Home Hygiene Tips for Coronavirus (22/04/2020)

coronavirus hygieneCOVID‐19, commonly known as the coronavirus is a global pandemic that has spread across the country of Ireland and worldwide. With the coronavirus spreading at a rapid rate and with global lockdown, self-isolation has become a way of life. We are left with no choice but to do everything possible to protect ourselves from this life-threatening virus. The virus can pass from person to person through tiny droplets via coughing or sneezing. It can stay on surfaces for several hours or even days. It has never been more important to clean and disinfect your home thoroughly to lower the risk of infection.

Keeping your home virus free

Disinfecting and cleaning high risk touch surfaces around the home regularly is hugely important in lowering the risk of contracting the virus. For effective and safe cleaning, you should take precautions when using any cleaning products such as wearing gloves and making sure you have good ventilation around the house.

It is recommended you clean and disinfect your home even if nobody is sick. Disinfecting the home is about killing pathogens and cleaning is about removing contaminants from a surface. If anyone has entered or left your home, it is essential that you thoroughly clean your home at least once a day to be safe. Although transmission from person to person is a much greater risk than through surfaces, it is still recommended to also clean high touch surfaces in the home.

High touch surfaces to disinfect and clean daily

The coronavirus can live on surfaces such as cardboard for 24 hours and up to 3 to 4 days on stainless steel or plastic. These areas should be taken care of to lower the risk of infection. Some of these surfaces can include:

  • Tables
  • Kitchen counters
  • Doorknobs
  • Taps
  • Light switches
  • Hard dining chairs
  • Bathroom counters
  • TV remote controls
  • Electrical appliances

How to clean and disinfect

Clean all surfaces using soap and water removing any dust, debris, or contaminants. Most household cleaning products you get int he supermarket can also be used to kill most viruses and bacteria in the home.
The most effective solution is using a disinfectant product containing at least 70 per cent alcohol but most home cleaning products are nearly just as good. The easiest and quickest way to clean and disinfect is with a disinfectant spray or disinfecting wipes.
Once you apply the disinfectant solution onto a surface do not wipe away as soon as it is applied. Some disinfectant products such as sprays and wipes need to stay wet on a surface for several minutes for them to be effective. Use the products as recommended to avoid any damage to any sensitive items.

Soft surfaces

For soft surface cleaning such as curtains, rugs, carpets, and furniture. Use the appropriate cleaning products or just simply use soap and water.

Electronics

Electronic items include kettles, tablets, phones, remote controls, tv, and more. The safest option for electrical items would be alcohol-based wipes or sprays containing at least 70% alcohol. Make sure to dry the surface thoroughly afterwards.

Cleaning Clothes

It is unclear how long the virus can live on fabric, but there are some clothing items which have metal and plastic elements on which the virus could live for a few hours or several days.

  • Change and wash your bed sheets, clothes, and towels regularly.
  • Avoid shaking your dirty laundry as this could disperse the virus through the air.
  • Wash your clothes with detergent in your washing machine on the appropriate water setting.
  • Wash your hands afterwards with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser.

Personal Hygiene in the home

Even simple personal hygiene in the home can help protect you and your family.

Never cough or sneeze into your hands

Always sneeze or cough into your elbow or a tissue. Always dispose of the tissue into the bin and wash your hands afterward.

Do not touch your face

Avoid touching your mouth, eyes, or nose.

Hand washing

Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water. It is recommended to use a good quality soap for washing your hands. Always wash your hands if you have:

  • Sneezed or coughed
  • Used the toilet
  • Before preparing food and eating
  • After contact with pets
  • Before and after routine care of another person

Social distancing

If you do go outside of the home, always maintain a distance of at least 2 meters from other people.

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