Coronavirus (Covid-19) information: How to keep yourself, your loved ones and your home safe.
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How to prepare your home for a virus outbreak

Taking coronavirus precautions starts with some simple and basic home hygiene habits.

Updated

Hand with a green cloth cleaning the kitchen countertop

Good hygiene is touted as the principal coronavirus precaution. This is as much the case in the home as anywhere, as viruses are known to linger for from hours to days on surfaces. Follow these cleaning tips to help properly disinfect your home.

Clean first, then disinfect surfaces

To begin with, you want to give your surfaces a proper clean. Regular household cleaners are usually sufficient to remove many of the germs around. After, you should disinfect surfaces using diluted household bleach (follow manufacturer’s instructions), common disinfectant brands or solutions containing at least 70 per cent alcohol. These will attack any leftover germs and will reduce your risk of infection.

Using nine parts cold water to one part bleach, use a clean cloth to wipe down frequently touched surfaces in order to disinfect them. With cleaning supplies sometimes being difficult to access, simply using bleach is a great way to disinfect surfaces. For surfaces such as mobile phones, computer keyboards and mouses, use a disinfectant wipe instead.

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Wear gloves when cleaning

Ideally, use disposable gloves and throw them out when you’re done (carefully removing them so as not to contaminate your hands). If you have reusable gloves, make sure to clean them thoroughly and don’t use them for any other tasks. Either way, wash your hands when you’ve taken off your gloves.

Target high-touch surfaces

A good coronavirus precaution is to look around your home and identify those items that you and your family come into contact with daily. Think light switches, doorknobs, bannisters, kitchen surfaces, taps, sinks, toilets. Don’t forget things like your phone, wallet and keys. Use a cloth or sponge to clean, and separate ones to disinfect.

Don’t forget your electronics

Remote controls, phones and computer keyboards are renowned germ collectors at the best of times. However, using sprays and harsh products can damage these devices, so you need to be careful. Make sure to power them down and unplug before you start. Use a damp microfibre cloth with a little soap and water to clean your phone. Some computer screens don’t take kindly to anything other than water – check your manufacturer’s recommendations. Disinfectant wipes that aren’t overly moist (you don’t want liquid leaking between the keys) can be used on the keyboard.

Maintain a routine

As well as regular cleaning, get into the habit of taking off your shoes (yes, footwear carries germs) and washing your hands after you come in the door. This is the time to give anything you’ve been out and about with – your phone, keys, purse or wallet – a clean, as well. Have tissues and sanitiser ready for people to take with them when they leave the house. Try to make good hygiene a routine for every member of the family.

Disclaimer:

The information in this article is accurate at the time of publishing. However, as the situation surrounding COVID-19 continues to evolve, it’s possible that some guidance may have changed since publication. While Cleanipedia is trying to keep our content as up-to-date as possible, we also encourage readers to stay informed on news and recommendations by using GOV UK and NHS.

Originally published