Staying Safe at Home

Covid-19

In this article weíll look at ways to keep areas of your home clean and safe.

Staying Safe at Home

This article has been medically approved by Pharmacist Sumaiya Patel - GPhC Reg No:2215078


With restrictions being slowly lifted around the country, you may be worried that you are more likely to be bringing the virus home with you. With people going back to work and small gatherings now allowed, it has never been more important to ensure your home is clean and safe. In our article below, weíll look at some ways to keep yourself and your family safe.

How is Covid-19 spread?

It Is believed that the main way that Covid-19 is spread is through close contact with an infected person. This may be when they are coughing and sneezing but being within 2 meters of an asymptomatic person for more than 15 minutes could also cause infection. [1]

However, it hasnít been ruled out that transmission could occur from touching a contaminated surface and then touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Therefore, it is important to frequently wash your hands, and not to touch your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands. A study has suggested that Covid-19 can live on surfaces like stainless steel and plastic for up to 3 days, which is why keeping surfaces clean is so important. [2]

What should I use to clean?

Hot, soapy water is sufficient to wash away the virus, and a normal disinfectant like Dettol Clean & Fresh Multipurpose Disinfectant is enough to kill it. However, if you are cleaning after a symptomatic person, you should use disposable cloths and mops and then throw these away after use. Ensure you follow your local councilís guidelines for throwing away Covid-19 waste.

The Environmental Protection Agency has published a list of cleaning products that meet the criteria for use against Covid-19.

TOP TIP: Itís important to remember to remove dirt first. If a surface isnít visibly clean before you use disinfectant, germs can hide in the dirt and survive.

Areas to focus on

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) currently recommends that you should be doing one good clean and disinfection of your home per day. [3] Some of the most regularly touched areas in the home can also be the most commonly forgotten when it comes to cleaning. Throughout the whole house you should make sure you are cleaning light switches, door handles and bannister rails regularly. You should also only use one cleaning cloth for one area of the house, and you should wash or disinfect them after each use.

Letís go through the home, room by room.

Entrance Hall

Outdoor Clothes

If you have a high-risk job, such as nursing or driving public transport, you may want to keep a box by the front door to keep outdoor shoes and jackets. This means you can remove any clothing that may potentially be carrying the virus. You can use Dettol Spray and Wear to kill 99.9% of bacteria on clothes.

Post

Although the virus can, theoretically, survive on cardboard for up to 24 hours, post and packages are not considered to be high-risk. Your delivery drivers should already be keeping their distance from you, but you should politely ask them to do so if not. Wash your hands after opening your post or package, and then appropriately dispose of packaging.

Mobile Phones

If you have been using your mobile phone while out and about, you might want to consider cleaning it with Dettol Anti-Bacterial Surface Cleanser Wipes to kill 99.9% of bacteria. A study published in the Journal of Travel Medicine and Infectious Disease found that 68% of mobile phones are contaminated with viruses and bacteria. [4] Some phones are even carrying antibiotic-resistant drugs.

Bags

If you carry a bag while using public transport, you should keep it on your lap to avoid contamination.

Regularly wipe your purse or wallet with Dettol 2 in 1 Travel Wipes to remove any germs that have been introduced when handling these items in public. Although the risk of contracting or transmitting the virus through your bank cards is low, you might want to consider wiping them once a week.

Keep any food in a lunch bag or sealed box, and thoroughly wash hands with warm soapy water before eating. If this isnít possible, kill 99.9% of bacteria and viruses on the hands with Dettol Hand Gel.

If you apply lip balm or makeup while on the go, you should wash or sanitise your hands beforehand to avoid introducing germs to your eyes or mouth.

Living Room

TV Remotes

Similarly to mobile phones, TV remotes can harbour bacteria and viruses. You might want to consider giving them an occasional wipe with Dettol Anti-Bacterial Surface Cleanser Wipes.

Books, Magazines, and Newspapers

Paper is considered to be low-risk when it comes to transmission, but you should avoid licking your fingers when turning the pages.

Kitchen

Shopping

Shopping and food packaging is considered to be generally low risk, however, if you are feeling really anxious about it you can clean your packaging. You can use Dettol Anti-Bacterial Surface Cleanser Wipes or Dettol Disinfectant Spray to kill 99.9% of bacteria before putting food away in the cupboard. You should continue to clean fresh produce, however, do not use chemicals to do this.

It is also important to wash hands thoroughly after doing your shopping, and before preparing food.

Cups and Plates

If someone in your household shows symptoms, they should use a separate set of plates, cups, and cutlery. They should also be washed separately.

Washing Clothes

The virus can live on clothes, but a normal wash should wash it away. However, if you think you have been in contact with an infected person, you should wash your clothes at 60įc or with Dettol Laundry Sanitiser. You donít need to wash these clothes separately, but donít shake them before washing as this could disperse virus particles. Reusable masks should also be cleaned after every use.

Donít forget to disinfect laundry hampers and handles and knobs on the washing machine.

Bathroom

Shower and Bath

If someone in your home becomes unwell, and if it is possible, they should use a separate bathroom. If this isnít possible, they should at least have their own set of towels that are kept separate from other towels and washed regularly at 60įc. After they use the bathroom, all surfaces including taps and the toilet flush should be disinfected with Dettol Power & Pure Advance Bathroom Spray.

Downstairs Toilet

Now that we can entertain up to 6 people in our gardens, family or friends may need to use the toilet while at your house.

Before guests arrive, you should disinfect all surfaces including taps and toilet flushes using Dettol Big & Strong Bathroom Wipes, as well as changing the hand towel. Do the same once your guests have left, and make sure you wash the hand towel at 60įc before using it again.

Bedroom

Windows and Doors

Open windows and doors wherever possible to keep rooms well ventilated. Evidence has suggested that the virus is less likely to be passed on in well-ventilated buildings. [5]

Rubbish

If someone in your home has become unwell, ask them to put any tissues, wipes, or masks into a rubbish bag and tie it at the top. You should then follow your local councilís guidelines for disposing of Covid-19 waste.

Bed Sheets

Sheets should be regularly washed at 60įc, or 90įc for whites. Itís usually recommended to wash bed sheets weekly.

If someone in your home is unwell, you should ask them to put dirty bed sheets into a bag, tie the top, and wait for 72 hours before washing them. This is because, unlike clothing, bed sheets are used for longer between washes and are more likely to become contaminated with spit or mucus.


[1] https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/wuhan-novel-coronavirus-infection-prevention-and-control/transmission-characteristics-and-principles-of-infection-prevention-and-control

[2] https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.03.09.20033217v1.full.pdf

[3] https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/disinfecting-your-home.html

[4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7187827/

[5] https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/our-plan-to-rebuild-the-uk-governments-covid-19-recovery-strategy

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