Taking steps to combat COVID-19 are habits for year-round health
COVID-19 or the Coronavirus is undoubtedly challenging to ignore. It is the topic of conversation with every social encounter, and it is the leading news story on all the stations. It is washing over our newsfeeds every few seconds. With all the hype and talk of the pandemic, now more than ever, stay calm and, well, clean.
We've heard the best defence against COVID-19 is hand washing. While that is true, there are other things you can be doing on the home front to battle this beast. Let's take a look at some of the top measures.
The spread of COVID-19 is primarily from invisible respiratory droplets that fly through the air when a sick person coughs or sneezes. Others inhale these droplets, and they land on surfaces. When a person touches the surface, they become infected when they feel their eyes, nose, or mouth.
It would only make sense to clean the surfaces in our home to ensure maximum defence against the virus. But, will your favourite go-to cleaner do the trick?
Bleach is the Bomb - But Use it Wisely
Studies show common household disinfectants, including soap or diluted bleach solutions, can deactivate coronaviruses on indoor surfaces.
The Centre for Disease Control (CDC) recommends using a mixture of bleach and water to disinfect floors. They suggest 1 cup of bleach mixed with 5 gallons of water to mop your floors is the most effective. Although this is one way to go, be careful when using bleach to disinfect.
Studies have shown that bleach is highly irritating to mucous membranes. People exposed to bleach fumes are at risk of respiratory troubles, among other ailments. So, although it works, use it sparingly.
Vinegar Is Versatile - and Very Affordable
If you are looking for something a little less harsh - and very affordable, vinegar may be an option. It is an all-natural disinfectant that contains acetic acid. Choose plain old white distilled vinegar. And while you are at it, you can use a vinegar spray on your fruits and vegetables to help kill germs and wash away potential pesticides.
It’s perfect for doorknobs, mirrors, porcelain, and most surfaces.
Hydrogen Peroxide is Persistent
Hydrogen Peroxide is not just for treating cuts and scrapes. It can also be used as a general household cleaner too. Make sure you store it in a dark container away from sunlight as the light will destroy its beneficial properties. The CDC reports that 3% hydrogen peroxide was able to inactivate rhinovirus within eight minutes. When you pour the substance directly on surfaces like your sink, countertops or toilets, you'll need to let it soak for around 10-15 minutes to give it time to do its job completely. After you let it sit, scrub the area and then rinse with water.
Don't forget about the germs on your toothbrush! You can use hydrogen peroxide to keep it fresh.
Tea Tree Oil is the Talk of the Town
Seriously. Ten years ago, people barely heard of essential oils. Now they are being used to treat a variety of ailments. Tea Tree Oil is versatile and can e used in a variety of situations. It is also known as Melaleuca Oil is one of the best natural alternatives to harsh cleaners. www.cdc.gov/disasters/bleach.html it's a great household cleaner when mixed with water. Because it's extremely concentrated, all you need is a few drops mixed with water to create an effective disinfectant. Mix it in a spray bottle and use on countertops, tile, door handles, sinks, toilets. It is even effective on soft surfaces.
Bonus Tip: tea tree oil is excellent for making your own hand sanitizer, disinfecting areas where pets may have had an accident or where kids may have gotten sick. There is no end to where you can use this natural powerhouse.
Disinfectant Wipes Are A Quick Defence
In a hurry? Use disinfectant wipes to go over surfaces quickly. Phones, doorknobs, sinks, cabinet handles, refrigerator doors, remote controls – the surfaces you touch most often in your home are a magnet for germs. Wipe down a couple of times a day. For the best results, let the surface air dry to kill any lingering bacteria or viruses. Tip: Don't have any wipes? Make your own by spraying a paper towel with a tea tree oil mixture.
Sprays are Spot on
For soft surfaces like sofas and carpets, a disinfectant spray will do the trick (most stores and pharmacies carry 70% alcohol spray). It would also work on mattresses, countertops or tables. A broad sweeping spray works best. Let dry before you walk, sit, or use the surface.
For more safe product information, the Environmental Protection Agency has a list of disinfectants that have shown to be effective in fighting coronaviruses.
And remember, during these uncertain times, remain calm and clean.