Executive Building Maintenance is a cleaning company with 60 years of experience providing environmental services for hospitals, medical centers, and a myriad of other entities throughout the Midwest. We’ve asked them to write a guest blog for our communities. The following is their detailed guide to help the average homeowner effectively clean their home during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Even within your home under lockdown, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends:
- keeping a clean and hygienic household
- frequent hand washing
- avoidance of touching your face or other orifices
But cleaning the home to truly avoid COVID-19 spread isn’t quite that intuitive.
COVID-19 household cleaning instructions
For this protocol, you’ll need the following tools on hand.
- clean bucket you can easily move from room to room
- hot water
- rubber gloves
- rags for both washing and drying
Be sure to follow basic safety guidelines:
- Unplug any electrical appliances, and wipe with a damp cloth. Do NOT soak.
- To avoid damage to surfaces, test cleaning a spot of each surface first in an inconspicuous area.
The COVID-19 virus is transmitted by touching contaminated surfaces, and it is an airborne virus. The following instructions address both ways of transmission. Washing and frequently damp-wiping surfaces touched by household members can reduce the chances of transmission. Repeat efforts throughout the day on household items touched on a daily basis.
Clean with your eyes: if it looks dirty or has fingerprints, clean it. Wash the knob, pad lock face, and up to two feet surrounding the handle on both the interior and exterior sides of the door.
Clean all touch surfaces within the kitchen area, including:
- cabinet handles and drawer pulls
- refrigerator handles and interior drawers and shelves
- oven and microwave handles, knobs, and touch pads
- the face of the dishwasher
- garbage compactor face and/or disposal switch
A basic bathroom cleaning checklist is:
- both sides of the door handle
- entire sink area, with special attention to the faucet and handles
- entire toilet, with special attention to the toilet seat and handle
- tissue roll holder
- shower doors, or machine wash the shower curtain
- towel racks
Wash the following laundry surfaces:
- all control surfaces for both the washer and dryer
- lids and doors for both the washer and dryer
- handle of the lint trap
- bottle handles of all detergents, fabric softeners, etc.
Don’t forget these frequently-touched household items:
- remote controls for TV and other electrical items
- video game controllers
- computer mouse, keyboard, and mouse pad
- alarm key pads
- kitchen chairs and other chairs that are pulled out
- closet doors
- dresser drawer handles
- personal grooming items
- everything you touch in your car
- cell phones, tablets – remove them from any protective case and clean each item separately
The air you breathe
We recommend replacing the filter element in your HVAC system on a monthly basis at a minimum. The 3M company manufactures a high-quality filtration element available to fit most styles and sizes of “furnace filters”. Their technology claims to filter out airborne particulates, bacteria, and viruses.
We also recommend that residents have their HVAC ducts cleaned, especially if they have not been cleaned in the last two to five years. HVAC duct work can be a breeding ground for mold, bacteria, and viruses. We also highly recommend that the dryer ventilation duct be inspected, cleaned, and replaced if necessary. Same for the ventilation duct above the stove.
While you are on your COVID-19 spring cleaning mission, it’s a good idea to check and replace the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
This article was written by Chris Kiley and Vito M. D’Ambrosio of Executive Building Maintenance (EBM). Learn more about their COVID-19 expertise here. If you are interested in getting your condo association or business safe for occupancy, read about their COVID-19 cleaning service here.