Millions of people around the world have contracted the COVID-19 virus. While some have been significantly impacted and spent time in the hospital, others have been able to recuperate at home. If you or a loved one has tested positive for COVID-19, you likely have serious worries over the safety of your home.
Both individuals living alone and those who share a living space should be concerned about properly cleaning after a COVID-19 diagnosis. If you live with your family or roommates, you want to ensure the safety of your loved ones. If you live alone, you still need to keep visitors safe and avoid spreading the virus after your diagnosis. Keep reading to learn proper cleaning techniques and tips after a positive COVID-19 test.
Step 1: Clean Everything
If you think cleaning and disinfecting are the same thing, you are not alone. A lot of people mistake these two activities as the same or similar, but they are very different. Cleaning removes germs and dirt from surfaces. In most cases, cleaning is not effective enough to kill germs. Instead, cleaning lessens the number of germs on a surface.
When cleaning your home with a positive COVID-19 case, you should always start by cleaning. Remove any dust, dirt, or crumbs that are visible on surfaces around the house using water and soap or detergent.
COVID-19 Cleaning Tip: Try to dedicate a room and bathroom for the sick person, if possible. The sick person can clean up their space to reduce the amount of time other members of the household spend in their room.
Step 2: Disinfect Everything
Once you’ve cleaned the surfaces, it is time to start disinfecting. If the sick person is sharing common areas, it is crucial to disinfect everything they touch or interact with. When disinfecting, you should use products approved by the EPA and follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer. These instructions will tell you how long to let a product sit on surfaces in order to be effective.
Disinfecting uses more chemicals than cleaning and is effective when it comes to killing germs. You must clean surfaces first, though, because disinfectants do not clean surfaces that are dirty or remove the germs from dirt and crumbs.
Step 3: Spend Time on High-Touch Surfaces
Doorknobs, light switches, railings, and similar surfaces are often overlooked in routine cleanings. However, these are some of the most touched surfaces and they carry the most germs. Make sure these high-touch surfaces are on your list to be cleaned every day, if not multiple times per day or as needed.
- Tables and chairs
- Light switches
- Bathroom faucets
- Computers, tablets, and phone
- TV remotes
- Bedside tables
- Hand or stair rails
- Refrigerator doors
- Cabinet handles
- Drawer pulls
Step 4: Throw Everything in the Laundry
Bedding or clothes that are soiled with body fluids, blood, or stool should be washed immediately. Avoid shaking out dirty laundry used by someone with COVID-19 and keep the items as far from your body as possible when handling them. If items are heavily soiled or require hard scrubbing and soaking, consider discarding them.
You can wash linens and clothes according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Use the warmest setting that is appropriate for the items you are washing. It is okay to wash items from the sick person with items from people who are not sick. They should all come out of the wash clean and disinfected.
COVID-19 Cleaning Tip: Be sure to wiped down and disinfect laundry baskets and hampers as well as any surfaces that came in contact with dirty clothes and linens. You can even add a disposable liner to your hamper to keep germs contained.
COVID-19 Cleaning Safety Tips
If you are not sick with COVID-19, it is important to protect yourself while cleaning items and surfaces that the sick person came in contact with. You can lower your risk of contracting the virus or spreading it to others with these cleaning safety tips.
- Wear a clean mask and gloves each time you clean, disinfect, or do laundry. You should even wear gloves when washing dishes used by the sick person.
- Have the sick person use disposable plates and utensils as much as possible.
- Keep a separate lined trash can for the sick person.
- Everyone in the home should wash their hands often.
- Open the windows if the weather is nice to let in fresh air.
When the sick person recovers, it is smart to hire a professional cleaning service to deep clean your home. At Hellamaid, we understand how to combat the virus and help protect you and your household. Contact us today to learn about post-COVID-19 cleanings.