Video Editor: Purnendu Pritam
Camera: Athar Rather
With the second surge of coronavirus infections pushing India to the brim of a healthcare collapse, many are not only caring for kin but also recovering at home themselves.
While the initial paranoia about surfaces transmitting COVID-19 has subsided, it is important to sanitise your homes after a COVID-19 infection.
The National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have provided comprehensive guidelines to follow while cleaning and sanitising your house.
Here’s all you need to know about sanitising your home post-COVID.
What should I keep in mind before the cleaning process?
- Wear gloves before you begin any kind of cleaning.
- Wear eye goggles if there is a danger of the product splashing.
- Always follow the instructions on the disinfectant label carefully.
- Prevent chemical disinfectants from coming in direct contact with your skin as much as possible.
- Make sure the room you are cleaning is well-ventilated while using chemical disinfectants.
What should I use to sanitise?
- Water, household detergents, and common disinfectant products should be just fine.
- Tests have also proved the effectiveness of sodium hypochlorite.
- Use dust mops or damp mops for cleaning and sweeping, not a broom.
What precautions should I take while cleaning the infected person’s room?
- Make sure both you and the person isolating are wearing masks.
- Increase air circulation in the room by opening windows and switching on the fan while you clean.
How do I clean the floor?
The NCDC recommends the following steps:
- Prepare 3 buckets – one with plain water, one with warm water and detergent solution, and one with sodium hypochlorite (1 percent).
- Mop the floor area with warm water and detergent solution.
- Don’t pour the water directly onto the floor, use it minimally.
- Clean the mop in plain water.
- Repeat these steps across the entire floor area.
- After drying the area, use sodium hypochlorite (1 percent) to mop it once again.
How do I sanitise the mop after use?
- Cleaning the mop with hot water and detergent solution and disinfecting it with sodium hypochlorite should do the trick.
- Dry it upside down.
What surfaces/household items should I make sure to clean?
- Doorknobs and other surfaces that are touched often should be disinfected daily with sodium hypochlorite solution (1 percent).
- Tables, cupboards, benches, shelves, etc can be damp-dusted with warm water and detergent.
- Disinfect railings with sodium hypochlorite after damp-dusting them.
- Use a powder cleanser for cleaning the sink. Remember to wet the sink first if it is dry.
- Use detergent and a damp cloth, never a wet one, for cleaning lights and switches.
How do I clean the bathroom?
- It is preferable that the infected person uses a separate toilet from the rest of the household.
- Toilet surfaces should be disinfected daily with a regular household bleach solution or phenolic disinfectants.
- Use a scrubbing brush and soap powder for the toilet floor. Disinfect with sodium hypochlorite (1 percent).
- Clean taps and fittings with a damp cloth and detergent. Don’t miss wiping the underside.
- Clean the inside of the toilet pot with a long handled angular brush and the recommended cleaning agents.
What about electronic devices?
- If possible, get a cover or a screen guard that can be easily wiped over.
- Many disinfectants that are safe to use for electronics will contain alcohol, because it dries quickly.
If an infected person has left my house, should I wait before cleaning the rooms they used?
Yes. Wait for several hours if you can. If you wait for 24 hours, you no longer need to disinfect – cleaning is enough.