Updated: May 11
In order to combat the spread of the coronavirus, many people, including some of our clients, have set up their own sanitation stations in their homes. Groceries and other newly bought items are placed in a specific area and diligently wiped with a cloth and disinfectant before being stored in the refrigerator or other areas in the home.
This process has become the new norm for a world that has had to change its thinking, behavior and hygienic habits to fight against a global killer whose characteristics are still being determined.
While health care officials are still studying COVID-19, we are left to do all that we know to do which is: practicing social distancing, washing our hands and keeping our homes, particularly frequently-used surfaces, clean and disinfected. By washing our hands and cleaning often-used surfaces, we are greatly reducing the chance of spreading the virus. And by cleaning, we are removing much of the obstacles that will make disinfectants ineffective and useless. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has provided a list of often-used surfaces that should be routinely cleaned and disinfected. We have taken that list and added a few more items. See the checklist for frequently-used surfaces that need to cleaned and disinfected at the bottom of this page.
Germs survive much longer on stainless steel, plastic and similar hard surfaces than they do on fabric and other soft surfaces. So we have placed the focus on nonporous surfaces. Germs can also live longer on surfaces that are wet and dirty. All they need to survive and multiply is food and water. When droplets land on a hard surface such as a table or a doorknob, the viruses in those droplets can survive for several hours or more. Bacteria can live even longer, according to a study published by the EPA.
By simply cleaning with water and a microfiber cloth, you can remove up to 98 percent of bacteria and 93 percent of viruses from surfaces, according to tests done by the UPA. Therefore, in some cases, you may not even need any sanitizers or disinfectants because you have already removed the food and water that allow germs to survive and reproduce.
In cases where a disinfectant is needed, particularly after germs were allowed to reproduce and grow, be sure to choose one that's non-toxic and doesn't bring with it health problems. Most commercial disinfectants, including those registered with the EPA, have ingredients such as quaternary ammonium compounds, which can cause nose and throat irritation as well as allergic skin reactions; and triclosan, a suspected endocrine disruptor that causes a reduction of fertility in men and women and early puberty in girls. It can also lead to increases in cancers of the breast, ovaries, and prostate.
Often the health effects from exposure to certain toxins don't arise until decades later or until after repeated exposure. To safeguard your health and that of your family, choose natural disinfectants, which are just as effective.
Once you spray the disinfectant, be sure to let it sit on the surface for at least a minute, or based on the product's guideline, so that it can thoroughly kill the germs. Still, it should be noted that when we kill germs on a surface with a disinfectant, it is only temporary. They will return. This is why routine cleaning, disinfecting and sanitizing needs to be done, especially on surfaces that are often used. We included the checklist as a guide to help you monitor those surfaces.
It should be suggested that you also adopt your own policy for personal hygienic practices in your home such as: taking off your shoes before you enter; washing your hands for at least twenty seconds; disinfecting purses, backpacks, computers and phones (do not place them on the kitchen counters); washing clothes, linens and towels more often, and banning or limiting the use of commercial cleaners and personal care products that adversely affect the air quality in your home.
Now that we have highlighted the surfaces that need to be cleaned, in our upcoming blog we will talk about how to get it done. For more information about our products and services, visit: naturekleen.info.