As the covid-19 pandemic continues to grow everyday, the House Whisperer is sharing tips on what you need to do to properly clean your house so you can protect yourselves and your loved ones.
1. Germs (bacteria, viruses, fungi, etc.) need warmth and moisture to survive. A clean and dry surface is hostile to their growth.
2. There’s a difference between cleaning and disinfecting. A clean surface is not necessarily a disinfected one.
3. Most disinfectants have to be left wet on a surface for a few minutes to be effective.
4. Clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces daily in household common areas (e.g. tables, hard-backed chairs, doorknobs, light switches, remotes, handles, desks, toilets, sinks)
5. Because a home is not a sterile environment, germs start growing again almost immediately. Most are germs we’ve adapted to cohabitate harmlessly with. Because a home is not a sterile environment, germs start growing again almost immediately.
6. Hydrogen peroxide is a good disinfectant. As is vinegar. But combining them creates peracetic acid, which is potentially toxic and can irritate the skin, eyes, and respiratory system.
7. You can combine Vinegar and baking soda make a great cleanser. Beware the foamy volcano mess. The baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) is a base while the vinegar (acetic acid) is an acid. When they react together they form carbonic acid which is very unstable, it instantly breaks apart into water and carbon dioxide, which creates all the fizzing as it escapes the solution.
8. Bleach is effective. Ammonia is effective. Don’t mix bleach and ammonia. it will form chloramine and hydrazine which are dangerous respiratory irritants.
9. Change your HVAC air filter regularly
10. Keep the humidity up. A review of nearly 40 peer-reviewed studies conducted over the last decades shows that homes kept at 40-60% relative humidity are likely to have fewer flu viruses lingering in the air and on surfaces like sink faucets, door handles, and countertops. Hygrometers (Available at most hardware stores and online retailers) provide a digital readout of the relative humidity in your home and are compact and low-cost. Homes can be kept at the optimal 40-60% relative humidity level through the use of a portable humidifier. In this humidity range, the flu virus survival in the air can be decreased by up to 30%.
11. Purchase an air purifier. Most people keep windows sealed and the heat on full blast, causing stagnant, recycled air that can harbor airborne allergens and bacteria. Consider using a portable air purifier in the rooms you spend most of your time. Most air purifiers circulate air several times per hour, cleaning the air. Look for a model with a HEPA filter, which is what most allergists and doctors recommend. Air purifiers can remove the smallest microbes in the air, reducing harmful airborne germs that not only include cold and flu viruses but also dust, pollen, mold spores, pet dander and smoke particles. Those can aggravate allergies as well.