How to help kill coronavirus in your homes and cars after you go out

How to help kill coronavirus in your homes and cars after you go out

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The coronavirus is causing countries and states to order residents to stay at home. In many places, you can still go out for essential errands, like buying food at the grocery storegrabbing take-out orders and picking up supplies from the pharmacy. This means you need to be cautious of surfaces you touch in public, like shopping carts, and cognizant of the germs you might bring home. Part of the best way to minimize your exposure to the disease known as COVID-19 is to keep your home disinfected and sanitized.

Washing your hands frequently is one of the best steps you can take, but the virus can still cling to surfaces you carry with you into your sanctuary, like your clothes, shoes, car and even your phone. Fortunately, the EPA has released a list of products that are considered effective at killing the virus.

If you’re worried you may have come in contact with someone who tested positive for the virus, or you just want to be extra cautious, you can use cleaning products like Clorox, Lysol, Microban and hydrogen peroxide to sanitize all the surfaces in your home. Make sure you focus on cleaning all the doorknobs, countertops and other high traffic areas during your deep clean.

Here are four ways to keep your home sanitized from the coronavirus, and other areas and items you should disinfect, stat.

Use disinfectant wipes to quickly clean down surfaces

Think about the things you touch multiple times a day — doorknobs, sinks, cabinet handles, refrigerator doors, remote controls — and how many germs are lingering on those surfaces that you may not think about. Since home is where you’re most relaxed, you may not be as militant about washing your hands in your own space as you are in public places.

To keep the germs at bay, use a disinfectant wipe, like Clorox Wipes, Lysol Wipes or Purell Wipes, to quickly sanitize those areas. Once or twice a day should do the trick to remove germs, but if someone in your house is sick, you may want to wipe down surfaces more frequently. After you wipe the area, let it air dry to give it time to kill any bacteria that could linger.

Clean surfaces with a disinfectant spray

For areas like your couch and carpet that can’t be wiped down, you can use a disinfectant spray, like Lysol, to go after unseen germs. I suggest spraying in a sweeping motion to cover the entire surface, then let it completely dry before sitting down or walking on the surface.

You can also spray down countertops, mattresses and tables. If you’re out of wipes, you can also aim your disinfecting spray into a paper towel to wipe down sink handles and other smaller surfaces.

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Products like 409 cleaner are not on the EPA’s approved list of products, so we suggest using products that come from the list, like Lysol spray, Clorox spray and Sani-Prime spray.

Use a bleach mixture to clean floors

Your shoes step on a lot of gross stuff during the day and if you don’t take them off when you come into the house, you could track in viruses and other germs. To clean the floors in your kitchen and bathroom, the CDC recommends using 1 cup of bleach mixed with 5 gallons of water to mop your floors.

Note that you’ll need to use a different disinfectant for porous floors — for example, if you use bleach on hardwood, it can remove the stain color. Instead, use a disinfecting wet mop cloth on your hardwood floors or combine half a cup of white vinegar and 1 gallon of water.

Clean up with hydrogen peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide isn’t only effective for whitening teeth — in fact, the CDC says 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 to 15 minutes. This will give it time to completely do its job. After you let it sit, scrub the area and then rinse with water.

It’s also safe to clean your toothbrush with hydrogen peroxide since the bristles can harbor bacteria.

What to use to clean your car

While you’re out, you’re exposed to germs and viruses that can follow you back into your car. A good idea is to sanitize these parts on a daily basis: Car door handles and controls, keys or start button, steering wheel, gear shift, seats, all buttons and knobs on your dash, sun visor, anything touchscreen, the console and cup holders.

You can use disinfectant wipes on most surfaces, excluding any leather and touchscreens. There are specific wipes made for cleaning your car’s leather. If your car has a touchscreen, you’ll want to use a microfiber cloth to wipe it down (unless your manual says otherwise). For cloth seats, a spray like Lysol is considered effective when given time to dry.

Other household items you should consider disinfecting

  • Your computer keyboard and mouse
  • Bluetooth speakers
  • TV remote and TV buttons
  • All frequently used electronics, like tablets and phones
  • Debit cards

As the world adjusts to the new reality of COVID-19 as a pandemic, we have more tips to help keep you protected. Here’s how to avoid the coronavirus with these Hand washing tips: How to properly clean your hands to protect against coronavirus and Coronavirus Cure: Vaccines and drugs in development to treat COVID-19

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