For sanitizing, diluted bleach or rubbing alcohol is the best option.
To deep clean your house, you’ll have to use hot water, bleach, and rubbing alcohol.
The Centers for Disease Control recommends using a diluted bleach solution or a 70% alcohol solution to sanitize high-traffic surfaces.
Here’s one sanitizer recipe with bleach: 5 tablespoons (1/3 cup) bleach per gallon of water or 4 teaspoons of bleach per quart of water.
Make sure to use proper ventilation when you use bleach.
Also check to see if your bleach is expired (bleach lasts about 9-12 months), since it has lost its disinfecting ability. If it smells less like bleach, get a new jug.
Tip: Mixing bleach with anything else but water, such as alcohol, could be deadly.
What if I don’t have bleach? You can use isopropyl or ethyl alcohol (70% at least, as per CDC recommendations), and it already comes pre-diluted too.
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Can I Use Too Much Disinfectant?
This EPA fact sheet mentions that some disinfectants can make germs become resistant to them.
This EPA list of disinfectants shows which disinfectants are best for killing COVID-19, so check your products against the registration numbers listed to see if they match.
Erica Marie Hartman, who works as an environmental microbiologist at Northwestern University in Evanston, IL and researches pathogen resistance, recommends soap, bleach, and alcohol for disinfecting.
What about all those disinfecting wipes on the shelves? Hartman says viruses can become resistant to the ammonium compounds present in them.
If someone is sick, disinfect all high-traffic surfaces like light switches, doorknobs, toilets, sinks, faucets, banisters, tables, and remotes at least once a day.
Contact time also matters in sanitizing surfaces. “Disinfection isn’t instantaneous,” says Hartman. [For a bleach solution], you want to leave it on the surface for 10 minutes before wiping it off. ”
According to new research from the National Institute of Health, as well as research from other organizations, coronavirus can live for up to one day on cardboard and three days on steel and plastic.
The Washington Post, however, mentions that you are most likely to get infected from the virus on surfaces within the first ten minutes and up to one to two hours.
Bleach: Not for All Floors
The CDC recommends using a bleach solution to sanitize nonporous surfaces like bathroom floors.
Don’t use bleach on hardwood or other porous surfaces and instead use a wet mop cloth to sanitize because bleach can stain these surfaces.
Cleaning =/= Disinfecting
Contrary to popular belief, disinfecting with bleach isn’t cleaning; you’ll need soap and water to remove dirt and grime, and then you can use bleach or rubbing alcohol to sanitize
Clothes and Killing Germs
Most washing machines do a great job cleaning clothes with cold water (ideal for saving energy), but to eradicate viruses, especially if you have a sick person at home, you’ll need to use the hot water setting and a hot dryer setting for 30-45 minutes.
You’ll still need to wipe your laundry hamper down like any other surfaces or use a reusable liner bag, which you can throw in the washer to get clean.
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What If I’m Bringing More Germs by Selling My House?
How do you even disinfect a house that you’re going to sell? Your agent can set up virtual showings and tours, which are a far better option.
Talk with your agent on starting a hygiene protocol (e.g., making visitors remove shoes or wear booties before entering), especially since shoes can bring in dirt and germs, and making them wash their hands or use hand sanitizer if you need to have someone come into the home.
Many agents are also stopping open houses.
Wipe down surfaces after every showing.
Lastly, take care of yourself when working with disinfectants.”Alcohol and bleach can be very aggressive on your skin, so wearing rubber gloves can help protect your hands,” Hartman suggests.