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Cleaning and disinfecting your home is crucial to staying safe and healthy, especially during these uncertain times. Oftentimes, the differences between cleaning and disinfecting can cause confusion and most people aren’t sure how to properly disinfect different surfaces. With some help from the Center for Disease Control (CDC), we’ve put together a how-to guide for disinfecting different surfaces throughout your home.

Firstly, it’s important to note that cleaning and disinfecting are not the same! Cleaning refers to the removal of germs and dirt on surfaces by using soap and water. It doesn’t kill germs, but it lowers their numbers and therefore reduces the risk of infection. Disinfecting, however, refers to using chemicals to kill germs directly. You can find a list of EPA-approved household disinfectants here. Remember to always follow directions on the label, and take proper precautions like wearing gloves and making sure the room is ventilated. For disinfection, be sure any diluted household bleach or alcohol solutions have at least 70% alcohol.

Hard surfaces
High-touch objects (think: doorknobs, light switches, countertops, toilets, etc.) should be disinfected frequently to prevent the spread of germs. If the surface is dirty, first clean it off with soap and water. Then, disinfect using any of the EPA-approved disinfectants, making sure to follow all manufacturer instructions for concentration, contact time, and more.

Diluted bleach solutions can also be used on most hard surfaces. Never mix household bleach with ammonia or any other cleaner and be sure to use bleach in a well-ventilated area.

You can prepare a bleach solution by mixing:
5 tablespoons (1/3rd cup) bleach per gallon of water or
4 teaspoons bleach per quart of water

Soft surfaces
For softer surfaces like carpets, rugs or drapes, as usual, start by removing visual dirt or contamination with the appropriate cleaner for the material. After cleaning, launder items in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions using the warmest water setting and then dry items completely.

Electronics
Electronics such as tablets, touch screens, keyboards, and remote controls are often overlooked but can harbor a lot of germs and bacteria. If you can, put a wipeable cover on these items for easier cleaning. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning and disinfecting. If there aren’t any instructions, use alcohol-based wipes or sprays that contain at least 70% alcohol and dry the surface thoroughly.

Laundry
To clean and disinfect clothing, launder items according to the manufacturer’s instructions, using the warmest appropriate water setting and dry items completely. To prevent the spread of dirt and germs, do not shake out clothing before putting in the wash. If you are washing someone’s clothing who is sick, it is safe to wash with other people’s items, but be sure to wear gloves and immediately wash your hands afterward.

As always, if you have any questions or need some help with your heavy cleaning, we’re here for you. Give us a call today and we’ll get your home back to feeling like paradise.

Source: Center for Disease Control

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