More than a billion-and-a-half people worldwide are engaged in some kind of self-isolation in order to help slow the spread of coronavirus. However, as essential trips are still allowed (and necessary), there are some precautions worth taking after venturing outside to pick up some essentials. Here are some everyday practices and household products that can help keep the virus at bay, according to CNET.
First and foremost, not all cleaners are created equally, so make sure you're using an EPA-approved product. Next, high-contact surfaces, including doorknobs, faucet handles, cell phones and remote controls, can be a hot-spot for germs -- including coronavirus. Brands like Clorox, Lysol or Purell will quickly disinfect these areas. A good rule of thumb is to wipe them down twice a day. If you're quarantining with someone who is sick or already immunocompromised, do so more frequently.
Other surfaces, like countertops, floors and furniture, can be cleaned with a disinfecting spray. While hard surfaces can be wiped down, for cloth or carpet, spray in a sweeping motion and let it dry before using it again. For floors with a hard surface, including tile or concrete, use one cup of bleach mixed with five gallons of water to mop. Wood floors, on the other hand, require a mix of a half-cup of white vinegar with one gallon of water.
Now, for sinks or tubs, which can harbor bacteria, you can clean them using hydrogen peroxide. Simply douse the surface of what you're cleaning with it, then let it work for 15 minutes or so before rinsing it with hot water. You can also use it to clean your toothbrush, which is a good practice to get in the habit of anyway. Especially during a pandemic.
Much like in your home, you can use the same disinfecting wipes to take care of all its high-contact surfaces in your car. This includes door handles, steering wheel and control knobs. If your car has a touchscreen, you'll want to check the manufacturer's specifics on what to clean it with. Like furniture, cloth seats can be sprayed with disinfectant and left to dry, whereas leather seats have their own cleaners.
As of Monday, there have been 140,904 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the U.S., with 2.405 deaths, according to The CDC. It's been predicted that the U.S. could see as many as 40,000 deaths from coronavirus before it's contained, which means social distancing guidelines will remain in effect for the foreseeable future.