The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a drastic increase in the demand for disinfection agents and cleaning products. Empty shelves of disinfectants and sanitizers at supermarkets have become a common sight these days. It’s understandable how this sight has many people worrying about the safety of their family and homes as they keep searching for products to neutralize the virus before it infects them.
Thankfully, there are a few other alternatives to store-bought disinfectants that are effective in deactivating Coronavirus. But, before we get to that part, let’s first clarify a few important concepts related to disinfection at home during this pandemic.
Cleaning vs Disinfection
Cleaning routines are usually subjective and vary from household to household depending upon several factors such as the surroundings, the house size, the time constraint, etc. However, in these unprecedented times, it’s essential to ramp up usual cleaning routines and take into consideration the difference between two vital aspects of the process – cleaning and disinfection. Mostly used interchangeably by many, they are not the same.
Cleaning refers to removing contamination from surfaces. This contamination can be in the form of dust, grime, stains, or any other debris. Cleaning can be accomplished by simply wiping or sweeping the surface. Disinfection, though, is a lot more complicated. It refers to the process of effectively killing germs. Disinfecting agents interfere with the metabolism of the germs or destroy their cell walls to effectively neutralize them. A cleaning agent will get rid of all your stains and soil but will not eliminate the germs. Similarly, your disinfecting agent will get rid of the harmful bacteria and viruses but will not take care of your dust and stains.
Store-bought cleaners may contain strong chemicals that are harmful to your skin. So, it is advisable to choose from a wide range of eco-friendly cleaning products that are found in your kitchen. From lemon juice and vinegar to baking soda and olive oil, check out these natural cleaning agents that will help you effectively clean the surfaces before you move on to the disinfection part.
So, it is vital that your clean-up routine includes both these steps – first cleaning then disinfection. This is especially important in the current situation.
Surfaces Which Need to be Regularly Disinfected
Though person-to-person transmission through respiratory droplets is the most common path for Coronavirus infections to spread, it’s also possible that people can get it by touching surfaces that have been contaminated by the virus. Hence, regular disinfection at home is one of the primary Coronavirus preventive measures. This is to ensure that if by any chance, the virus does enter your house, you neutralize it before it infects anyone in your family.
Having said that, identifying the surfaces which might be contaminated and disinfecting them is like searching for a needle in a haystack. Your best bet is to target areas and surfaces that are most frequently touched by members of your house. This includes doorknobs, light switches, table and chair surfaces, taps, and keys. Even your clothes need to be properly washed and disinfected every time you come home from a visit to the grocery store.
Natural Disinfection Agents
There are some eco-friendly natural disinfection agents that can act as a substitute for store-bought alternatives when the stores’ shelves are empty.
Here are some combinations that can destroy the Novel Coronavirus strain-
As per the recommendation of The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a diluted bleach solution of 1/3rdcup beach in 1 gallon of water effectively neutralizes the virus. This solution needs to be freshly prepared just before disinfection because storing it for a long time makes it lose its effectiveness. Also, do not mix the bleach with any other solvent apart from water.
2. Isopropyl Alcohol
Only alcohol solutions containing more than 70% of alcohol content have been known to be effective against Coronavirus. So, your usual store-bought liquor will not suffice. Isopropyl alcohol with 70% or more alcohol content needs to be specially bought for the pure purpose of disinfection. Spray the alcohol on the surfaces to be disinfected and leave it for 30 seconds before wiping the surface clean.
3. Hydrogen Peroxide
The usual Hydrogen Peroxide solution found in our homes (3%) is can be used to disinfect surfaces and kill Coronavirus strains, according to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. For disinfection, pour Hydrogen Peroxide in an undiluted form in a spray bottle and use the spray on surfaces to be disinfected. Let it stay on the surface for at least a minute before wiping the surface clean.
Do not forget to use disposable gloves when cleaning with these agents. Also, do not use any of these agents on fabrics because it can cause discoloration of clothes.
That’s it- you’re all armed with the facts about disinfecting your homes to protect your family from Coronavirus infections. But, just because you repeatedly disinfect your home doesn’t mean you are free to roam out of the house without taking necessary precautions. Stay indoors, stay safe, and take care!