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Keeping Your Home Safe From Coronavirus

As more and more people are following stay at home orders, hopefully we'll begin to see all those efforts pay off as we flatten the curve while pursuing efforts to squelch the virus for good with a vaccine in the near future.

But for now, families are hunkering down in their homes, practicing social distancing when they do need to go shopping for groceries and other essentials and doing their best to protect their loved ones from risk of exposure. With that in mind, we thought we'd share a few tips we have run across detailing how to best sanitize your home and your groceries, as well as give advice on home deliveries, getting the mail and even taking the dog for a walk.

Keeping the inside of your home sanitized

Use disinfectant wipes to surfaces

Think about the things you touch multiple times a day -- doorknobs, sinks, cabinet handles, refrigerator doors, remote controls - and how many germs are lingering on those surfaces that you may not think about. Since home is where you're most relaxed, you may not be washing your hands in your own space often enough.

To keep the germs at bay, use a disinfectant wipe, like Clorox Wipes, Lysol Wipes or Purell Wipes, to quickly sanitize those areas. Once or twice a day should do the trick to remove germs, but if someone in your house is sick, you may want to wipe down surfaces more frequently. After you wipe the area, let it air dry to give it time to kill any bacteria that could linger.

Clean surfaces with a disinfectant spray

For areas like your couch and carpet that can't be wiped down, you can use a disinfectant spray, like Lysol, to go after unseen germs. Spray in a sweeping motion to cover the entire surface, then let it completely dry before sitting down or walking on the surface.

You can also spray down countertops, mattresses and tables. If you're out of wipes, you can also aim your disinfecting spray into a paper towel to wipe down sink handles and other smaller surfaces.

Use a bleach mixture to clean floors

If you don't take your shoes off when you come into the house, you could be tracking in viruses and other germs. To clean the floors in your kitchen and bathroom, the CDC recommends using 1 cup of bleach mixed with 5 gallons of water to mop your floors. 

You'll need to use a different disinfectant for porous floors - for example, if you use bleach on hardwood, it can remove the stain color. Instead, use a disinfecting wet mop cloth on your hardwood floors or combine half a cup of white vinegar with 1 gallon of water.

Clean up with hydrogen peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide isn't only effective for whitening teeth -- in fact, the CDC says that 3% hydrogen peroxide was able to inactivate rhinovirus within eight minutes. When you pour the substance directly on surfaces like your sink, countertops or toilets, you'll need to let it soak for around 10 to 15 minutes. This will give it time to completely do its job. After you let it sit, scrub the area and then rinse with water.

It's also safe to clean your toothbrush with hydrogen peroxide since the bristles can harbor bacteria. 

Keep your home protected with Microban 24

A new product released by Proctor and Gamble called Microban 24 claims to keep surfaces protected for 24 hours. The antibacterial cleaner comes in several forms, including a disinfectant spray, a bathroom cleaner and a multipurpose cleaner. Although it isn't on the EPA list, the company says that when it's used as directed as a disinfectant, it is effective against viruses, including the coronavirus.

If used every day, this can help prevent germs from living on surfaces in your home. A good method would be to start your morning off by sanitizing with the Microban 24 so that your house is protected all day.

Watch this video for tips on sanitizing groceries

Here's a link that anyone who goes shopping or gets food delivered should definitely watch:

Additional home delivery advice

If you’re ordering something for delivery, be sure that the deliverer doesn’t have to touch or interact too closely with you: ask them to leave the package at the door and knock or notify you, explain why you’re requesting that, and don’t pick it up until they’ve left. 

Consider opening the package outside

The virus can live on cardboard, but a new study suggests that it disintegrates rapidly on cardboard, unlike plastic or steel. So deliveries in cardboard boxes are unlikely to spread the disease. But, if you want to take extra precautions, you could open your packages outside, putting the cardboard packaging in an outdoor recycling bin, and then wipe down the contents with disinfectant before bringing them inside.

Dispose of packaging quickly 

Whether you're inside or out, once you’ve taken your items out of the box or bag they were delivered in, get rid of the packaging - that’s what was out in the world the longest. After that, sanitize any of the surfaces in your home that the packaging touched. Wash your hands. And keep on washing them for 20 seconds, many times a day. It’s easy to do, and it’s one of the most thorough protections against the virus. In fact, when you're done reading this, go wash your hands!

Getting the mail

Who would have thought something as routine as getting your daily mail would need a change in routine? Perhaps it doesn't as the CDC, the World Health Organization as well as the Surgeon General have all indicated there is currently no evidence that COVID-19 is being spread through the mail. But if you want to err on the side of caution, here are some suggestions:

·       Set aside mail for 24 hours. Designate a corner or room for new packages and leave them isolated for at least 24 hours.

·       Always wash your hands and refrain from touching your face after opening packages.

·       Wait for packages/mail to be left a safe distance away before collecting them.

Walking your dog

Getting out and getting some exercise is good for your dog as well as for you. Whether that's on neighborhood streets or in a park, make sure you maintain your social distancing throughout your walk. Refrain from petting other pets or letting people stop and pet your own dog. The virus can not only be transmitted onto dog hair, it can live there for a few days as well. Though it's believed that dogs cannot get the virus, it is important for them to practice social distancing as well with anyone not in your immediate household.

A few final tips

Wipe down your credit cards and do so again after every use. Wipe down your phone with a disinfectant wipe each morning as well and encourage everyone in the family to do the same. Right now, it's better to be safe, than sorry.