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How To Clean Your Home To Reduce The Risk of COVID-19

Germs can be spread from person to person or by touching unclean equipment or surfaces. We now know, for example, it can live on surfaces for up to nine days and survives in the air for a few hours. We also now know that the virus particles are shed through saliva and fluids coughed up from the lungs.

The best way to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, is to wash you hands and disinfect day to day surfaces, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

Soap and water

Your primary method for eliminating the virus from surfaces is using soap and water. Soap disrupts the virus’s lipid shell, lifting it from surfaces, and rinsing it away with water.

Additionally, remember to wash your hands upon returning from shopping and wash your food as usual.


Sodium hypochlorite, the active ingredient in bleach, is highly effective in eradicating the virus. Allow the bleach to sit for 10-15 minutes, then wipe the surface with a clean cloth.

Bleach functions by breaking down the virus’s protein and ribonucleic acid (RNA), which is responsible for instructing the virus to replicate when you become infected. Always follow the instructions provided on the bleach bottle.

Surgical spirit

Surgical spirit primarily consists of the alcohol ethanol, which has been demonstrated to effectively kill COVID-19 in as little as 30 seconds. Similar to bleach, ethanol disrupts the virus’s protein and RNA structure.

Simply dampen a cloth with undiluted surgical spirit and rub it across a surface. It will evaporate on its own, eliminating the need for wiping.

Surface wipes

Surface wipes contain an antiseptic as their active ingredient, typically benzalkonium chloride. The wipes function by physically removing germs through the pressure applied when using them, causing the germs to adhere to the wipe.

Additionally, they leave a layer of the antiseptic on the surface, which is effective in killing bacteria and COVID-19 in mice and dogs. However, it appears to have no impact on the spread of human COVID-19.

Hand sanitisers

However, there is a crucial point to note regarding hand sanitizers. The primary COVID-19-killing ingredient in hand sanitizers is ethanol, the alcohol found in surgical spirit. The concentration of ethanol in the sanitizer is of utmost importance – it must be above 70 percent; otherwise, it will not effectively eliminate the virus.

One proactive measure you can take is ensuring regular ventilation of the spaces you inhabit. An infected person releases thousands of tiny droplets containing the virus each time they cough.

COVID-19 can remain airborne for up to three hours. By opening a window, you can disperse and remove these droplets, thereby reducing the viral load in the air and minimizing the infection risk for others.

We are living in uncertain times, but it’s reassuring to acknowledge that we possess tools to safeguard our homes.

The bottom line: keep washing your hands, use 70 percent hand sanitiser, dust off the bleach and open a window to let in the spring air. The Conversation

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