Disinfecting your home is important especially now as illness is being spread from person to person. What many people don’t realize is there are “rules” to disinfecting so that it does the job you expect it to do and there are many ways to make mistakes when disinfecting.
The First Question to Ask is “Do I Need to Disinfect of Just Clean?”
Cleaning and disinfecting are both important practices in taking care of your home. Many people are unaware that these are two different things. Right now, more than ever it is important to know what each of these terms mean and how to correctly disinfect your home when it is necessary.
Cleaning is the act of using solutions that grab any germs and bacteria from a surface and lift them away on your cleaning rag. Disinfecting is the act of using stronger cleaning solutions to kills the germs in their place. To effectively disinfect and thoroughly kill all germs on a surface there are correct practices, it means more than just wiping down a surface.
Cleaning should be done frequently when everyone in your home is healthy and in great physical condition. Disinfecting should be done periodically or when someone in the home is ill or has possibly come in contact with someone who may be ill. The overuse of stronger disinfecting chemicals could be more harmful than helpful in your home.
Let’s take a look at some mistakes to avoid when disinfecting your home to ensure your home stays properly clean and safe.
Using the Wrong Solutions
Sometimes this can come back to getting a cleaning and disinfecting mixed up or thinking they are the same. To properly disinfect you need to have an actual effective disinfectant solution. Eco-friendly solutions are wonderful for everyday safe cleaning, but when it comes to knocking out bacteria on contact you need stronger solutions. The CDC currently recommends high alcohol percentage concentrates, or diluted bleach solutions to ensure you have killed virus germs such as COVID-19.
Mixing Different Disinfectants Together
You may find yourself running low on your disinfecting solution at some time and be tempted to mix it with another germ-killing ingredient to make it stretch. This could be a dangerous or even deadly mistake. Bleach is almost never safe to mix with anything other than water so just stick to diluting it in water. Always make sure labels are clear and readable and never mix things together.
Not Cleaning First
That’s right you need to clean a surface before disinfecting it. Even if the surface you want to disinfect looks clean to the eye, you need to clean it before disinfecting it. This will ensure your disinfecting solution is as effective at killing everything on the surface as possible. Layers of dirt and grime can get in the way of the disinfecting process so give every surface a quick clean with a green solution or just simple soap and water then follow up with your disinfecting solution.
Not Prepping Yourself
Before you start cleaning your home, you should be clean yourself. Be sure to properly wash your hands by scrubbing with soap and water for 20 to 30 seconds and then using gloves to protect your skin. If you use reusable gloves make sure to clean them well when you are done.
Not Letting Solutions Sit
A frequently made mistake by many people is to spray disinfectant everywhere and to quickly wipe it away immediately after spraying it. Disinfectant needs a little time to go to work on attacking germs and killing them. Make sure to read labels on disinfecting products and follow the instructions exactly, especially when it comes to how long to let them sit and kill germs.
When cleaning several surfaces or even just a very large surface, you should have several rags. Ideally, you should use one rag per surface area. A couple should be used when a surface area is substantial in size. Overusing your cleaning rags just results in spreading germs around instead of eliminating them.
I'm always looking to help homeowners in Sun City Texas, buyers and sellers. This is a great way to keep our home clean and keep this virus at bay.