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Spring cleaning this year will consist of many of us spending much of the day inside, and taking extra precautions when disinfecting surfaces and objects. We do this to protect our family, our children, our selves, and our neighbors from becoming directly affected by the Coronavirus. Because cleaning our homes and frequently touched surfaces is so vitally important at a time like this, we have collected helpful information from the CDC and other reliable sources, that will help you knock your spring cleaning out of the park amidst COVID-19.
Clean Things You Usually Wouldn't Think About Cleaning
Because of COVID-19, putting a little extra effort into your spring cleaning this year will be well worth it. Now is the time to disinfect and clean surfaces that you usually wouldn't think about cleaning along with commonly touched surfaces such as:
- Cell phones
- Remote controls
- Game controllers
- Computer mice
- Light switches
- Doors Staircase railings
- Drawer handles
- Microwave, stove, and dishwasher buttons/knobs
These surfaces should be cleaned with EPA-registered cleaning products, diluted household bleach solutions, or alcohol-based wipes or spray that contains at least 70% alcohol. Please note that in order to disinfect, most household products require a dwell time, that is, spraying the product on until it is visibly wet and letting it sit for a certain amount of time. This dwell time can be 10 minutes or longer. Be sure you follow the directions on the product label in order to properly disinfect.
How CDC Recommends Cleaning and Disinfecting some common surfaces and items.
Following CDC recommendations for cleaning is important to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. This virus can spread fairly easily from person to person or from contact with contaminated surfaces or objects.
Clothes: "Wear disposable gloves when handling dirty laundry from an ill person and then discard after each use. If using reusable gloves, those gloves should be dedicated for cleaning and disinfection of surfaces for COVID-19 and should not be used for other household purposes. Clean hands immediately after gloves are removed. If no gloves are used when handling dirty laundry, be sure to wash hands afterwards. If possible, do not shake dirty laundry. This will minimize the possibility of dispersing virus through the air. Launder items as appropriate in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions. If possible, launder items using the warmest appropriate water setting for the items and dry items completely. Dirty laundry from an ill person can be washed with other people's items. Clean and disinfect clothes hampers according to guidance above for surfaces. If possible, consider placing a bag liner that is either disposable (can be thrown away) or can be laundered."
Hard Surfaces: "Wear disposable gloves when cleaning and disinfecting surfaces. Gloves should be discarded after each cleaning. If reusable gloves are used, those gloves should be dedicated for cleaning and disinfection of surfaces for COVID-19 and should not be used for other purposes. Consult the manufacturer's instructions for cleaning and disinfection products used. Clean hands immediately after gloves are removed. If surfaces are dirty, they should be cleaned using a detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection. For disinfection, most common EPA-registered household disinfectants should be effective."
Soft Surfaces: The CDC recommends cleaning surfaces to help stop the spread of viruses, for carpeting they recommend: "For soft (porous) surfaces such as carpeted floor, rugs, and drapes, remove visible contamination if present and cleaning with appropriate cleaners indicated for use on these surfaces." Thorough cleaning is required before high-level disinfection and sterilization because inorganic and organic materials that remain on the surfaces of instruments interfere with the effectiveness of these processes. Zerorez® is Platinum rated by the Carpet and Rug Institute. This is the highest rating possible and we achieved it because we remove more debris and contaminates from carpet than anyone else in the industry. The CDC recommends contamination removal. Zerorez can help.
Electronics: "For electronics such as cell phones, tablets, touch screens, remote controls, and keyboards, remove visible contamination if present. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for all cleaning and disinfection products. Consider use of wipeable covers for electronics. If no manufacturer guidance is available, consider the use of alcohol-based wipes or sprays containing at least 70% alcohol to disinfect touch screens. Dry surfaces thoroughly to avoid pooling of liquids."
Disinfecting Improperly Can Lead to Lung Problems
Many of the products we use in our homes to clean and disinfect contain harmful chemicals that can cause health problems - even products advertised as green or natural may contain these sorts of ingredients. According to the American Lung Association, "Many cleaning supplies or household products can irritate the eyes or throat, or cause headaches and other health problems, including cancer. Some products release dangerous chemicals, including volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Other harmful ingredients include ammonia and bleach. Even natural fragrances such as citrus can react to produce dangerous pollutants indoors.
VOCs and other chemicals released when using cleaning supplies contribute to chronic respiratory problems, allergic reactions and headaches. Studies are underway to assess how these chemicals affect people who have asthma and other respiratory illnesses.1 However, past studies link exposure to chemicals from cleaning supplies to occupational asthma and other respiratory illnesses.
Cleaning supplies and household products containing VOCs and other toxic substances can include, but are not limited to:
- Aerosol spray products, including health, beauty and cleaning products
- Air fresheners
- Chlorine bleach
- Detergent and dishwashing liquid
- Dry cleaning chemicals
- Rug and upholstery cleaners
- Furniture and floor polish
- Oven cleaners
When cleaning and disinfecting your home, you should never attempt to do it all at once. Why? Because if you use a large amount of cleaners and disinfectants at one time, you are allowing too many chemicals to roam freely around your home. To keep yourself and your family safe, clean or disinfect one section of your house at a time and ensure that you keep the area well ventilated.
In addition to ventilating your home while cleaning, another important step to disinfecting properly is to read the disclaimer label on the back of your disinfectant bottle. It will tell you that there is anywhere from 1 to 10-minute dwell-time required to reach the 99.9% or 99.99% kill rate of bacteria and viruses (germs) that are described on the label. Dwell-time means that the disinfecting chemical has to be in contact with the surface being disinfected for the entire time specified on the back of the label to be completely effective.
For your cleaning needs, Zerorez is here to help! We are taking extra precautions to ensure your safety during this time.
- Washing hands regularly
- Disinfecting equipment regularly.
- Staying home when they are not feeling well.
- Wearing medical gloves at each job.
- Practice social distancing, as appropriate.