It finally happened to you—whether your region’s lockdown protocols fell short, you’re a healthcare worker, or you were just in the wrong place at the wrong time, you contracted COVID-19 and had to quarantine at home.
For all of the news content about the virus, there’s shockingly little information about hygiene in the aftermath of a COVID diagnosis. Once you’ve recovered, how do you clean up to prevent infecting your family and visitors? Here are eight tips for cleaning your home after a COVID-19 contraction.
Consult the professionals
DIY deep cleaning might be the last thing you want to do after recovering from a respiratory illness, and it may not be the most thorough option. Professionals like ECS Crime & Trauma Scene Cleanup can help you disinfect your entire home in the wake of your diagnosis.
After a minimum of two weeks cooped up by yourself, you’re probably anxious to see people again. A professional cleaning agency can give you the peace of mind you need to entertain family and friends–while following the CDC social distancing guidelines, of course.
If your spouse tested positive, but you stayed healthy due to effective isolation or vaccination protection, take a clean-as-you-go approach while disinfecting your home.
If you’re the one infected, you might not have the energy to clean your home. If you’re asymptomatic, cleaning will give you something to do during your mandatory vacation.
When the infected person leaves their quarantine room to use the bathroom, grab a snack, or get the mail, make a note of the areas they touched, cleaning behind them each time they make a move.
Take one room at a time
Once everyone in your home has tested negative, it’s time to start the cleaning overhaul. But, instead of overwhelming yourself with the idea of cleaning the whole house, take a piecemeal approach.
Cleaning one room at a time can help you break up tasks, encourage you to take rest breaks for water and food, and accomplish your goals in an orderly fashion. It’ll also help you make sure you’ve covered all of your bases and cleaned every possible surface.
Don’t skimp on the small things
Don’t let the small surfaces slip your mind as you clean from room to room. Make sure to clean the following oft-overlooked places:
- Door handles
- Cabinet hardware
- Window latches
- Toilet and shower hardware
In addition, don’t forget to replace your air filters and your family’s toothbrushes to ensure a clean slate after a COVID-19 infection. Your air filter has been working hard to keep COVID-19 particles out of your home’s air supply, and your toothbrush has been in the germiest possible place throughout your infection—your mouth.
Cleaning thoroughly and replacing germ-infested items is just as important as getting vaccinated to prevent future infections among your family, friends, and coworkers.
Create an airlock near the front door
The cleaning process could take multiple days, but you may need to venture out after your quarantine period. Instead of bringing outside germs into your cleaning work zone, set up a disinfection area in your mudroom, foyer, or garage.
Use hand sanitizer, remove your shoes and spray them with isopropyl alcohol, place your used cloth mask into a laundry basket for future cleaning, and replace your clothes with clean ones in your airlock space. Then, proceed into your home and continue cleaning.
Use commercially manufactured products
Instead of using some combination of vinegar, water, and essential oils to clean your space, you’ll need to disinfect surfaces after a COVID-19 infection chemically. Use commercially manufactured products with standardized, effective disinfectants to ensure quality contaminant eradication.
As always, follow the instructions on product labels and follow CDC guidelines for cleaning after a COVID-19 contraction. Commercial-grade products and professional advice are the only things that will cut the mustard during this whole-home deep-clean session.
Keep kids and pets contained
There’s nothing worse than finally gathering all of the dust and dirt from your floors into a neat pile that’s ready for the dustpan only to have a small child or pet run through the pile and track all of the dirt back to its original location.
For efficient cleaning and fewer headaches, give your kids an activity to complete in their rooms and put pets outside or in their kennels to keep little footprints (and paw prints) from running through drying mop fluid, soaking disinfectant spray, and dirt piles.
Keeping kids and pets contained while you clean will speed up the process and reduce your childrens’ chances of touching a contaminated surface.
Make a checklist
For optimal efficiency, make a checklist for each room in your home, and check items off as you complete them.
Remember that you don’t have to start from square one for each new list. Start with a generic list (with items like sweeping, mopping, and wiping flat surfaces) applicable for all rooms and add room-specific items (like disinfecting the toilet or wiping down the TV remote) to each room’s list.
Checking off items as you go will help motivate you to continue cleaning and ensure thorough disinfection.
Cleaning away traces of COVID-19
Cleaning up after a COVID-19 infection in your home isn’t fun, but it’s necessary for preventing future infections.
With the tips above, you’ll create a safe, COVID-free home that might even be cleaner than it was the day you moved in. Yet, creating a clean haven is pointless if you’re going to track another infection back in, so make sure to get vaccinated as soon as possible after you recover.
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