One of the outcomes to Covid-19 is the opportunity to develop healthier habits. Washing our hands more often and for 20 seconds, making sure to stay home when sick and regularly sanitizing surfaces are all healthy habits that should become part of our “new normal.” Although these are beneficial habits, there are many more “best practices” that we can incorporate into our daily lives. Below is our list of tips and ideas on how to clean and sanitize some of the items used in our everyday lives, whether we’re social distancing at home or returning to work.
Designate A Space For Storage
Although still common in many parts of the country, mud rooms, or designated drop zones, are starting to become increasingly popular once again. These areas are a great way to stop the spread of viruses literally at the door. Whatever space you can allot for this, it is important to provide storage for such items as outside shoes, purses and bags, clothing items and cloth face masks. If possible, create your space with or near a sink for hand washing. If a sink isn’t accessible, provide hand sanitizer. Disinfecting wipes and sprays should also be kept in this area to quickly use on the items stored there.
Shoes that are worn outside of the house should never be worn inside the house. Shoes can not only potentially bring in dirt, but also bacteria, germs and viruses. Providing shoe storage allows for you and your family to quickly store dirty shoes and replace them with your house shoes.
If you wear a cloth face mask in public, it is important to properly wash and sanitize it after each use. Drying it in a laundry dryer with heat provides sanitizing effects. Do not use a face mask more than once in public without washing. Do not spray your face masks with disinfectant or other harsh sprays. You do not want to directly inhale those chemicals. Instead, wash your cloth mask on gentle cycle in your washing machine. Put the cloth mask in a pillowcase or garment bag and tie a knot at the top. The pillowcase will protect the mask from damage.
Cell phones should be cleaned often. Check the manufacturer’s website for your particular phone. Apple specifically has updated guidelines on the proper way to clean and sanitize their products. For general guidelines, unplug and turn off your phone. Remove the case and wipe down both the case and the phone with EPA approved disinfectant wipes. If you work outside the home, and in an environment at a higher risk of germs, wipe down your phone daily.
With computers becoming even more important in our everyday lives, crumbs, dirt and dust have probably started to take up residence. Shake any dust and crumbs out carefully. You can also use compressed air or a small, soft bristle brush to clean out debris. Wipe down the keyboard and surface with a disinfectant wipe. To clean the screen, carefully wipe down with a lint-free microfiber cleaning cloth. If your computer commutes to and from your office, clean and sanitize daily or each time it enters a new room.
Wallets & Bags
Wallets, purses, totes, book bags and reusable shopping bags should all be given careful consideration. With all of the recommended cleaning, this might not be the best time to use real leather. Instead, choose easily cleaned materials. Check all labels on your bags. Many items can be washed in the laundry on a gentle cycle and air dried. You can also put any bags inside a knotted pillowcase or garment bag while washing. If you cannot launder, use disinfecting wipes.
Keep disinfecting wipes in your car to quickly wipe down the surfaces of your bags before placing in your car. Do not put the bags on your counters. Instead, unpack bags and either clean with disinfecting wipes and leave in your drop zone or place into the laundry. If hand-washing is necessary for your bags, fill your sink or tub with lukewarm water and add drops of a mild soap or detergent. Submerge bag and agitate slightly. You can use a toothbrush to gently scrub any zippers, mesh areas or embroidery thread. Rinse the bag with clean water and allow to air dry.
As always, when cleaning anything, remove all visible soil before sanitizing and disinfecting.
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