Cleaning for the coronavirus – will everyday household products work?

Cleaning for the coronavirus – will everyday household products work?

cleaning-for-the-coronavirus
Photo by CDC on Unsplash

Been a little paranoid lately? We understand. The coronavirus (Covid-19) has wreaked havoc on the U.S. as well as the world lately. It has impacted our lives like never before. We are staying in our homes with our families more than we normally would, and if we have to go out, we are constantly monitoring everything we touch.

This virus is very new, so information and statistics about it are updated daily with different opinions on the severity of the disease from experts and some not so experts.

While we wait to see the result of this pandemic, there are a few things we can do to clean for the coronavirus in our homes using everyday household products and help protect ourselves and our family.

What is the Coronavirus?

In case you have been living with your family in the middle of the woods with no television or cell phone, here is a quick definition of the coronavirus. According to the Center for disease (CDC), Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person. This novel coronavirus was first discovered in Wuhan, China.

People can spread the coronavirus through close contact (approximately 6 feet or less) with one another through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. It also may be possible that a person can get the coronavirus by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their mouth, nose, or possibly even their eyes. But this is not believed to be the main way the virus spreads, and there are no documented cases of anyone getting the virus this way. The coronavirus may remain alive for hours to days on a variety of surfaces. 

Cleaning for the coronavirus

With the Springtime coming and a few extra hours at home due to a highly contagious virus, cleaning your house may be something you can do to somewhat relieve that paranoid, germaphobic feeling.

Although some are suggesting to increase your home cleaning schedule only if someone in your household is showing coronavirus symptoms or you live in an area with increasing cases, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

So what is the best way to clean your home when the coronavirus may remain alive for hours to days on surfaces? Here is what you can do:

What is a “Deep Clean”?

You may have heard on the news the term “deep clean”, something businesses, schools, and other places where a large number of people gather together are doing for disinfecting and cleaning for the coronavirus.

A “deep clean” for your home means going beyond your normal weekly house cleaning. It can include cleaning surfaces with a multi-surface soap or cleaner then using a disinfectant, cleaning areas you normally don’t clean and cleaning and disinfecting “high-touch” areas such as doorknobs, handles, light switches, toilet handles, remote controls, and counters on a daily basis.

All-out deep clean

If you decide to go for the all-out deep clean, you may be cleaning areas that you have not cleaned in months or even years. Here are some of the areas in your house you can focus on:

Bedrooms – move beds, dressers, clothes out of the closet and vacuum, vacuum, vacuum.

Kitchen – pull out dishes and clean the outside and inside of the cabinets. Pull out the food in the refrigerator/ freezer and clean the inside and the outside of it. Clean the inside and outside of the oven, burners, toasters, microwaves, and any other appliances.

Bathrooms – clean all areas of the bathroom, including the corners of the room and the shower.

Living room – move couches, tables, rugs, and furniture, then vacuum, vacuum, vacuum. Wipe off any dust using microfiber rags.

In all rooms, dust and clean ceiling fans, walls, and trim.

We are not going to sugarcoat it, this will be time-consuming, but your home will be clean and disinfected, and more than likely contain less dust, hair, dander, or any other type of allergen that causes allergies.

Cleaning then disinfecting

Regardless if you do the all-out deep clean or not, you will still need to do your regular weekly cleaning, but this time you will need to add an extra step. Cleaning for the coronavirus involves two-steps: first is physically cleaning or scrubbing a surface, and second is applying a disinfectant on the surface after.

Step one physically loosens and removes germs from the surface, and step two kills them. By doing this, you will reduce the risk of spreading the virus. Scrubbing with a detergent and water can tear open the coronavirus’s protective envelope, and then the disinfectant kills it.

Clean “high-touch” areas

There are some things in our homes that, if it wasn’t for a worldwide extremely infectious virus, we probably never think about how often they are touched and that they are touched by everyone daily. These are doorknobs (inside and outside), toilet and faucet handles, refrigerator handles, light switches, remote controls, and other surfaces throughout the house. Clean then disinfect these at least once a day.

Everyday household products to use when cleaning for the coronavirus

So, what type of products should you use for cleaning and disinfecting your home?  For cleaning your household, we suggest you use a plant-based or natural multi-surface cleaner (we recommend Miracle II). Spray the surface or object, then use a rag and water and firmly scrub.

For disinfecting the surface or an object after cleaning it, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has two common everyday household products listed as active ingredients on its List N: Disinfectants for Use Against SARS-CoV-2

Hydrogen Peroxide: Hydrogen peroxide is such a strong disinfectant because it has antiviral and antibacterial properties. Hospital workers use it to sterilize surgical tools. It is also a natural bleach and works well for whitening surfaces or grout (but keep it away from anything colored).

How to use it effectively: To get the most out of hydrogen peroxide’s disinfecting properties spray or pour it on a surface and let it sit for at least 60 seconds, then wipe.

Isopropanol 70% or higher (Rubbing Alcohol): Although rubbing alcohol can be toxic if consumed, it is a great disinfectant. It also has antiviral and antibacterial properties. Isopropyl alcohol is great for cleaning ink, oil, and grease spots off fabric and other surfaces. It will also remove gum and glue. 

How to use it effectively: To get the most out of isopropyl alcohol, apply it to a surface or object and let it sit for at least 30 seconds.

To learn more about hydrogen peroxide and isopropyl alcohol as disinfectants, visit here.

What else can you do to protect yourself and your family?

