What You Need to Know About Cleaning and COVID-19
Cleaning and Coronavirus
With the rapid spread of COVID-19 around the globe, the world feels like a strange place right now. Most people are staying home to keep themselves, their children, and others safe from the coronavirus disease. The World Health Organization strongly recommends washing your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds, maintaining at least three feet between yourself and others, and avoiding touching your face to prevent infection.
You may be wondering, however, how to clean high-touch surfaces or objects that may have come in contact with COVID-19. How should you clean these possibly infected surfaces or objects? Is cleaning different from disinfecting? What should you be doing to protect your home from this new virus?
Learn more about cleaning and COVID-19 below.
How long can COVID-19 live on surfaces?
Based on what the last update from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), their evidence suggests that the coronavirus disease may “remain viable for hours to days on surfaces made from a variety of materials.”
A study expected to be published soon found that the virus can potentially survive on surfaces like plastic and stainless steel for up to 72 hours. On softer surfaces like cardboard, the virus can last for up to 24 hours. The study also found that certain surfaces are even less hospitable to the virus. For example, studies show it only lasts on copper for about four hours.
As evidence about how long COVID-19 lives on surfaces continues to emerge, the best way we can protect ourselves and minimize the spread of illness is to clean and then disinfect surfaces or objects.
Cleaning, disinfecting, and sanitizing: what’s the difference?
Cleaning means removing germs and dirt from surfaces. This lowers the number of germs present, as well as the risk of spreading infection.
Disinfecting means using chemicals to kill germs on surfaces. By killing germs on a surface after cleaning, it further lowers the risk of spreading infection.
While cleaning and disinfecting are recommended to limit the survival of COVID-19, sanitizing is often included with the other two. Sanitizing means lowering the number of germs on surfaces to a safe level, which is determined by public health standards or requirements. Of course, most of us don’t have lab equipment in our homes to check for “safe levels” of germs, so what can you do to stay safe?
Combine a good cleaner with a good disinfectant.
How to clean and disinfect
To prevent the spread of COVID-19 in your home, the CDC recommends cleaning and disinfecting high-touch surfaces every day in common areas. Wear disposable gloves and discard them after use, or wear reusable gloves only for cleaning and disinfecting surfaces.
Surfaces might include:
- Light switches
- Tables and hard-backed chairs
- Sinks and faucets
To clean and disinfect surfaces, first, use a general household cleaner like Charlie’s Soap Kitchen & Bath Household Cleaner. Follow its instructions to remove germs on surfaces and objects. Make sure to use paper towels or clean rags and fresh water each time, to ensure that old germs aren’t reintroduced.
Then, use disinfecting wipes, an alcohol solution with at least 70% alcohol, or a diluted household bleach solution to disinfect surfaces. Unfortunately, disinfectants aren’t gentle on skin, lungs, or eyes, so be careful when using them. Keep areas well-ventilated and try not to breathe in product fumes. Open windows and doors or run vents in rooms to air them out.
When used together, a household cleaner followed by a disinfectant can effectively kill germs to prevent the spread of infection and illness.
DIY Cleaning Tips from Charlie’s Soap
A gallon of Charlie’s Indoor/Outdoor cleaner can go a long way! Here are some tips from the experts at Charlie’s Soap.
- Get a 16 oz. spray bottle
- Combine 4 oz. of Charlie’s Indoor / Outdoor Surface cleaner with 8 oz. water and 1 tsp. regular bleach to create your own heavy-duty cleaner with the power of bleach for toilets, showers, and sinks
- Use 2 oz. of Charlie’s Indoor / Outdoor Surface Cleaner, combined with 10 oz. water and 1 tsp. of regular liquid bleach for a light-duty cleaner for countertops and other surfaces
- One gallon of Charlie’s Indoor / Outdoor Surface Cleaner can make up to 64 bottles of daily cleaner!