Cleaning is not usually a hot topic of conversation, though it has always been one of our favourite things to talk about! These days, in this time of COVID-19, everyone is talking about cleaning. Cleaning is also more visible. At the grocery store we see cashiers cleaning the belt and the payment machine. Retail stores are posting notices with detailed explanations of their cleaning routine. Of course, stores have always been cleaned. It was done after hours, in the dark, when all the customers had gone home. COVID-19 has brought cleaning into the daylight, and into our daily routine of shopping and errands and moving about in the world.
What about cleaning and COVID-19 and your home?
If you are wondering about whether COVID-19 changes your house cleaning routine, we have some answers for you. First, let’s take a moment to understand what COVID-19 is. What we know is changing and evolving every week, as scientists and health care professionals learn more about COVID-19 and how it spreads. We do know that like other coronaviruses, COVID-19 spreads through direct or close contact with infected people via mouth and nose secretions. Sneezing, coughing, laughing, and even talking will cause small droplets of saliva to disperse into the air in front of us. To avoid contact with these droplets, it is important to take these precautions: staying at least 1 metre away from others; using a mask to cover the mouth and nose; and washing hands frequently, especially before touching your face. This is why wearing masks and social distancing is now common in our communities. Making this part of our daily lives is effective for limiting the spread of the virus.
Disinfectants for COVID-19
Health Canada has a list of products which they have registered as disinfectants for killing COVID-19 on surfaces. Note that natural green cleaning products are not known to be effective against viruses, which means that vinegar, baking soda, and lemon juice shouldn’t be used. These are wonderful cleaners, but if your goal is to disinfect, then you need something stronger. Here are a list of ingredients to look for:
- Hydrogen peroxide
- Quaternary ammonium compounds
- Ethyl alcohol
- Isopropyl alcohol
- Hydrochloric acid
- Sodium hypochlorite (chlorine bleach)
Pro tip: Always follow the instructions on the labels of the products you purchased, especially regarding dwell time. Dwell time is the amount of time a product must remain on the surface before it can fill viruses and bacteria.
When it comes to house cleaning and COVID-19, there are some recommended practises which you may not be used to doing.
Expert Cleaning Tips
- Remove shoes and leave them by the front door before moving through the house. This will reduce the amount of soil, debris, and bacteria entering your home from the outside world.
- Use disposable gloves
- Always follow the instructions on the labels of the products you purchased, especially the dwell time. This means the amount of time a product must remain on the surface before it can fill viruses and bacteria.
- Don’t make up your own dilution ratio - follow the instructions on the label.
- Never mix different cleaning products together. This can create a chemical reaction which is harmful for your lungs and the surfaces of your home. For example, never mix bleach with glass cleaner. However, adding essential oils to a mixture of water and dish soap is safe.
- Always clean before disinfecting. Cleaning means removing dust, soil, grime, and grease from a surface using solutions and tools like microfibre cloths, brushes, vacuum, and mop.
- Regularly disinfect high-touch point areas - these are doorknobs, faucets, toilet handles, fridge pulls, and cabinet handles
Professional House Cleaning and COVID-19
Since cleaning is our profession, we are serious about limiting the spread of the coronavirus. We recommend that when choosing a house cleaning service, you verify that they are following the precautions we practise:
- Staff work alone and not in teams packed into the same car each day
- A fresh mask is worn inside each home
- Hands are washed immediately upon entering each home, and then disposable nitrile gloves are worn for the cleaning visit
- Equipment is disinfected before entering each home, using with a product approved by Health Canada
- Microfibre cloths are laundered with a disinfectant approved by Health Canada
- High-touch points are disinfected at each home
Ensuring that your home, family, and the cleaning staff are safe during this time is our top priority. By following these recommended practices, we all do our part in keeping our community healthy and able to continue to move forward during this unexpected and novel time.
Concierge Home Services is here to help! Do you have questions about how to get started with us? We’re just a phone call away!