It’s been a year since the COVID-19 was declared a pandemic. In that period of time, your home has become a workplace, a classroom for your kids, your gym, and your sanctuary. That’s why it’s important to take extra care and make sure your home remains as safe as possible from COVID-19.
Even with vaccination programs well underway, don’t be complacent. Here are some steps to keep yourself and your family safe and healthy.
Wash your hands frequently
Washing your hands is one of the easiest ways to prevent the spread of the virus. Everyone – from family members and members of your pod to guests visiting – should make it a habit to wash their hands regularly.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), you should wash your hands for at least 20-30 seconds. You can time it by singing the full “Happy Birthday” song, twice.
Avoid bringing the virus inside your home by ditching dirty shoes outside your front door. The COVID-19 virus can attach to shoes and stay there for several hours.
Designate an area outside your front door or by your entryway. This space could have a low bench with cubby holes or a rack where family members (and guests) can remove their footwear before entering the home.
If bringing shoes inside the home is unavoidable, consider investing in a sanitizing footbath mat that you can place out by the front door. Or leave shoes and outerwear in a mudroom.
Sanitize your handbag, purse, and phone
Your handbag, purse, and phone are three things you usually take with you when you go out for essentials. Unfortunately, you might unwittingly carry the coronavirus into your home through these items. As such, don’t forget to clean and sanitize your belongings before entering your home.
- For handbags and purses: The type of fabric determines how you should clean it. For leather or pleather-type bags, a simple disinfecting wipe is recommended. For fabric bags, wash the bag or use an antibacterial fabric spray.
- For mobile phones: Wipe your phone with an antibacterial microfiber cloth. Spray cleaners onto the cloth rather than the phone itself to prevent any damage. Remove the phone case and disinfect it as well.
Don’t place these items on the kitchen counter or table to keep these critical surfaces inside your home virus-free.
Clean and disinfect high-touch areas regularly
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends cleaning and disinfecting high-touch areas in our homes daily to be safe against COVID-19 virus. These include:
- Light switches
- Dining chairs
- Toilet seats
- Remote controls
- Game controllers
- Faucets and knobs
- Table surfaces
- Kitchen and bathroom counters
- Staircase railings
Here’s how you can clean and disinfect these surfaces:
- Clean by getting rid of dust and dirt. Wipe with soap and water or a multi-purpose cleaner. Use a fresh hand towel to dry.
- Disinfect using a household disinfectant. Check this list by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) List N: Disinfectants for Coronavirus (COVID-19) for effective disinfectants to use.
Wear gloves and goggles to protect your skin and eyes. Make sure you have enough ventilation and use only the amount recommended in the label.
Change your clothes
After going outside, take a shower as soon as possible and wash your dirty clothes. If this isn’t possible, keep these items you wore outside in a different laundry bin so they can be washed separately from other clothes. As per CDC recommendations, don’t shake your dirty laundry.
Disinfect your groceries and packages
A recent study in the New England Journal of Medicine cited that the COVID-19 virus can be detectable on plastic and stainless steel for up to 72 hours and on cardboard for up to 24 hours.
Minimize the chances of bringing the virus into your home by setting up a decontamination zone separate from your living space. Leave nonperishables in this area for three days.
As for perishable items like meats and other produce, soak them in water for 15 minutes, scrub, then rinse. Waterproof containers, like plastic bottles of juice or milk cartons can be sanitized with EPA-registered disinfectant.
If you’re thinking about buying a new house this year, trust our team at RE/MAX Direct to give you valuable home buying tips and the best advice for buying a home in West Chester, PA. Call us today at 610.430.8100 or email us at remaxdirectwc(at)gmail(dotted)com.