Now you have an idea of how to clean and disinfect your home for the coronavirus and what household products you can use. But what else should you do to protect yourself and your loved ones? Here is a shortlist:

  1. Frequently wash your hands for at least 20 seconds.
  2. If you have to go out, try to stay a distance of six feet from others.
  3. If you have to cough, cover it with a tissue or your elbow.
  4. Don’t touch your face.
  5. Clean and disinfect your phone screens frequently.
  6. Stay in your freshly cleaned and disinfected home.

Conclusion

There aren’t a lot of things we need to do, but the things we need to do, we need to do consistently and often. Just staying home and washing your hands will benefit yourself and your family.

If there is one good thing about the coronavirus, it is that you can kill it easily if you disturb its outer coating. Do this by cleaning and disinfecting the high-touch areas of your home.

If you have to go out to the grocery store and there are still no household cleaning products on the shelves, don’t worry the everyday household products – hydrogen peroxide and rubbing alcohol will clean and disinfect your home against the coronavirus.

To keep up-to-date on the coronavirus, visit the CDC website.

Check out our five quick facts about hydrogen peroxide and isopropyl alcohol here.

As an Amazon Associate Marigold & Ivy will earn from qualifying purchases.

Response to "Cleaning for the coronavirus – will everyday household products work?"

  • Hi there, I just cleaned my house today, and just now I read your post. Yes we do get a bit paranoia , don’t we. But a good clean is never a waste of energy. I actually didn’t go for the deep clean that you described. I don’t even have the disinfectants in the house. Over here in Hungary, no rubbing alcohol or bleach available anymore in any store. Really, Im not kidding. Where the whole world was collecting toiletpaper rolls, here there was a run on hand sanitisers, chlorine/bleach, and alcohol wipes or sprays. So I’ll have a look at your links, to find out if I can order them online. Thank you for all the tips.
    Meanwhile: good luck with your next blogs.

    • Thanks for the comment Angelique. It’s same way here in the U.S. I already had some rubbing alcohol and hydrogen peroxide in my house but I wanted to get some more. It took me about two weeks to find one small bottle of hydrogen peroxide. Stay safe!

    • Hi ,

      We are planning to do a deep cleaning in our house this week ,thanks for the products recommendations ,they sound like great product ,we may try them out once the one we have are finished .Nice and helpful article!

      Jim-kelly

  • Thank you for your tips. We also do regular weekly cleaning every day. This is so important. Ijust immediately apply a disinfectant on the surface, but I seldom do physical cleaning. High touch areas…..I clean it several times a day. Thanks for recommending the above cleaning products. A great informative article. Stay safe and I hope that the virus can disappear as soon as possible. Luckily, there are enough cleaning products in my city. No one is hoarding them.

  • Great article. I just cleaned my house yesterday and thought I did a pretty good job. But I didn’t use rubbing alcohol like you suggested. I used what I thought would be the best–Lysol disinfectant. I hope that covers me. Either that or I’ll be cleaning it again. You’re right, If we haven’t heard about this virus by now, you must live in the woods. That’s all that’s on the news these days. Or, maybe I’m just home a lot now. Good idea on cleaning the high-touch places, I did not think of that either. I guess I know what I’ll be doing today.

    Thanks for the education on this virus…It is appreciated.

    Brian

  • Marigold And Ivy,
    Lovely names… thanks for the post. The demand for hand sanitizer, anti-bacterial/Anti-viral cleaners, paper products is insane. Even the items you’ve recommended are hard to find at times.
    This too shall pass
    Bob

    • You’re welcome Bob and you’re right, it too shall pass. There will be some uncertainty and challenges we will have to go through first but we will all be stronger because of it. Stay safe and healthy!

  • Most of our cleaning is focused in the kitchen since that’s where most of the activity and all the food prep is as well as the bathrooms generally. We vacuum and sweep quite a bit too. Now that it’s Springtime (yay!) i generally do a more extensive home cleaning that includes exterior cleaning. So things like windows, sweeping porches and deck maintenance. Still a little too cold but I expect it will warm up soon around here.

    I’ve seen some folks wearing disposable gloves when grocery shopping so I picked up a box of 50 at my local Meijers. I’m guessing Walmart will probably have it as well. It’s a great way of keeping your hands clean when you are out and about. We’ve also started wiping down many of our grocery items since it’s assumed a lot of people handle it before it gets to me. Lastly, I would recommend you wipe down the interior of your car (steering wheel, door handles, windows & dashboard) too. We touch so many surfaces and not realize that getting in and out of our vehicles is just caring bacteria from one place to another. Don’t you think?

    • Hi Anne, those are some great suggestions and I totally agree. I heard one expert recommend that if you have food delivered to your home, immediately take it out of the container and put it into a clean container and throw the container it arrived in out and then, of course, wash your hands. The car is definitely a place you want to treat just like your home. Clean and disinfect the high-touch areas in it as well. Stay safe and healthy!

  • Hi. I really enjoyed reading your post it is a very hard and stressful time at the moment. Especially for those with loved ones suffering from the virus. I have 3 young children 2 of which are at high risk. One having diabetes and the other being only a week old. So we ensure our house is as clean as possible. This post was extremely helpful. Keep up the good work.

    • Thank you Russ. I understand what you are saying about your little ones, I have one as well. One good thing about being quarantined is that we can keep an eye on them and know who and what they are coming in contact with. Keep yourself and your little ones safe and healthy!

  • Thanks for the easy to understand run down on deep cleaning. I wish I had gone shopping earlier for all my wipes and disinfectants, because we usually do a Passover cleaning at this time every year anyway. I may try out some of your alternativef plant-based suggestions and see if they are even available. With 6 kiddos, everything imaginable is a high touch zone! I better get to work!

    • You’re welcome Annie. I hope it helps you get your busy home clean and disinfected, especially the high-touch areas. Keep yourself and your little ones safe and healthy!

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