The SARS-CoV-2 virus, popularly known as the coronavirus and responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic, is a disease that causes fever, cough and difficulty in breathing. In the most severe cases it can lead to pneumonia which can lead to death.
The state of alarm in the face of the serious health crisis that the planet is experiencing, forces us to be confined to our homes in order to avoid contagion. These exceptional measures limit our movements as much as possible. Below, we give you the keys to avoid ‘introducing’ the virus into your home.
How to avoid getting infected when entering your home
If you live in a condominium or housing estate, avoid touching common surfaces when entering the house. Avoid the elevator, touching the railings, doorknobs, mailbox door, etc.
Always keep your hand sanitizing gel in your pocket to use before entering the house. Once you are inside, wash your hands thoroughly. Another safety measure we recommend is to always remove your shoes when entering and wear shoes that you only use when at home.
Household cleaners are very effective for general cleaning of floors and hard surfaces, such as stoneware and tiles. However, it is also advisable to use specific products adapted to the type of surface and dirt: a special cleaner for parquet and laminated wood; a cleaner for basins, showers and screens, a grease remover for nooks and crannies where dirt accumulates in the kitchen, a window cleaner, etc.
Clean and disinfect all surfaces
First of all, you must be clear about the difference between cleaning and disinfecting, because if you clean without disinfecting you are not killing the viruses and bacteria.
Smooth, non-porous surfaces such as doorknobs, mobile phones or tables are ideal for carrying viruses in general, so you should clean them frequently. By contrast, porous surfaces such as hair, fabric or paper do not allow viruses to survive as long. This is because the tiny holes in these materials can trap the germ and prevent it from being transferred.
This study by German researchers for the Journal of Hospital Infection in March 2020 analysed the resistance of other coronaviruses, such as SARS or MERS, similar to the current one. According to the study’s previous summary, “human coronaviruses (…) can remain on inanimate surfaces such as metal, glass or plastic for up to 9 days, but can be effectively inactivated by surface disinfection”.
Ideally, you should clean first and then disinfect with a chemical agent such as alcohol for disinfection or non-detergent bleach. Thus, for greater effectiveness, an alcohol solution with at least 70% concentration can be placed in a spray bottle at the time of cleaning. Before you start cooking you can spray this mixture on the worktop and utensils you will be using. Leave it to work for about five minutes and remove it with a cotton wool pad before it dries. You don’t have to be paranoid, but ideally you should do this several times a day.
How to disinfect your home thoroughly
Bathrooms and kitchen: the biggest sources of infection in the home are the kitchen and the bathroom, so they must be thoroughly cleaned. Bleach and ammonia are great disinfectants, so it is recommended that you use these products to clean the bathrooms, taps, sink, clothes, cloths, radiators… Clean the inside of the cupboards, vacuum the shelves and drawers and spray all the interiors and doors with your disinfectant spray.
Sofas and household linen: the sofa is undoubtedly one of the most infected areas of the house, especially if you have pets. If it has a cover, remove it and disinfect it in the washing machine. If your sofa is made of leather, it is best to clean it with a cloth and a special upholstery product. Thoroughly clean all household textiles that can be put in the washing machine, such as curtains, bedding, pillowcases or bath towels, always following the recommendations on the labels. You can add a little bleach to the wash, in white or colour (be careful!) as appropriate.
Windows: you must clean them both inside and outside and you can do it with ammonia, as it has a degreasing and disinfecting effect. You will have to lower it with water and always use gloves because it is very abrasive with the skin.
Other elements: do not forget to clean the components of daily contact, such as the doors, handles, towels, doorkeeper, remote control… It is essential to clean them with ammonia or alcohol to disinfect. If you really want to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, you must disinfect the house properly and with the right products.
And, of course, do not forget to clean once a day the smartphone you’re probably reading this article!