Perhaps the only thing sweeping the globe faster than the coronavirus is the selling of sanitizing cleaning products that may help reduce the spread of COVID-19 germs. There has been such an overwhelming demand for these items that hand sanitizer and wipes are largely sold out at almost every brick and mortar and virtual store in the nation. If you are one of the thousands of people that is having difficulty finding hand sanitizer and wipes, what can you do?
Many Americans are focusing on proper hand washing and are attempting to make their own disinfectant products. While hand washing is something we are hopefully already familiar with, for it to keep us healthy it must be done correctly. And though there is no shortage of do it yourself (DIY) recipes for hand sanitizer, it is extremely important to exercise caution when working with chemicals.
To better navigate protecting your home and the people in it against coronavirus germs, the below information about cleaning and disinfecting may be helpful.
Soap and Water Works Too
Although hand sanitizer can be an important part of keeping germs at bay, the traditional standby of soap and water can usually do an equally if not superior job when done correctly. In fact, soap and water can be better at getting rid of some germs than hand sanitizer.
To effectively clean the hands with soap and water, an individual should wet their hands, dispense soap, and then thoroughly lather their hands with soap for a minimum of twenty seconds before rinsing. Especially for younger children in which counting to twenty could be a challenge, another option would be to wash their hands until they have completed slowly singing the well-known song Happy Birthday.
It is critical for people to wash their hands any time they:
- Blow their nose
- Care for a sick person
- Eat food
- Go to the restroom
- Prepare food
- Return from being outside the home
- Touch pets
In addition to properly washing hands to minimize the spread of germs, it is recommended that individuals refrain from using their hands to touch their eyes, nose, mouth, and face.
Making Your Own Hand Sanitizer
In general, buying premade hand sanitizer can be best because it should be a more precise formula. However, desperate times call for desperate measures, which has many Americans that cannot find it in the store looking to make their own hand sanitizer at home.
Contrary to popular thought, a recipe for hand sanitizer should include just a few basic ingredients and typically calls for only two ingredients:
- 1/3 cup of aloe vera gel
- 2/3 cup of 99% isopropyl rubbing alcohol
While some may choose to add a drop or two of essential oils to their homemade sanitizer, it is important not to overdo. It may even be prudent to skip the essential oils all together if you have an individual in your home with asthma or other fragrance sensitivities.
Reusable Disinfectant Wipes
With the stores largely being sold out of or limiting the sale of disinfectant wipes, many people are getting creative and are making their own. To simplify the process, many are turning to the creation of reusable wipes via old washcloths.
The basis of a reusable wipe is generally three cups of distilled water, three quarters of a cup of rubbing alcohol, and a few teaspoons of a gentle dishwashing soap. Once the washcloths are reasonably soaked in this mixture, they should be ready to use.
DIYers must note that testing a small spot of any surface is recommended first to ensure there is no discoloration or damage done to the surface being disinfected. It is up to the consumer to exercise caution and good judgement when creating an at home disinfectant wipe. A wipe’s ability to properly disinfect is dependent on the ingredients, usage of ingredients, and correct application.
Ways to Disinfect Your Home
Even the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is urging Americans to consider the use of hand sanitizer and wipes to minimize the spread of germs inside the home. To reduce the spread of germs within the home, it can be a good idea to disinfect commonly touched items such as:
- Light switches
- Faucet handles
- Television remotes
- Any surface that is touched often
Although the entire home should be cleaned frequently, the kitchen and bathroom areas often require the most attention when it comes to limiting the spread of germs.
While disinfecting these items is key, to disinfect them daily is absolutely crucial for ensuring better protection against contagious germs. Many of us touch these items dozens of times a day if not more, making daily cleaning a necessity.
Take special care when using cleaning products. As hand sanitizer and wipes fly of the shelves of local stores, many consumers are resorting to using what they can find. Not all cleaners are created equal, and to use a large amount of multiple chemical-based cleaning products in a short period of time could possibly trigger complications for individuals who suffer from asthma or other serious breathing problems.
Officials are recommending that to flatten the curve of the coronavirus, residents should pay close attention to and follow advisories from city, state, and federal leaders. Most American cities are already being encouraged to work from and stay at home if possible. With an increase in the number of people staying home, cleaning and disinfecting regularly is imperative to help keep you and your loved ones healthy.