Thank you American Cleaning Institute for sponsoring today’s post and sharing the best tips for cleaning and disinfecting.
Unfortunately, the United States is setting records for new COVID-19 cases each week. We are currently in the perfect storm for the increased spread of germs mainly because we are also in the midst of flu season and increased holiday indoor gatherings. Now is not the time to slide on cleaning and disinfecting. According to an ACI Consumer Survey, 30 percent of Americans are still using disinfectants improperly. Admittedly, I am one of those who has been disinfecting a few items incorrectly. The good news is that disinfecting properly is easy and effective in protecting us against the spread of exposure and infection of COVID-19.
Effective Cleaning and disinfecting tips to remember
Clean and disinfect like a champ with these simple tips!
What is the difference between cleaning and disinfecting?
According to the CDC there are differences between cleaning and disinfection:
- Cleaning refers to the removal of germs, dirt, and impurities from surfaces. It does not kill germs, but by removing them, it lowers their numbers and the risk of spreading infection.
- Disinfecting refers to using chemicals, for example, EPA-registered disinfectants, to kill germs on surfaces. This process does not necessarily clean dirty surfaces or remove germs, but by killing germs on a surface after cleaning, it can further lower the risk of spreading infection.
Disinfecting does and dont’s:
- First, make sure that your products are EPA-approved. Here’s a list of approved disinfectants. Read the directions on the back of each product.
- Pre-clean any surfaces prior to disinfecting to remove any excess dirt or grime.
- When using a disinfectant, the surface needs to stay wet afterward for the amount of time noted on the product label. This is usually a few minutes and lets the product do its job to kill germs, like those that cause COVID-19.
- Wear gloves while cleaning and discard wipes after each use. Clean hands immediately after.
- Avoid mixing chemical products.
- Store and use chemicals out of reach of children and pets. The same can be said for liquid laundry packets.
Disinfect high touch surfaces
Focus on disinfecting high-touch areas daily including areas that are often forgotten such as:
- Electronics such as Computers, Phones, remote controls, and tablets: Phones and electronics are germ magnets. Make sure you use proper cell phone cleaning procedures to keep germs at bay.
- Doorknobs and cabinet pulls
- Kitchen sink
- Toilets including the handle
- Refrigerator, dishwasher, oven, and microwave handles
- Light switches
- Desk and Computer
- Staircase railings
- Toothbrush holders
- Coffee maker
More disinfecting tips for home
- Laundry – use detergent and bleach for white loads or peroxide for colors to kill germs. Use the sanitizing function if your washer has that option.
- Dishwasher – Operate on the sanitizing cycle to reduce bacteria.
- Pet areas including pet toys and feeding bowls.
- If you have a child in diapers, disinfect the changing table daily.
- Use my weekly cleaning calendar and/or holiday cleaning checklist to avoid becoming overwhelmed with cleaning tasks.
Avoid Pandemic Fatigue
ACI is reminding people to combat pandemic fatigue by doing the following:
- Stay Vigilant. Handwashing and disinfecting are some of the most effective and simple ways to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. The CDC recommends washing hands vigorously with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. As a backup, use hand sanitizers that are at least 60% alcohol.
- Use Properly. Disinfecting can only work if done properly. Read disinfecting tips above.
- Know the cleaning and hygiene practices that will keep you safe. For more information about ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19, visit cleaninginstitute.org/coronavirus.
We will get through this pandemic one day at a time. There is light at the end of the tunnel, but we must stay aware. I hope these cleaning and disinfecting tips will help keep you and your family safe.