How to Clean Your Home During a Pandemic's featured image

With the number of COVID-19 cases in Canada now in the hundreds, health organizations are imploring Canadians to self-isolate in order to flatten the curve. Studies are showing that the virus can survive on hard surfaces for up to three days, so if you’re bringing anything inside your home, like groceries, it’s essential to make sure to keep them clean. 


To help, cleaning expert Véronique Levesque of Molly Maid Canada shares a few helpful tips to make sure your home is as clean as possible. We’d also like to reinforce, that while these tips are a solid foundation for cleaning your home, people should refer to information from the Public Health Agency of Canada for specific official COVID-19 preparedness.

 Wear Rubber Gloves

Wearing rubber gloves when doing hard cleaning tasks will provide a barrier for your hands, keeping them protected from chemicals, dirt and bacteria. Levesque recommends taking a few minutes once you’ve finished cleaning to rinse them thoroughly. “You can do this while you’re still wearing them. Then, hang them up to dry. Once the outside of the gloves has dried, it’s a good idea to turn them inside out to allow any dampness inside to dry out.”


Clean Before Disinfecting

While you might be tempted to head straight for the disinfectant wipes, Levesque explains, “it’s best to first clean the area with a microfibre cloth and an all-purpose cleaner or even just warm soapy water and then apply a disinfectant. Remember to be patient, leave it intact on the surface for at least 30 seconds to be most effective before wiping.” And, although you would normally clean and disinfect every few days, these are not normal times; experts recommend cleaning and disinfecting kitchen counters daily.


Clean & Disinfect Frequently 

During the coronavirus pandemic, it’s important to focus on high-contact areas, according to Levesque. Walkthrough a typical day and consider what you touch: your toothbrush, the faucet, the refrigerator door handle, your house keys, the back of chairs, and don’t forget your phone and keyboard. “Most disinfectants don’t provide lasting protection, says Levesque, and will only remain uninfected until it is touched again.” For delicate items, like your phone, consider using disinfectant wipes.


Different Rags for Different Rooms 

Having a different microfibre cloth for every room avoids cross-contamination. Consider colour coding your cloths. Red/pink for high-risk areas such as the bathroom, yellow for the bedroom, blue for the living room/dining room and green for the kitchen. To avoid re-depositing dirt and grime around the room, Levesque suggests folding your cloth in half and then again to give yourself eight clean sides. As you work around the room, refold for a clean cloth on every surface. 


Wash Microfibre Cloths After Cleaning 

Cleaning microfibre cloths after use just makes sense. Not only will it extend the life of your microfibre cloth considerably, dirty rags harbour germs. “Washing them in hot water will help to kill mould, mildew and bacteria, says Levesque. “It’s also smart to clean your washing machine once a month. It’s easy to do. Just run it empty, through a regular cycle again at high heat. And, never ever leave wet laundry in the machine to dry, this will only create a perfect breeding ground for germs.”


Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash