In May, the CDC updated their page on how coronavirus spreads, placing “from touching surfaces or objects” under the heading “The virus does not spread easily in other ways.” Still, the CDC continues to encourage routine cleaning and disinfecting of frequently touched surfaces.
And luckily, according to the CDC coronavirus contaminated surfaces can easily be disinfected with normal everyday cleaning supplies.
Keep in mind the incubation period for COVID-19 can be up to two weeks, and that there’s a difference between cleaning and disinfecting. Cleaning will not kill germs, but will reduce the risk of infection. Disinfecting refers to using specific chemicals to kill pathogens on the surface, and reduces the risk of spreading the virus.
This list includes coronavirus cleaning supplies and house cleaning tips. To stay up to date on deals and tips to help you save on essentials during this time, download the free KCL app.
Stay healthy and safe, friends.
How to clean to protect against coronavirus spread
As simple as it is, this is the cheapest way to protect ourselves from spreading germs and contracting viruses.
Wash your hands before you touch your face and especially after you blow your nose, cough, sneeze, and use the toilet. If you’ve been in close physical contact with anyone who is unwell, wash your hands. And make sure handwashing is part of your routine every time you’re out in public.
Temperature of water isn’t as important as washing your hands throughly — including underneath fingernails — for at least 20 seconds. Lotion is also safe to use after handwashing.
If your local stores have run out of hand sanitizer and materials for DIY hand sanitizer, don’t fret. Just wash your hands for 20 seconds thoroughly. We’ll also show you how to make hand sanitizer below.
Directions for DIY Hand Sanitizer
- Stir two parts alcohol with one part aloe vera gel in a small bowl until blended.
- Add about 10 drops of your favorite essential oil. (If you desire, but not necessary.)
- Pour the DIY hand sanitizer into a labeled container.
Our phones are a bacteria and pathogen breeding ground, so it’s time we learn how to clean our phones the right way, whether they’re coronavirus contaminated surfaces or not.
Clean your phone immediately after getting in contact with public places. You should also refrain from bringing your phone out unless it’s absolutely necessary, avoiding placing it on tables and counters in public. Skip bringing it out altogether while you’re in the bathroom.
You can use a 60%+ alcohol disinfectant wipe, or follow the directions below with an isopropyl alcohol mixture.
- Lint-free microfiber cloth
- Spray bottle
- 1/2 cup Distilled water (Must use this if you only have hard water at home that has microscopic minerals that could potentially scratch your glass)
- 1/2 cup Isopropyl alcohol, 70%+
- Cotton swabs or wooden toothpicks
- Wash your hands and/or wear gloves.
- Unplug your phone and all attachments, then turn off your phone. Clean your earbuds, chargers, etc. separately. Remove the case or cover. These need to be cleaned separately as well.
- Create your cleaner: In the spray bottle, mix a 1:1 ratio of the distilled water and isopropyl alcohol. Shake the bottle up.
- Spray the microfiber cloth and NEVER spray your phone directly to avoid damaging it.
- Entirely wipe down your phone with the cloth.
- Clean the tiny crevices — camera lens, ports, buttons, etc. — with a toothpick or cotton swab. Then re-wipe down the phone again.
- Let the phone air dry completely for 15 minutes. (During this time wash your case.)
- To wash your case, completely submerge your case in warm water and soap and use a soft cloth to clean the edges. To clean daily, use the distilled water and isopropyl alcohol spray and microfiber cloth to wipe down the case. Use a cotton swab to clean the smaller areas like the camera lens holes, and always allow it to completely dry. If you have a leather case, clean it with leather soap and conditioner.
- Clean earbuds, chargers, and all other accessories with your spray mixture. Remember to spray lightly and wipe clean, then allowing 15 minutes to dry.
Don’t forget to wash your hands afterwards!
House cleaning tips during the coronavirus outbreak
Take a deep breath, you’ve got this.
