With a number of "Shelter-In-Place" orders being issued and many people opting to stay home, it pays to be clear on the best practices for disinfecting.
Staying safe and staying healthy means more than simply avoiding close contact with other people. You should make certain that your home is safe and healthy, as well.
While we all like to think that our homes are clean and maybe even "spotless" much of the time, the truth is that what we can't see can certainly hurt us. And germs and viruses abound even in the cleanest of homes.
Avoiding COVID-19 With Disinfectants
The good news is that it's actually possible to keep your home and living spaces sufficiently cleaned and disinfected so as to prevent infections. The bad news is that we often go about it the wrong way.
First, some terminology.
Because of the widespread use of hand sanitizers and sanitizing wipes, especially in the aftermath of the Swine Flue pandemic of 2009/2010, there's a tendency to think of "sanitizing" as being the same as "disinfecting."
It's not really.
Here are some simple definitions:
- Cleaning: Removing dirt, food and other types of soil from a surface.
- Sanitizing: Reducing, not killing, the occurrence and growth of bacteria, viruses and fungi.
- Disinfecting: Applying a product to a surface to “kill” the microscopic organisms.
Robert Neitzel, director of operations, Big 3 Packaging in Philadelphia puts it this way:
"Cleaning a surface simply removes visible debris, dirt and dust. Sanitizing a surface makes that surface sanitary or free of visible dirt contaminants that could affect your health. Sanitizing is meant to reduce, not kill, the occurrence and growth of bacteria, viruses and fungi. Disinfecting a surface will “kill” the microscopic organisms as claimed on the label of a particular product."
Keep in mind, too, that not all products are created equal. As an article in Business Insider points out,
"According to Dr. Joseph Horvath, associate professor of medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases at the University of South Carolina Medical School, it is important to read labels and follow the directions on products. 'Products labeled as disinfectants will adequately kill viruses and bacteria if used correctly.' If the label promises to just 'sanitize' a surface, the fine print might say that it will kill 99.9% of the bacteria, but not mention if it's effective against viruses or fungi. You want to look for disinfectants as they can kill bacteria, viruses, and fungi when used properly."
Another point to bear in mind is that once is not enough. Infection and contamination is an ongoing and dynamic process. Every time someone in your household goes and returns home, they risk bringing some type of germ, bacteria or virus home with them. It may not be COVID-19, but no one wants to run that risk.
Here's a handy chart used by preschool teachers that spells out best practices for cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting:
[Courtesy of The Preschool Professor]
Get That Garbage Out of Your House
Another key tactic for maintaining a virtually virus and germ "free" home is to minimize the amount of household garbage left indoors.
All those used tissues, napkins and wipes might be "out of sight and out of mind" but they are likely hosting still-active colonies of microbes. If the COVID-19 is anything like some of its family members, some studies suggests it could survive on inanimate objects for well over a week.
And keep in mind that this coronavirus is not the only dangerous microbe to be concerned about.
We are still in the height of the "regular" flu season and, while the world is in a panic over COVID-19, people are still catching the flu.
According to an article at Health.com,
"So far, it looks like the 2019-2020 death toll won’t be as high as it was in the 2017-2018 season, when 61,000 deaths were linked to the virus. However, it could equal or surpass the 2018-2019 season's 34,200 flu-related deaths.
Overall, the CDC estimates that 12,000 and 61,000 deaths annually since 2010 can be blamed on the flu. Globally, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that the flu kills 290,000 to 650,000 people per year."
So, make it a point to regularly remove all garbage, trash and waste products from your home and dispose of it outside in whatever standard municipal waste container you might use. And, if your trash does not get picked up by a waste management company or government agency, you have options for getting rid of your garbage without having to do it yourself.
A Great Option for Your Household Waste
Whether you need our services several times during a cleaning project or just once after it is complete, our hauling professionals will ensure that the spring cleaning garbage and junk is out of your way so that you can get on with your work - or play!
Our team specializes in garbage removal.
We can be at your home or office in mere minutes, so call us today! Our crew is fully insured and well-trained, so you can trust them to get rid of your unwanted items in a professional and courteous fashion.
One of the best things about hiring Junk King is that we recycle much of the material we pick-up. This is proof of our commitment to being an eco-friendly removal service. If you have questions about what we do or what we believe, give us a call at 1-888-888-JUNK (5865).