Keeping your space clean is a daily task, but in the time of a pandemic there are certain areas in your home you should focus on sanitizing. Artis Senior Living shares the what and how behind keeping high-use areas clean and free of germs.
The Easiest Way to Prevent Disease
Our homes and even our bodies harbor an array of germs, bacteria, and viruses. It is impossible to live in a completely sterile environment, however, there are a few simple practices that will reduce the spread of harmful germs. Cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting are all ways to minimize disease.
The CDC states that infections are spread through sources and then transmitted to an individual. Understanding how this process works is the first step to being proactive at preventing disease – like disinfecting surfaces, not just cleaning them. Yes, there is a difference! Routine sterilization efforts, including both sanitizing and disinfecting, will help to keep your loved one’s space clean and safe, while preventing the spread of coronavirus and other infectious microorganisms.
Areas That Have the Most Germs
The most common areas where pathogens like to hide are door handles, sinks, faucet fixtures, toilet handles, remote controls, electronics, mobile or landline phones, headphones, cabinet door knobs, and floors. Don’t forget to routinely clean light switches, desks, hard-backed chairs, keyboards, railings or handles, appliances, and countertops or tables. And let’s remember that because our own bodies and hands retain germs, as well as soft surfaces like laundry or linens, routine bathing and hand washing is paramount when avoiding infection.
Best Products to Sanitize & Disinfect
The meaning behind the word “cleaning” goes much deeper than we think. There is a significant difference between cleaning and sanitizing or disinfecting. Cleaning means that you are removing dirt, debris, or germs. Sanitizing and disinfecting mean that you are using chemicals that track down pathogens (bacteria or viruses) to remove them. You can clean and sanitize or disinfect simultaneously depending on the type of products used.
An all-purpose cleaner is ideal for simply cleaning and wiping down surfaces. To disinfect and prevent the coronavirus disease, you’ll want to look for cleaning products with labels that specifically state that they remove bacteria and viruses. Clorox, Lysol, Purell, and anything labeled antibacterial or antiviral are good options to use in your loved one’s home. Bleach also works to kill and remove germs, however, it is a strong chemical that can be harsh on your loved one’s respiratory tract. It is recommended to use in diluted or minimal quantities. The CDC tells us that the coronavirus disease can last on surfaces anywhere from a few hours to a few days depending on the type of surface. The CDC recommends first cleaning a visibly dirty surface followed by disinfecting it, as this is the best practice to prevent the spread and transmission of coronavirus.
How Often Should You Be Cleaning
We understand that current social distancing and stay-at-home orders can make cleaning your loved one’s home more challenging. Disinfect and clean as often as possible, but a quick daily wipe down and disinfectant of countertops, surfaces, and door handles is ideal if your loved one is able to do so. A thorough home disinfection of electronics, remote controls, kitchen appliances, high traffic surfaces, linens, and phones should be done once per week.
If their abilities allow, giving your loved one the products and tools to disinfect their home’s surfaces is a great way to keep them feeling engaged in their own space. Ensure that they take precautions by wearing a face mask and gloves when using strong cleaning solutions. For those unable to clean on their own, connecting with the friendly Artis staff members can be another option to gain assistance with cleaning.
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