COVID-19 has been a mainstay in our lives for the better part of two years now and new variants seem to keep popping up. The latest Omicorn sublineages XBB and BQ.1 variants have been making their rounds. As of 16 November 2022, there were 1,976 COVID-19 new cases reported in Singapore.
If you or your family member are COVID-positive, it is advisable to self-isolate at home as home recovery is now the default model of care. But if you’re living in a household where you’re the only COVID-positive individual, you’ll want to take precautions.
Depending on the variant and type of surface, the COVID-19 virus can survive on various objects in your home, for a few minutes to up to five days. In turn, you may infect your loved ones unintentionally. To prevent that from happening, you should take care and thoroughly disinfect your home upon recovery.
5 Steps to Disinfect Your Home and Prevent COVID-19 from Spreading
1. Prepare Cleaning Tools and Disinfectants
Before getting down and dirty, prepare the essentials such as the different types of disinfectants and cleaning agents. Use disposable gloves and masks to protect yourself from inhaling toxic fumes.
The various disinfectants and cleaning agents contain different active ingredients. Here’s a list of active ingredients provided by the National Environment Agency (NEA), including the total number of minutes you should leave the product on:
|Accelerated hydrogen peroxide (0.5%)||1 minute|
|Benzalkonium chloride (0.05%)||10 minutes|
|Chloroxylenol (0.12%)||10 minutes|
|Didecyldimethylammonium chloride (0.01%)||1 minute|
|Ethanol (70%)||10 minutes|
|Iodine in iodophor (50 ppm)||10 minutes|
|Isopropanol (50%)||10 minutes|
|Povidone-iodine (1% iodine)||1 minute|
|Sodium hypochlorite||5 minutes|
|Sodium chlorite (0.23%)||10 minutes|
2. Air Your Room for a Few Hours
If you spent a week in an air-conditioned room to stave off the fever, it’s time to open your windows and air your room. You want to let the ‘dirty’ air out and let fresh oxygen circulate. Switch on the fan and point the fan towards your windows.
You may want to keep your room door closed when you’re doing the initial airing out of your room.
When you start cleaning, keeping windows open and ensuring the airflow is unblocked is advisable. The use of disinfectants in an enclosed room can cause noxious gases to accumulate. The smell can be overwhelming and toxic and may affect your health.
3. Wash Your Bedsheets and Clothes Immediately
The COVID-19 virus can linger on bedsheets, linen and clothes for two to three days. Once you’re fully recovered, place your infected laundry, sheets, and towels into the washing machine immediately and wash them.
It is also important to note that the infected clothing should not be mixed with clothing belonging to the rest of the household members.
Fabrics or objects like soft toys that cannot be washed should be wiped down with a disinfectant spray. Sunning the items also helps.
Ideally, you should have used a mattress protector when you were ill (if not, it’s a good practice to have!). You can wash your mattress protector together with your laundry.
4. Disinfect ‘High Touch’ Surfaces and Floors in Your Bedroom
Once done, it’s time to focus on mopping the floors and other various hard surfaces. Fill a bucket with a disinfectant solution, preferably with the active ingredients listed above.
Start by vacuuming or sweeping your floor, and then mopping the room you used to self-isolate. Once done, switch on your fans and allow the floor to air dry.
Next, soak a piece of cloth in a disinfectant solution and wipe down the surfaces you’ve come into contact with. This includes your headboard and ‘high touch’ surfaces such as light switches and doorknobs. Take note of the contact time according to the table above.
At this point, you can gather all the trash and tissues you’ve used into a trash bag.
5. Clean Your Bathroom
Next up, bathrooms. Bleach is often used in bathrooms to clean areas such as the sink, faucet, toilet bowl, and floor trap. Toothbrushes and body scrubs should be disposed of and replaced with new ones.
For items that cannot be disinfected or washed, avoid using them for at least three days after you’ve recovered.
6. Dispose of Trash and Items Used During Disinfection
Once everything has been thoroughly cleaned and disinfected, dispose of the gloves, masks, cloths and other items used during the cleaning process with your trash. The clothing used while disinfecting should be washed or disposed of immediately. Double bag and seal all the waste and throw it away.
The clothing used while disinfecting should be washed or disposed of immediately. Wash your hands thoroughly to get rid of any residual cleaning agents or disinfectants.
Congratulations, you are now done!
Feeling Overwhelmed? Contact Sendhelper
After you have recovered from COVID-19 and are not feeling up to the task of disinfecting your entire home alone, you can always get help from services like Sendhelper.
Sendhelper is a professional home services brand provider that can aid you in managing your home. From providing home cleaning to running tasks and errands, you can easily book a reliable provider through the Sendhelper app.
Come home to a clean space and clean state of mind with Sendhelper.
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