Accumulated dirt at home is the focus of viruses and bacteria that cause diseases. This is why we must learn to disinfect our home correctly, as well as use the right products, in order to provide family members with a healthier life.
Viruses are infectious agents that do not have cells, but rather are particles of RNA or DNA genetic code encapsulated in proteins, so they need to infect the cells of other organisms to survive and replicate, since they cannot reproduce on their own. In this process, viruses can damage cells and cause various diseases in the human body.
Although the most frequent form of contagion of viruses is by direct physical contact with an infected person, there is also indirect transmission, for example, through contaminated surfaces. This is why it is not only necessary to clean the house, but we must disinfect it to eliminate viruses and bacteria correctly.
Differences between cleaning and disinfecting
Many times we use these words as synonyms, but the truth is that they are different concepts, which it is necessary to understand if you want to know how to eliminate viruses and bacteria. Cleaning refers to removing visible dirt from a surface, for example, when we remove dust that settles on window panes. For its part, disinfection includes the elimination of microorganisms that cannot be seen with the naked eye, but that nevertheless cause diseases.
We can say that to clean a surface we only need a dry or damp cloth, while to disinfect we must spray a more specific product, such as ammonia or bleach. In this sense, it is not possible to properly disinfect an object if we have not cleaned it well beforehand, therefore, both processes are important.
Another way to disinfect is by applying heat, for this reason, there are appliances specially designed to sterilize surfaces, such as the hand steamer, which uses steam at high temperatures, so that it is not necessary to use dangerous chemicals. In theory, 70°C is hot enough to kill some microorganisms. However, it is necessary to clarify that the ability to survive and adapt may vary from one virus to another.
Home disinfection: where to start?
If you don’t know how to disinfect the house from viruses and bacteria, the first thing you should do is divide the cleaning by zones, prioritizing those that may be more likely to transmit microorganisms inside the house. In general, it is recommended to start with those objects that you grab the most with your hands.
Door handles and stair railings are crucial to prevent indirect contagion, so wipe these items down with a damp cloth and then apply a non-toxic household disinfectant. In addition, experts recommend cleaning these objects several times a day, especially if people who have been on the street constantly come home.
On the other hand, it is necessary to identify the busiest rooms in each house, such as the bathrooms and the kitchen, where there are usually taps and other objects that we use with our hands, so it is necessary to thoroughly disinfect them with special care. In this case, it is possible to spray a surface disinfectant with a sprayer, which is more practical and allows objects to be sterilized after each use.
Most microorganisms end up in the soil, so it’s important to clean daily and thoroughly disinfect at least once a week. Also, despite the fact that some viruses survive very little in textiles, there is a certain risk of indirect transmission, so you should not forget to clean the sofas, cushions, curtains and carpets in the house, especially those in high traffic areas..
There is another important group of objects that usually go unnoticed, but they are vehicles that transport viruses and bacteria, we refer to electronic devices, such as mobile phones, tablets, computers, keyboards; including remote controls for certain appliances. Therefore, you must use a disinfectant for Coronavirus and other microorganisms.
The best products to disinfect the home
When a disease caused by a new virus arises, many of us have doubts about which disinfects more, ammonia or bleach. In this sense, we can say that both are effective in removing the film of fat that covers viruses, making them powerful disinfectants to purify different surfaces. However, although ammonia disinfects the Coronavirus and bacteria, several studies have revealed that bleach is even more effective.
On the other hand, these cleaning disinfectant products are perhaps the most common in the home, but they can damage fabrics, so for certain objects it is necessary to use an alternative, such as alcohol, either ethanol or isopropanol in a concentration from 60 to 80%.
As for clothing, they are not generally considered virus transmitters, but this possibility is not ruled out, so the accumulation of dirty clothes in the home should be avoided. The solution is to put the washing machine on a hot water cycle and add the soap you always use, since when mixed with water and foaming, it creates a substance capable of breaking the lipid membrane of viruses, destroying them.
However, it is important to mention at this point the danger of trying to make a homemade disinfectant for the home, since some people decide to mix different products to increase their effectiveness, putting the health of the whole family at risk, since they can be form deadly chemicals.
In Spain, many use the Sanytol disinfectant cleaner for Coronavirus, since it allows to eliminate most viruses and bacteria without using bleach or other products that can be toxic. In addition, it does not emit gases, it is not abrasive, it does not stain clothes and it does not affect pets.
As we can see, there are different ways to keep viruses away from the house, but it is necessary to use cleaning products very carefully, since they can be as dangerous as the viruses themselves.