Spring Cleaning: COVID-19 Style

By Michelle Moon

It’s that time of year again, Spring Cleaning! Although, this year the annual deep clean may look a little different in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

Finding the motivation to deep clean the home during this time may be tough as it may feel frustrating being stuck indoors, however organizing your space can make you feel better and more productive during these uncertain times.

Clean and organized space make us feel more relaxed, refreshed and reduce stress all which lead to improved mental health

During COVID-19, we want to focus on high-traffic areas in the home. If you have someone in the home who is an essential worker you will want to ensure that areas in your home like the entryway, doorknobs on the inside and outside of the home, as well as everyday items the essential worker is using like a purse or backpack are cleaned on a daily basis. Doing so will reduce the risk of those people bringing the virus into the home and possibly spreading it when they touch different surfaces.

Wiping down frequently touched surfaces in your home with disinfectants recommended by health authorities, cleaning kitchens and bathrooms more often, and doing plenty of laundering of towels and sheets will reduce potential transmission as well.

Cleaning of visibly dirty surfaces followed by disinfection is a best practice measure for prevention of COVID-19 and other viral respiratory illnesses in households and community settings.

Its important to note what products are best to use. Bleach, isopropyl alcohol and hydrogen peroxide are recommended by Health Canada and other authorities to disinfect for this novel coronavirus.

Common green household cleaners including vinegar, lemon juice, and baking soda are not considered effective in the fight against COVID-19 and are not registered disinfectants by Health Canada.

Here are some expert cleaning tips!

  • It’s important to clean surfaces first. Mop, dust, vacuum and clean appropriate surfaces with soap and water to remove dirt, grime and grease
  • Then use a disinfectant (compounds that are bleach, hydrogen peroxide, or alcohol based) that kills microorganisms, including viruses and bacteria
  • It’s critical to follow the directions on the label of any disinfectant you are using. The labels indicate whether the product is effective against viruses, what surfaces it can be safely used on, as well as how to properly dilute.
  • The labels also contain the formulation’s contact or dwell time, meaning the time the surface must remain wet in order for viruses and bacteria to be killed
  • If the surface dries before the prescribed dwell time, which can range from 30 seconds to 10 minutes, reapply the disinfectant
  • Disinfect counters, sinks, toilets, tables, and floors and concentrate on high-touch areas, including doorknobs, toilet flushers, fridge and cabinet handles, shower curtains, faucets, remote controls, phones and computer keyboards
  • If using a bleach product, open windows, turn on fans and limit your exposure to breathing in the fumes
  • Wash towels, bathmats and sheets on hot or sanitize settings and avoid shaking them out
  • If your normal cleaner is sold out, use dish soap and water

An effective all-purpose cleaning solution is 2 cups water, 1/2 teaspoon of dish soap, and if you have it, 5-10 drops of an antibacterial essential oil, such as tea tree oil, lavender, thyme, cinnamon or citrus

Some Important Notes About Donations!

We all have that one area or room in the home that becomes a dumping ground. Now is a great time to tackle it! Just beware that thrift stores and donation centres/bins are currently closed.

Most charities are not picking up donations from those bins, so after a day or two, your dropped off items start to go moldy and are no longer able to be considered as donatable items

So if you have anything you are wanting to give away, box these items up and label them as donations. Set them aside for now and identify the place you wish to take them once stores reopen.