A regular cleaning routine for your home has always been important, but the COVID-19 pandemic has led many to question if they’re cleaning their homes enough. To prevent the spread of germs (viruses & bacteria) you must clean and disinfect your home. What’s the difference?
Cleaning is simply removing dirt, dust, and debris from surfaces. Cleaning is typically done by sweeping, vacuuming, dusting, mopping, or washing anything with soap and water. Disinfecting is the process of actually killing any viruses or bacteria that are living on the surfaces of your home. It’s worth taking the time to learn about how to properly disinfect your space, especially if you or someone in your family has gotten sick. Here are some important tips for disinfecting your home:
1. Check that your disinfecting product is EPA approved
This step is important to your health and to the environment. The EPA has approved many products for use in combating COVID-19. Click here for the EPA’s approved list of Disinfectants for Use Against SARS-CoV-2.
2. Properly ventilate your home before you begin
Again, this step is important even if you are using a gentle disinfectant. Proper ventilation not only eliminates harmful fumes but allowing fresh air into your home will help in the process of killing germs.
3. Make sure to wear a pair of gloves
Even if you opt for a gentle disinfectant that is less harsh on your skin, a pair of gloves will keep your hands from drying out. You should also wash your hands before and after you clean and disinfect to further prevent the spread of germs.
4. Clean every surface you want to disinfect
Before you can disinfect any surface, regardless of material, you must clean it. Removing dirt and debris allows a disinfectant to reach the living germs. If you spray a disinfectant over a dirty surface, it will seep into whatever dirt or grime is sitting on top of the actual surface, preventing the disinfectant from being fully effective.
5. Read the instructions carefully
Commercials for disinfectants often show a surface being sprayed with a disinfecting solution and then immediately wiped down. This is not how most disinfectants work. To properly kill germs, disinfectant solutions must sit on the surface for anywhere from 30 seconds to 10 minutes, which is called the “contact time,” depending on the product you choose to use. Make sure you understand how to properly apply the disinfectant to produce the best results.
6. Test a small area on upholstery or solid wood
Certain ingredients in disinfectants may cause discoloration to fabrics or wood. Make sure you test a small, non-visible area before covering your entire dining room table or sectional with a disinfectant that could leave a stain or lift the color from fabric. There are a wide variety of products to use, so don’t be discouraged if the first one you try doesn’t work out.
7. Properly store your cleaning products
When you’ve finished cleaning and disinfecting your home, make sure you store all of your cleaning products out of reach of children and pets.
A quick note about Upholstery
For disinfecting purposes, any soft fabrics, such as curtains, bed linens, or slipcovers, can be disinfected by washing them in the warmest water possible and dried completely. *Please be aware that this may cause certain fabrics to shrink, so be careful when washing cushion covers and slipcovers that have a snug fit. We strongly recommend consulting and using professional upholstery cleaning services to take care of your upholstery pieces.*
To clean sofas and sectionals, follow the same instructions as listed above. Take your time and be sure to test every product you use, even if it’s just a mixture of soap and water to initially clean the cushions or back of an upholstered chair.
Please let us know if you have any questions! We carry products that come in a wide range of materials, from natural latex mattresses to solid hardwood tables. While we always recommend using a gentle but effective disinfectant, like hydrogen peroxide or oxygen bleach, it may not be suitable for use on certain materials. We hope you’ve enjoyed the tips, and we hope that you and your family stay healthy & well!