Disinfecting Your Home After Covid

Several researchers have suggested that Covid-19 virus can survive on surfaces for much longer then we previously believed. This makes it extremely important to keep your house cleaned and disinfected. There has been a significant amount of focus on ways to prevent the spread of the virus, one of which is propper disinfection.

You may wonder how to disinfect your house after Covid, and if it features a new set of protocols. Is there even a difference between cleaning and disinfecting? You may also want to know the best disinfectants that effectively fight off the virus without causing further damage to your home.

This article offers good disinfecting tips that are practicable and easily prevent the spread of the Covid virus.

disinfect after covid

How Long Does COVID-19 Last on a Surface?

The Covid-19 virus survives on nonporous surfaces for about 72 hours, and for 24 hours on porous surfaces. Nonporous surfaces include metal, varnished wood, plastic, and glass, amongst others. Examples of porous surfaces are those made from cardboard, paper, untreated wood, pumice stone, sponges, and similar materials. This assertion is backed by the research published by WHO (World Health Organization).

Practicable Personal Hygiene At Home

While there is a need to keep the house disinfected and germ free, there are some personal hygiene practices that, when routinely used, will keep you and your home safe and protected from the impact of COVID-19.

These practices include:

  • Making it a habit of washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds each time you come in contact with any surface or return from outdoors.
  • A recently infected person will not show obvious signs and symptoms of an infection until the appropriate viral incubation period; you therefore cannot physically tell who is infected or not at an early stage. Wearing a face mask when interacting with others to prevent infection is a recommended best practice
  • Wearing disposable latex glovesto protect your hands as you take public transport or interact with the external environment.
  • Avoiding touching the face without first sanitizing your hands to prevent infection.

Difference Between Cleaning and Disinfecting

While trying to protect your home while seeking ways on how to disinfect your house after covid, it is essential to know the difference between cleaning and disinfecting surfaces.

Cleaning ¹involves the removal of dirt particles from the surface while disinfecting aims to kill bacteria and viruses. Hhomeowners must first clean surfaces with water, soap, or other cleaning agents before disinfecting the surface. For instance, after cooking or baking, you first need to clean the kitchen surfaces to remove dirt from cooking with a soapy solution before using a disinfectant on the cleaned surface.

cleaning house after covid

Home Disinfecting Product Ingredients

There are some solutions that help² disinfect the surface, but do not fully get rid of the Covid-19 virus. Commercially-available surface disinfectants may typically contain the following active ingredients:

  • 60 – 90% Ethanol Alcohol: This is a clear and colorless alcohol that is a common ingredient used in the manufacture of hand sanitizers. It serves as both a cleaning and disinfecting agent for homes. It is known to kill many bacteria and viruses due to its antimicrobial properties. It works by breaking down the protein structure of bacteria. Research has shown that ethanol works better when mixed with water. This can be used in sanitizers and surface disinfectant sprays in the house. The human skin may suffer mild dryness from its use.
  • Hydrogen Peroxide: Frequent use of hydrogen peroxide, as a disinfecting ingredient, has been shown to protect homes against the Covid-19 virus. It is one ingredient considered quite safe, readily available in the market, and less expensive than other available alternatives. Hydrogen peroxide is trusted to help protect vulnerable members of the family against the virus. It can be used as a mouthwash and sprayed around the house. Experts advise against breathing in hydrogen peroxide as it has dangerous adverse effects on humans.
  • 60 – 90 Isopropyl alcohol: Isopropyl alcohol works as a good disinfectant ingredient to prevent Covid-19 by killing germs, dissolving lipids, and breaking down their proteins. It has been proven that higher levels of Isopropyl alcohol in a disinfectant (e.g. 90% versus 70%), is less effective at killing viruses and bacteria. A diluted Isopropyl alcohol works better than a fully concentrated one.
  • Quaternary Ammonium: This is a disinfecting ingredient found in products used in hospitals, homes, daycare centers, restaurants, and many other communal settings. Although certified as a pesticide, it has been added to disinfectants because it is highly effective at fighting fungi andviruses.
  • Hypochlorous Acid:³ Hypochlorous Acid is a disinfecting ingredient with a weak acid similar to a mild citrus juice, but is 80 times more effective than chlorine bleach. It carries no electric charge, like bleach does, which further helps to deactivate and destroy the virus. It moves very quickly, oxidizing the bacteria and the virus in seconds. Otherwise known as HOCl, it is certified 100% safe and causes no skin irritation. It is electronically generated and can serve as a spray for the home to be used for wiping surfaces clean.

Places To Regularly Disinfected at Home

The stress of how to disinfect your house after Covid can be hectic, especially if you are unsure what to focus on. Some places in your home are hot spots for the virus; and those should take priority when it’s time to disinfect.

  1. Faucets
  2. Appliances (Refrigerator, oven, microwave, and dishwasher)
  3. Cupboards and Door knobs/handles
  4. Bathroom and Kitchen Counters
  5. Computer Keyboards
  6. Mobile devices
  7. Switches
  8. Tables and chairs
  9. Remotes and Game controllers.
  10. Staircase railings
  11. Toilet seats and handles

Conclusion

The Covid-19 pandemic caused a stir, leaving us with a heightened sense for constantly cleaning our environment. To remain safe, one must avoid being in the same room with an infected person; it is also advisable to keep the room well ventilated to allow clean air into the house. Also, as part of your safety plan, implement a robust home cleaning and disinfection protocol.

 

1 https://www.homestolove.com.au/how-to-clean-house-after-covid-19-23358

2 https://www.pennmedicine.org/updates/blogs/health-and-wellness/2020/april/cleaning-against-covi

3 https://www.hypochlorousacid.com/

4 https://www.ecoloxtech.com/

 

 

Other Uses of Hypochlorous Acid

We said earlier that hypochlorous acid is a general disinfectant. These are the other things that hypochlorous acid can be used to disinfect:

  • Food Produce
  • Meat
  • Furniture
  • Surgical/Medical Equipment
  • Livestock
  • Water
  • Seafood
  • Poultry
  • Household furniture and fittings
  • Toilets and bathrooms, among others.