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September 27, 2022

Surfaces to Disinfect in the Home and Office

Feb 18, 2022

Introduction

Bacteria and viruses can land on different types of surfaces and stay there until they are picked up by the next person. To prevent the spread of germs and diseases you need to clean and disinfect surfaces in your home and office. You can hire professionals for the job by searching for “home cleaning services near me”. On the other hand, you can do it yourself. Here is what you need to know to get started:

The Surfaces

  1. Cleaning vs Disinfecting – Cleaning and disinfecting aren’t the same thing and you may not need to disinfect your surfaces if the situation doesn’t call for it. With cleaning, you use detergents and soaps to reduce germs and surfaces along with dirt, dust, and grime to make it look clean and decrease the risk of infection. Cleaning once every day is enough when there’s no one with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 or other transmissible diseases in your home or office.

On the other hand, if someone has an easily transmissible disease or is suspected to have one, you need to clean surfaces more frequently and disinfect them as well. Disinfecting surfaces using EPA-approved disinfectants kill all remaining germs on the surface and minimizes the risk of infection. After cleaning surfaces, you need to disinfect them to reach maximum effectiveness. You need to pay special attention to poorly ventilated areas, high-traffic surfaces, and deep clean the facility or your home if there’s been anyone with confirmed transmissible diseases within the premises in the last 24 hours.

  1. Develop a plan – Cleaning starts with a plan. Consider the types of surfaces you need to clean and how often they are contacted by people. A surface poses a higher risk when it gets high traffic. You need to clean and disinfect such surfaces at least once a day. When choosing cleaning supplies refer to the EPA-approved list of disinfectants.

You may decide to clean high-touch surfaces once a day or as many times as it may seem necessary. High-touch surfaces include everything from door handles, faucets, switches, and stair rails to buttons, keyboards, desks, toilets, phones, and sinks.

  1. Precautions – While disinfecting your home or your office you need to protect yourself and your cleaning staff. If you have cleaning staff for your facility, make sure that they are trained properly about the use of cleaning and disinfecting products. The safety precautions are usually written on the label of the product. This could include anything from the use and application methods of the chemicals to the use of PPE like glasses, gloves, masks, and even additional ventilation.

If you’re cleaning your home, wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds after cleaning. After the hands are visibly clean, make sure to use sanitizers with at least 60 percent alcohol concentration to disinfect your hands. If you have asthma or other chronic respiratory issues, take special precautions since some of the cleaning and disinfecting agents may trigger symptoms.

  1. Alternative disinfecting methods – Some people don’t like to use so many chemicals regularly in their home or facility. While they kill germs, they may cause respiratory issues and are toxic to some extent. That’s why you need to open the windows and allow proper air circulation after using certain disinfectants. That’s why some people look towards other solutions.

Some of the most effective alternative disinfecting solutions are the use of UV light, ultrasonic waves, and LED blue light. However, their effectiveness is yet to be proven against viruses that cause COVID-19. Apart from those methods, people also opt for fumigation, fogging, and wide-area electrostatic spraying. However, most of these methods carry other risk factors and aren’t recommended by the CDC. That’s why it’s best to use them as complimentary disinfecting methods instead of making them the primary solution.

  1. Soft surfaces – Now that you know about the safety precautions, different methods of disinfecting and have come up with a plan to disinfect your space, it’s time to figure out how you need to deal with different types of surfaces. Different types of surfaces need different approaches.

For soft surfaces like drapes, carpets, and rugs in your home and office, you can clean them using products that contain detergents, soap, or other types of cleaners that are effective on those surfaces. For certain items like curtains and drapes, you can launder them according to the manufacturer’s instructions. After cleaning them in the washer, you need to use the warmest appropriate setting on the dryer and kill off all germs and viruses.

  1. Towels, clothing, and linens – With laundry things get a little tricky at home if you have someone who has COVID-19 or some other transmissible disease. Let’s clear the obvious doubt. It is completely safe to clean dirty laundry from a person who is sick with the disease with other people’s clothing as long as you maintain precaution.

That means while handling the dirty laundry you need to wear a mask, gloves and designate a separate laundry basket for the sick person. Every time you retrieve their dirty laundry, you also need to disinfect the basket. After you’re done with the laundry make sure to wash your hands properly with soap for half a minute. 

  1. Electronics and Outdoor areas – Electronics like tablets, touch screens, keyboards, and remote controls are some of the most-touched surfaces and cleaning them can be tricky. It’s best to use a transparent cover over them so that you can easily wipe them down with a disinfecting solution. On the other hand, high-touch surfaces in outdoor areas like rails, grab bars, handles, and more made of metal and plastic should be cleaned and disinfected regularly.

Conclusion

As you can see, cleaning and disinfecting surfaces during a pandemic isn’t easy. Whether you’re a homeowner or a business owner you need to keep surfaces disinfected properly to prevent diseases. To get the most productivity out of your employees, you can leave this task to professionals. To hire professionals for this task, search for “home cleaning services near me”.

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