A Germ-Free Home For Good Health

The coronavirus pandemic has made us aware, more than ever, about surface hygiene

Mohini Mehrotra Published Jul 13, 2020 16:52:53 IST
A Germ-Free Home For Good Health Photo: Shutterstock

We always knew a dirty floor was a hotbed of germs, or that it is good practice to wipe down doorknobs and coffee tables once a day to remove the layer of dust that settles in. But the COVID-19 pandemic has made us more alert (even paranoid) about surface hygiene.

A study published in The New England Journal of Medicine found that the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes COVID-19, can survive on surfaces for long hours—on cardboard for up to 24 hours and on plastic and stainless steel for up to 72 hours. Here is how you can keep your home germ-free in a post-corona world:

Disinfect the Surfaces

Look for an all-purpose disinfectant spray or liquid, which helps kill germs. Spray it on surfaces—kitchen countertops, doorknobs, coffee or dining tables, doors, switches, handles, laptops, mobile phones and so on—and then wipe off with a paper towel, a disinfectant wipe or a tissue. Remember to dispose of the tissue or wipe after use. While a reusable duster is a more cost-effective tool, it is not always possible to wash, disinfect and dry the cloth after every use, especially when you may be disinfecting surfaces more than once during the day. Hence a wipe is a better choice.

Sanitize the Floor

When you enter your home, you unknowingly bring in a lot of germs with your footwear. Needless to say, it is extremely important to sanitize the floor with a disinfectant floor-cleaning liquid. Make it a point to clean soft surfaces too, like carpeted floors and rugs, with a cleaner.

If you have a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 patient at home, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends using a diluted household bleach solution to disinfect the floor. To make the bleach solution at home, mix one-third cup of bleach powder with roughly four litres of water. Don’t mix household bleach with ammonia or any other cleanser.

Avoid Contact

When receiving home-delivery products, instead of making physical contact with the agent, let them leave the package at your doorstep. Remember to wash your hands like a surgeon after collecting the package.

Home Hacks

For Your Bathroom: Did you know that the sink drain harbours the most germs in your bathroom? A non-toxic and effective way to get rid of them would be to pour a cup or two of vinegar down the drain, once or twice a week. Vinegar kills 80 to 99 per cent of bacteria and viruses.

For Your Kitchen: Microbiologists at the Arizona University were taken aback to find that the kitchen sink surpassed even the toilet bowl as a breeding ground for germs. Brush the sink with chlorine and water to keep it germ-free.

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