Can you catch coronavirus from packages? How should you do your laundry? Your usual household tasks might take a little more effort now that the coronavirus is spreading rapidly. We know the virus is transmitted through direct contact with respiratory droplets of an infected person (through coughing and sneezing), and touching surfaces contaminated with the virus.
Here’s how to keep you and your home clean during the pandemic.
How Long the Coronavirus Lives on Surfaces
According to the scientists of CDC, National Institutes of Health, and other institutions, the 2019 novel coronavirus can live for two to three days on plastic and stainless steel surfaces. That said, you should keep your home clean all the time. And if someone in your household is sick, it’s especially important to disinfect high-touch surfaces in your household every day. This includes doorknobs, handles, tables, countertops, keyboards, and light switches.
How to Clean Your Home
Cleaning and disinfecting high-touch surfaces in your home on a regular basis is important to lower the risk of infection. Here are some recommendations.
What Disinfectant to Use
If a surface is dirty, first clean it with soap or detergent and water. Then use a disinfectant product containing alcohol or bleach. Other natural products such as vinegar are not recommended. It might be hard to find disinfectant in some places like sprays and wipes, so just continue cleaning with soap and water. Diluted household bleach solutions may also be used on some surfaces.
Do not wipe cleaning solutions off as soon as possible once you have applied them to a surface. Many disinfectant products, such as wipes and sprays, need to stay wet on a surface for several minutes in order to be effective. Read the directions to make sure that you are using the products as recommended and to avoid damaging some items like your mobile phone and other electronic devices. Try using wipeable covers for electronics.
What about the package that just arrived on your doorstep? While that previously mentioned, not-yet-published study found that the virus can live for up to 24 hours on cardboard, the CDC asserts that chances are low that the virus spreads from packaging that’s shipped over a period of days at ambient temperatures. You can wipe them with the same solution just to make sure. And make sure to wash your hands after unboxing it.
Everyone in the house should clean their hands often, including immediately after removing gloves and after contact with an ill person, by washing hands with soap and water for 20 seconds. You can also go for an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if there is no soap and water. But if your hands are visibly dirty, washing them is essential.
Remember to keep your hand sanitizers away from fire or flame, and use it with adult supervision on children.
Household members should follow normal preventive actions while at work and home including recommended hand hygiene and avoiding touching eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
It is currently unclear how long the COVID-19 virus can survive on fabric, but this is how you can do your laundry at home.
First, remember that you should clean bed sheets, towels, and clothes regularly. Don’t shake dirty laundry to minimize the possibility of dispersing the virus through the air. Use soap or detergent and warm water. Dry your items completely to help kill the virus.
Wash your hands with soap and water, or use an alcohol-based hand rub afterward. It is also recommended that you wash or disinfect your laundry bag