Housekeeping Tips: How to Keep Your Home and Business Safe

By Deona Easterson

Whether you’re working out of your store or a home office these days, keeping your family, employees and customers safe remains everyone’s number-one priority.

So when it comes to disinfecting your home or showroom during this health crisis, it is crucial to clean not just your hands, but all the overlooked areas within the four walls. Not only will this ensure a safer space but can help beat the boredom of being stuck indoors for long durations.

It is unknown how long the novel coronavirus can remain on various surfaces, but it is thought to be viable anywhere up to nine days on a hard surface compared to the common flu, which can last up to 48 hours. Fortunately, despite the limited amount of cleaning supplies available in stores, many of the cleaners that are already in your cabinets can kill unwanted microbes in your house and home office.

High-touch areas are the most essential areas to focus on. These surfaces include tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, phones, keyboards, handles, faucets, toilets and sinks. The CDC lists optimal methods for cleaning these surfaces and advises folks to wear gloves, wash their hands frequently, read product labels carefully (check for expiration), and to consider home-made cleaning solutions. A mix of 1/3 cup bleach per gallon of water, or one containing at least 70 percent alcohol, will make for an effective disinfectant, according to the EPA .

Surfaces should be scoured with antibacterial soap and water first and then disinfected with the cleaning solutions. And don’t forget about soft surfaces like carpets, drapes or rugs, which are often overlooked. These materials can be cleaned with antibacterial soap and water or laundered if possible.

Speaking of which, laundry is another soft surface that should be properly cleansed. Wear gloves, avoid shaking items, and set the washer to a high temperature. Remember to wash your hands after doing laundry and to clean the hampers as well.

Disinfecting your home and showroom can dramatically reduce the risk of contracting coronavirus and can prevent its spread if introduced. As always, contact your healthcare professional if you or anyone in your orbit presents symptoms of coronavirus (e.g., fever, cough, shortness of breath). The CDC has posted an online chatbot that can walk you through the symptoms.

Stay safe and be well!

Deona Easterson is a sophomore at the University of Wisconsin and the daughter of AVB Communications Coordinator Dori Easterson.