HOME CLEANING

A few simple extra steps while cleaning can help you fight the COVID-19 virus without leaving home.

DISINFECT HIGH-TOUCH SURFACES EVERY DAY

Disinfecting high-touch surfaces daily may be the most crucial, The New York Times reports. High-touch surfaces include things like door knobs, light switches, drawer handles, television remotes, refrigerator and microwave oven doors, counters, toilets and faucets.

Other high-touch surfaces include desks, keyboards and phones, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say.

Don’t forget bedside tables or nightstands, Harvard Medical School advises.

Wipe or spray high-touch surfaces with disinfectants that promise to kill germs, The New York Times suggests. If you don’t have a disinfectant, soapy water will do.

Diluted household bleach also kills coronaviruses, as long as it won’t damage the surface you’re cleaning, says the CDC. Mix 5 tablespoons of bleach with a gallon of water or 4 teaspoons of bleach per quart.

Alcohol solutions with at least 70 percent alcohol also work, according to the CDC.

Follow the instructions on your household cleaner.

KEEP YOURSELF SAFE

Wear disposable gloves if you have them and wash your hands thoroughly before and after cleaning, The New York Times advises. If you plan to reuse gloves, wash those, too.

Never mix ammonia and bleach, or household cleaners containing the chemicals, warns the CDC. It can create a poisonous gas.

WHAT IF SOMEONE’S ALREADY ILL?

Ideally, you’ll want to separate healthy and ill household members into their own parts of the house, Harvard Medical School says..

Consider cleaning rooms used by the sick person on an as-needed basis rather than daily to reduce your risk of being infected, suggests the CDC. Or have the person do the cleaning if possible.

If the person must use a shared bathroom, clean and disinfect it every time he or she uses it, the CDC suggests.

WHAT ABOUT LAUNDRY?

Wear disposable gloves while handling laundry and wash your hands thoroughly after taking them off, says the CDC. Don’t shake dirty laundry.

You can wash laundry from an infected person with laundry from healthy people at the warmest possible water temperature, the agency says. You’ll want to disinfect clothes hampers regularly, and consider using a bag liner you can throw away after each use.

Immediately remove and wash clothing, bedding or other items with blood, stool or body fluids from an infected person, Harvard Medical School says.

HOW TO KEEP YOUR HOME CLEAN

Take off your shoes and coat as soon as you come home, The New York Times suggests. And always wash your hands with soap for at least 20 seconds after returning home.

Place contaminated gloves, face masks and other items in a lined container before disposing of them with other household waste, Harvard Medical School advises.

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