How to Clean and Disinfect Your Home

THERE’S SOMETHING DEEPLY unsettling about stepping from the home-from-work boredom of self-isolation to the stressed, ambient fear of supermarket shopping in a pandemic. At home, things feel hyperreal, and out they feel entirely surreal–two steps removed from the flashback scenes in a postapocalyptic film. You might feel a tension between helping yourself and helping your community. Daily life through the novel coronavirus pandemic is about disorienting contrasts like those.

It may seem more effective to read our Coronavirus Gear and Supplies Guide and begin filling your pantry with canned goods and essentials, but cleaning and sanitizing surfaces in your house can help lower the odds you or a loved one will contract Covid-19 and lower the possibility you could spread it to somebody else. Maintaining your house (and self) sanitized helps everybody.

The Centers for Disease Control recommends all of us take steps to clean and sanitize high-touch surfaces in our houses. Below, we get into the weeds of the length of time the virus might continue on surfaces, which disinfectants may kill it, and the actions you should take to keep clean.

Updated April 9: The CDC has shifted its position on face masks to the general public.

To Keep Yourself Virus-Free

Wash Your Hands
You have heard it a thousand times by now, and you will hear it a thousand more, but the best way to reduce your risk of contracting Covid-19 (or pass it on to somebody else) is to wash your hands after you cough, sneeze, touch your face, use the restroom, or are going to leave one place for another. You should wash your hands when you depart and return in the grocery store, as an example.

If you’re able to find any, hand sanitizer is a quick cleaning method that works wonders. (Here’s the way to create your own.) Hand sanitizer isn’t a substitute for washing your hands with soap and water, however. Using soap and water may also be a bit easier on your hands. It won’t automatically kill all germs, but if you wash your hands correctly, it is going to wash them away. The World Health Organization has detailed instructions (which we have seen in meme form) on how to correctly carry out the 20-second hand wash.

Dry, cracked skin is at higher risk for all sorts of infections, so after you wash, apply a little moisturizer. Most moisturizing creams have similar ingredients, beginning with water and glycerin, so the brand does not really matter. (Listed below are some hand creams on Amazon.) If your hands are additional dry, start looking for something dermatologist-recommended having an”intensive” tag, such as Eucerin Advance Repair.

(Note: Should you purchase something using the links in our stories, we might earn a little affiliate commission.)

Stay Home
Even when you’re not ill, just stay home if possible. Being in massive crowds or going out to restaurants pose unnecessary risks not only to yourself but to the people around you. The more you are in public, the more opportunities the novel coronavirus has to hitch a ride on your hands, clothing, or individual. Millions of people are extremely vulnerable to this virus.

Invest in a Cloth Face Mask
The CDC has reversed its guidance regarding face masks. It now recommends that everyone wear a fabric face mask in public. We’ve detailed directions, and do’s and don’ts, on masks in our How to generate a CDC-Approved Cloth Face Mask guide.

Masks are an additional precaution in addition to staying home, washing your hands, social distancing, and the other guidelines you need to be following. A cloth mask is not likely to prevent you from receiving Covid-19, but it might help protect others if you just happen to have the illness. Some men and women with the disease show mild symptoms, or none at all–especially those people who are young. As far as we are aware, the novel coronavirus is transmitted via person-to-person touch or respiratory droplets.

Do not place a mask on children under two years old or purchase an N95 mask or some other professional mask which may be used to assist health care workers. There’s still a severe lack of masks around america, and N95 masks should be earmarked for medical professionals. This is the reason the CDC, again, recommends you make your own cloth mask at home.