels and sponges you used to clean and disinfect the area.
6. Don’t Skip the Waiting Step
Disinfection is not instantaneous. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions, especially the time to leave the product on the surface before cleaning it.
Read the label to be sure of how long the surface should stay wet. Some might say they need to be wet for a few minutes.
For a 5% sodium hypochlorite solution, which is most household bleaches, you should leave it on the surface for a least 10 minutes before wiping it off. So make sure you don’t skip any steps on how to disinfect your house after covid.
If you use a spray bottle, leave it on for a few minutes before wiping it off. If you are using wet wipes, do not use them once they are dry, as they are no longer effective.
You want to see a wet surface and stay wet for a while. Note that if you don’t give your disinfectant enough time to do its job, you’re not disinfecting.
Keep in mind: Even after proper disinfection, if a member of your household tests positive for covid, the best way to prevent the spread is for all household members to wear proper face masks.
7. Keep Washing Your Hands
It would be a bad idea to follow all of these instructions on how to disinfect your house after covid and still not have very clean hands.
Yes, it’s been said countless times, but that’s because it’s the most important and easiest way to spread and contract viruses: whatever you choose to do, the best way to reduce the risk that the virus does not re-enter your home or getting it from someone or external surface is to wash your hands.
The CDC recommends vigorous washing with soap and water for 20 seconds that extends beyond the hands to the wrists, between the fingers, and under the fingernails.