Keeping Your Home Clean During COVID

— Written By and last updated by Nancie Mandeville

Cleaning supplies and washcloths in a bucket

During this time with COVID-19, making sure to clean our homes periodically is important to make sure there is less chance of spreading any bacteria that can make anyone living in the household sick. There are many steps to keeping our homes clean whether it’s through standard cleaning, sanitizing, disinfecting, and sterilizing. But according to NC State Extension, the most appropriate method to keep your home safe from COVID-19 is through cleaning and disinfecting surfaces.

Standard cleaning involves removing visible soil or dirt on a surface which will help in the next steps of removing harmful bacteria or viruses. When cleaning be sure to use a combination of water, soap or detergent, and a mechanical scrubbing to help remove the soil from surfaces such as kitchen counters, tables, and shelves. The next step comes with disinfecting. Disinfecting is similar to sanitizing, in which both use heat or a certain concentration and time on the surface of a chemical to remove bacteria or viruses. However, disinfecting may involve an increase in the concentration of a chemical and a longer surface time according to NC State Extension. Disinfecting is an important method of getting rid of more resilient viruses and bacteria such as the virus connected to COVID-19.

Woman cleaning windowsill

When using a chemical to disinfect the house, remember to follow procedures to help ventilate the room and protect yourself from breathing disinfectants.

NC State Extension reports several examples of effective disinfectants to prevent COVID-19 as “Diluted Household bleach solutions, alcohol solutions with at least 70% alcohol, and most common EPA-registered household disinfectants…” The diluted bleach solution can be made, following proper instructions from the manufacture and ventilating the cleaning area, with 1/3 cup of bleach per gallon of water or 4 teaspoons of bleach per quart of water. Using these methods like cleaning and disinfecting are important steps to keep your house clean, spotless, and safe for your other household residents.

Be sure to check out more information on cleaning during times with COVID-19 at the NC State Extension’s COVID-19 Health and Wellness Resource Page or Food Safety Resource Page.

References:

“COVID-19 Preventative Measures: What Is The Difference Between Cleaning, Sanitizing, Disinfecting, and Sterilizing?” – NC State Extension

“COVID-19 Preventative Measures: Cleaning and Disinfection” – NC State Extension