Protect yourself with these Cleaning and hygiene tips against COVID-19

Protect yourself with these Cleaning and hygiene tips against COVID-19

Can I be infected by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) from food at home? Should I change the way I do my laundry now? Even simple household tasks have turned into a source of uncertainty and anxiety as families struggle with getting them done all while minimizing their loved one’s exposure to the CovID-19 virus. Additionally, a widespread of misinformation regarding the virus puts everyone at risk and adds to the stress of having to filter fact from fiction.  

As confirmed by World’s Health Organization(WHO), we know the virus is transmitted through direct contact with respiratory droplets of an infected person (through coughing and sneezing), and touching surfaces contaminated with the virus. The virus may survive on surfaces for a few hours up to several days. The good news is even simple disinfectants can kill it. So what does this mean for your household?

To give parents a helping hand, we have compiled the latest information on what is known about COVID-19, verified by experts in these fields, a comprehensive guide on hygiene tips against CoVID-19.

Personal hygiene

Simple hygiene measures can help protect your family’s health and everyone else’s. 

Don’t touch your face

Cleaning and Hygiene tips to protect against CoVID-19 : Personal hygiene

Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth as these are where the virus can seep into your bloodstream and successfully infect you. 

Don’t cough or sneeze into your hands

Cover your mouth and nose with your elbow or tissue when coughing or sneezing. Dispose of used tissue immediately.

Keep your distance

Maintain a distance of at least 1 meter (3 feet) from people who are coughing or sneezing.

Wash, wash, wash your hands

Yes, you’re hearing it everywhere, because it’s the best line of defense. Wash hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20-30 seconds. 

Here’s an easy way to get the time period right, Just sing the happy birthday song twice in your head and you’re done! 

Make sure to wash hands after you blow your nose, sneeze into a tissue, use the restroom, when you leave and return to your home, before preparing or eating food, applying make-up, handling contact lenses etc.

If using a hand sanitizer ensure that it contains at least 70 per cent alcohol, ensure coverage on all parts of the hands and rub hands together for 20-30 seconds until hands feel dry. If hands are visibly dirty, always wash hands with soap and water.  

Did you know? Cold water and warm water are equally effective at killing germs and viruses — the key is using the right soap and wash your hands the right way!

Cleaning and Hygiene tips to protect against CoVID-19 : Cleaning Household

Cleaning the household

Cleaning and disinfecting high-touch surfaces in your home regularly is a very important precaution to lower the risk of infection. 

Make sure you follow the cleaning product instructions for safe and effective use,  and also make precautions you should take when applying the product, such as wearing gloves, face masks, goggles, and making sure you have good ventilation in the room you are cleaning.

Some national authorities have made lists of recommended products for use against the COVID-19 virus. 

High-touch surfaces to clean and disinfect

While every home is different, most common high-touch surfaces include: Door handles, tables, chairs, handrails, kitchen counter, cutleries, drawers, and bathroom surfaces, taps, toilets, light switches, mobile phones, computers, tablets, keyboards, remote controls, game controllers and favourite toys. 

What to use to clean and disinfect

If a surface is dirty, first clean it with soap or detergent and water. Then use a disinfectant product containing alcohol (of around 70 per cent) or bleach. Vinegar and other natural products are not recommended as it is not able to eliminate viruses.

In many places it can be difficult to find disinfectant sprays and wipes. In such cases, you may use diluted household bleach solutions to clean some surfaces.

How to disinfect

It’s extremely important not to wipe cleaning solutions off as soon as you’ve applied it to a surface. Many disinfectant products, such as wipes and sprays, need to stay on surfaces for a few minutes in order for the anti-bacterial properties to be in full effect. 

You can get these information by reading the directions to make sure you’re using the products as recommended and to avoid damaging sensitive items such as mobile phones and other electronic devices. Consider using wipeable covers for electronics. 

Cleaning and Hygiene tips to protect against CoVID-19 : Doing Laundry

Cleaning clothes

It is still unclear how long the COVID-19 virus can survive on fabric, but many items of clothing have plastic and metal elements on which it might live for a few hours to several days, with the longest up to 28 days!