When it comes time to clean your house, focus on cleaning high-trafficked surface areas with disinfectant wipes or mixtures (i.e. your floors, tables, chairs, door knobs, cabinet doors/handles, refrigerator door, railings, toilet seats, faucets, sinks, light switches etc.) the most. Also, wear disposable gloves while cleaning. If you don’t have gloves, be sure to wash your hands thoroughly afterwards, and don’t touch your face while cleaning.
Leave your bags, backpacks, jackets, layered clothing, and shoes at the door to reduce the spread of pathogens, making sure to not shake the items, to minimize spreading germs through the air. Encourage children and anyone else you’re living with to change and wash their clothes after leaving your house.
Here are some house cleaning tips you may find helpful:
Clean light switches and plates with surface cleaners or rubbing alcohol.
Spray a cleaning cloth with regular household cleaner or rubbing alcohol, and wipe the surface of your light switches (don’t spray cleaning solution directly on the switch!). Get into the crevices with a Q-tip.
You can also deep-clean your keyboard with rubbing alcohol.
Isopropyl alcohol is less harsh than ethyl, which can remove the letters and numbers from your keyboard. Lightly dampen a soft cloth to wipe germs and dirt off the surface of your keyboard (be careful not to use too much liquid!). Use a moistened cotton swab to clean in between keys.
Clean remote controls at least once a week.
Clean cabinet knobs and handles in your kitchen daily.
The handles and drawer pulls on your cabinets and the buttons on your microwave are the most touched spots in your kitchen.
Pillows should be washed at least twice a year.
Wash two at a time with bleach, then dry them with a couple of tennis balls to keep them fluffy.
Clean all of your cleaning tools.
Wipe down your vacuum with warm soapy water, and rinse out any filters.
Soak your mop and broom heads in hot water and disinfectant, and make sure to soak your sponges, as well.
Ideally, this will be done after every use, but shoot for at least once a week to be realistic.
Clean your refrigerator’s water and ice dispenser with a vinegar-water solution.
Create a 50/50 solution of vinegar and water, and use an old toothbrush to get into the crevices of your fridge’s water dispenser.
How to clean toys
Put LEGOs and other hard plastic toys in a mesh bag and wash them in the washing machine.
Soak plastic toys in hydrogen peroxide.
Wash one stuffed animal at a time in a mesh laundry bag.
Obviously, don’t put toys with electronics in the wash. Also, ensure all accessories are removed and secured to the toy properly. Ideally, you’ll want to air dry the stuffed animal, but you can also set your dryer to low heat on the permanent press setting too.
Use the warmest setting appropriate, and make sure these toys dry completely to prevent the spread of germs prior to letting your kids play with them again.
Clean and disinfect toys in the dishwasher.
Operate the dishwasher on a sanitizing cycle, but take precaution certain toys could potentially melt.
Use a one-part vinegar, one-part water solution to disinfect wooden toys.
Add the solution to a spray bottle then spray a soft cloth. Wipe wooden toys with the cloth and allow to air dry.
Note: This will clean the toys and only disinfects some viruses. Also, this is not listed on EPA’s website as a disinfectant against the coronavirus.
Coronavirus cleaning supplies
If you can’t find cleaners or disinfectant wipes with 60%+ alcohol, then look for the EPA registration number N listed on the product. These meet the EPA’s criteria for protecting against COVID-19. Be sure to use the recommended cleaner for each surface area.
Use disinfectant wipes and sprays to quickly wipe down surface areas that are highly trafficked. It’s key to make sure the product is at least 60%+ alcohol.
Disinfectant sprays like Lysol
Use these for areas like your couch and carpet that can’t be disinfected with a wipe.
Use bleach and/or Clorox for floors or other hard surfaces that are not porous.
To make a bleach solution that is recommended by the CDC mix:
- 1 cup bleach per 5 gallons of water
- 5 tablespoons (⅓ cup bleach) per gallon of water
- 4 tablespoons of bleach per quart of water
Use hydrogen peroxide on sinks, countertops, and toothbrushes.
Let it sit for 10-15 minutes. After, rinse the area down with water. Let dry completely.
Use disinfecting wet mops for hardwood floors to be sure you don’t damage the wood or other porous surface areas.
You can see a full list of products that are coronavirus certified here.