7 important personal items to deep clean during the coronavirus
7 Important Personal Items to Deep Clean During the Coronavirus
By now everyone is aware that we are in the middle of a global pandemic. The coronavirus or Covid-19 as it’s officially called has had a profound effect on society worldwide. Schools are closed, everyone is homeschooling, and employees lucky enough to have a job are working from home when possible. With widespread recommendations to stay at home and practice social distancing, a shutdown of all but the most essential businesses has made the world outside virtually unrecognizable. The need for personal attention to hand washing and defensive cleanliness has become a reality for all. While cleaning door knobs and countertops may be obvious here are 7 other personal items that you should consider giving a regular deep clean during this time.
(1) Smart Phone or Cell Phone
Your smartphone or cell phone is a shockingly germy surface. With multiple touches common all day long the opportunity germs and viruses’ to park themselves on the surface of these devices abound. A good practice would be to avoid touching your phone the same way you are advised to avoid touching your face. Maybe in a perfect world but in reality, our phones have become an extension of ourselves and use of them is constant. Begin with a deep clean of your phone. First wash your hands! Next, remove your phone from its case, unplug it from any cables or chargers and then power it off. Rub it down using a microfiber cloth to remove any loose debris and then use a disinfecting wipe or microfiber cloth dampened with a disinfecting cleaning solution and gently wipe down all surfaces avoiding the open ports. Leave to air dry for at least 5 minutes while you repeat the cleaning steps on the case. Finally polish all surfaces with a clean dry microfiber cloth.
(2) Your laptop or desktop keyboard and charging cables.
Keyboards are a high touch surface that seems to attract crumbs and dirt. Begin by turning your keyboard over holding it up and giving it a gentle tap or shake to let debris fall out. If necessary you can use a can of compressed air or even use a small handheld vacuum. Unplug your device and use a disinfectant wipe or microfiber cloth that has been sprayed with a cleaning solution to gently clean the surface of the keys and surrounding surfaces. You can continue on to clean all the surfaces of your laptop including any touch screens. Again using a fresh disinfecting wipe or clean damp cloth wipe gently along the length of any charging cables paying particular care to the ends.
(3) Personal Tech
Your smartwatch, fitness tracker, and earbuds are also easily overlooked items it’s important to consider when defending yourself against infection. These are all items you handle repeatedly and they run the risk of exposure to the virus. The steps you need to take to deep clean your smartwatch or activity tracker or non-porous surfaces of earbuds are similar to those used for your cell phone. You can again use a disinfectant wipe or microfiber cloth sprayed with an approved cleaning solution to carefully clean the solid surfaces of your device. You may need to avoid harsh chemicals when cleaning a smartwatch band as harsh chemicals can cause discoloration. However, they can tolerate the more vigorous rubbing of cleaning with soap and water. Just be sure to keep the liquid well away from the device itself. Earbuds may have the additional factor of silicon or foam cushions to consider. Removable cushions can be washed in warm soapy water and left to dry thoroughly. Non Removable cushions can be wiped with a clean damp cloth and then left to dry.
(4) Your Car’s Interior Touch Surfaces
If you use your car to get around when out on essential errands or travel to work during this time it’s important to make sure you clean surfaces there regularly. High touch surfaces like the steering wheel, door handles, the shift lever, wiper and turn signal arms, armrests, seat adjusters, and any buttons or touch screens in your vehicle are all important surfaces to give a regular cleaning. Nearly all of these surfaces in your car can be disinfected using a solution containing the CDC recommended 70% isopropyl alcohol. Using a microfiber cloth to avoid potentially scratching these surfaces begin with a thorough clean using any soap and water kind of cleaning product approved by your car manufacturer. Allow surfaces to dry thoroughly and follow up by disinfecting all surfaces. Avoid bleach or hydrogen peroxide in your disinfecting as both ingredients can damage your car’s interior.
(5) Remote Controls
Whether in your car for a garage door or entrance gate, or in your home for your TV, fan, or other product your remote controls will be touched repeatedly. Luckily they are a pretty hardy piece of equipment and can be cleaned and disinfected with solutions of either bleach or 70% alcohol. Always remove any batteries first as moisture is not their friend. Then clean surfaces carefully. You can use a dampened cotton swab or Qtip to clean between buttons when needed and a dry toothbrush or wooden toothpick can help get to any little crevices where dirt hides. After leaving to dry completely replace the batteries and you are good to go.
(6) Your Shoes
It makes perfect sense that your shoes would be a potential virus hot spot after leaving your house. They are in contact with some of the dirtiest surfaces out there the entire time you are wearing them. However you may not think about a need to treat them differently. This is a good time to take extra attention to your shoes and how dirty they might be. You may choose to simply leave your shoes outside the door anytime you return home. This is very effective but may not always be practical. If your shoes are machine washable this is the easy solution. If not begin with a thorough cleaning of your shoe using a solution of soapy water and a damp cloth. Let them dry completely. Then, after a spot test of the surface of your shoe to check for potential damage, you can use a solution that is 70% alcohol and 30% water to gently wipe down the surface and soles of your shoes.
(7) Your Face Mask
After much back and forth experts are now recommending that you wear a facemask when outside your home particularly if social distancing guidelines may not be possible to follow. When you remove your mask first either wash your hands or clean your hands with an antibacterial gel. Then carefully remove your mask touching only the ear loops or ties. Take care to avoid touching the other surfaces of your mask. When you return home you can throw your mask in the washing machine, hand wash in hot soapy water and dry thoroughly or even boil gently for a few minutes.
Take these steps to make sure you are doing all you need to defend yourself and your loved ones at home from any potential infection. While remaining at home and practicing social distancing is something we all need to do, there are times when leaving your home may be unavoidable. Whether you need to restock your groceries, attend a medical appointment, or simply go to work, take steps to ensure that you don’t also bring the coronavirus back home with you.