Other than that, you should always practice extra caution and care. Good practices to consider include removing your shoes when you enter your home and taking a shower before changing into clean clothes after being out and about at crowded places, and washing your hands with soap and water immediately afterwards. 

Doing laundry at home

Always clean bedsheets, towels and clothes regularly. 

  • Do NOT shake dirty laundry as this will increase the possibility of you dispersing the virus into the air.
  • Launder items with soap or detergent, using the warmest appropriate water setting and dry items completely — both steps will help to kill the virus.
  • After completing your laundry, wash your hand thoroughly with soap, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer to cleanse your hand immediately.
  • Wash or disinfect your laundry bag and hamper thoroughly. You may also consider storing laundry in disposable bags instead.

Doing laundry outside your home

If you need to use laundry facilities outside of your home, take sensible precautions:

  • Prepare laundry before leaving your home to help minimize the amount of time you spend outside. 
  • Try to go at a time when there are fewer people. [Pro tip: during office hours is best if you can find the time]
  • Maintain physical distance with other people.
  • Wear disposable gloves if available, disinfect the surfaces of all machines before you use them and avoid touching your own face.
  • For indoor laundry facilities, wait outside for your laundry to finish if you can as an enclosed space increases your risk exposure to the virus.
  • Fold your laundry at home.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water, or use an alcohol-based hand rub, immediately afterwards.
  • Wash or disinfect your laundry bag/ hamper as well. Consider storing laundry in disposable bags.

If you don’t have access to laundry facilities, hand wash your clothes at home with soap or detergent and the warmest appropriate water.

Cleaning and Hygiene tips to protect against CoVID-19 : Handling Food Deliveries

Handling and preparing food

While there is currently  no evidence of people catching the COVID-19 virus from food or food packaging, it may be possible that people can become infected by touching a surface or object contaminated by the virus and then touching their face. 

The greater risk comes from being in close contact with other people while outside food shopping or receiving a food delivery (as receiving any delivery in areas with local transmission). As always, good hygiene is important when handling food to prevent any food-borne illnesses.

Food packaging and handling precautions

  • Remove any unnecessary packaging and dispose into a waste bin with a lid.
  • Thoroughly disinfect your food’s packaging with alcohol disinfectants (if possible) before handling them with your hands.
  • Remove food from take-out containers, place on a clean plate and dispose of the container. 
  • Packaging like cans can be wiped clean with a disinfectant before being opened or stored. 
  • Wash unpackaged produce, such as fruit and vegetables, thoroughly under running water.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water, or use an alcohol-based hand rub, immediately afterwards.

General food hygiene tips

  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before preparing any food.
  • Use separate chopping boards to prepare uncooked meat and fish.
  • Cook food to the recommended temperature.
  • Where possible, keep perishable items refrigerated or frozen, and pay attention to product expiry dates. 
  • Aim to recycle or dispose of food waste and packaging in an appropriate and sanitary manner, avoiding build-up of refuse which could attract pests.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before eating and make sure your children do the same.
  • Always use clean utensils and plates.
Cleaning and Hygiene tips to protect against CoVID-19 : Handling Parcels

Handling Parcels and Deliveries

Many websites and guideline neglects the importance of handling deliveries and your parcels. Well, not us. This is an extremely important step as virtually all parcels come from different stores, outlets, and homes, which is then all gathered at one place for departure – the warehouse.

This makes the warehouse indirectly a gathering spot for CoVID-19 virus. Which means it is also a common way of transmission of CoVID-19 yet commonly neglected by many households.

Handling parcels with precaution

This method may require you to purchase an atomizer spray gun. Where you can get them easily at Shoppee or Lazada.

  • Disinfect all parcels received either with an atomizer spray gun, using an alcohol-based disinfectant with at least 60% concentration, or a wipe down with a clean cloth.
  • Allow the disinfectant to sit on the surfaces for a few minutes for the disinfection to be in full effect.
  • After you have unpacked your parcels, dispose of the packaging immediately.
  • Give the items another wipe down or the atomizer spray gun to thoroughly disinfect your item if possible.

More about Covid

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