A How-To Guide for Cleaning and Disinfecting Your Home

Steps to protect your family from the spread of coronavirus, flu and other illnesses. 

You work to make your home a safe haven for your family. You take steps to protect them from danger by having a preparedness plan for tangible natural disasters, like storms or floods. But how do you protect your family from dangers you can’t see, like germs and viruses? The same way—by having a thorough plan and following through with it regularly.  

Here’s a step-by-step, how-to guide based on CDC guidelines for cleaning and disinfecting your home to help protect your family from the spread of COVID-19, as well as other viruses. 


  1. Create a re-entry routine.

    If you are out of the house for any period of time, it’s important to disinfect yourself and any items you had with you to keep your home clean and safe. Here’s how: 

  • As you exit your vehicle, wipe down your steering wheel and car door with a disinfecting wipe. 
  • Put a basket by the door you use to enter and exit your home. 
  • Keep sanitizing wipes or an EPA-approved disinfectant spray next to the basket. 
  • Place any items you’ve carried with you outside of the house (like your phone, keys, wallet or purse and sunglasses) in the basket as soon as you get home. 
  • Wash your hands. 
  • Disinfect all the items in your basket. 
  • Wash your hands again. 


  1. Turn every sink into a functional hand-washing station.

    The CDC recommends washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. This should be done before eating or preparing food, after sneezing, blowing your nose or coughing, and after using the bathroom. Here’s how to make your hand-washing stations most effective: 

  • Stock each sink with a bottle of liquid hand soap (per the CDC, it does not have to be antibacterial to be effective, but pump bottles are considered safer than bar soaps.) 
  • Either stock each sink with paper towels, or launder hand towels daily. 
  • Place a step stool in front of sinks for children to use. 
  • Keep a container of sanitizing wipes on the sink as well, and wipe down the faucet handles, sink and counter at least daily. 
  • If soap and water are not available, an alcohol-based hand sanitizer (containing at least 60% alcohol) can be used. 


  1. Clean first, then disinfect.

    Using disinfecting wipes on countertops and other surfaces is not the same as cleaning them. Dirty surfaces can become a haven for germs, so it’s important to do both. Here’s how to clean AND disinfect the surfaces in your home: 

  • Clean countertops and other high-touch surfaces in your home (including, but not limited to: light switches, remote controls, doorknobs, desks, cabinet, faucet and appliance handles, devices and trash can lids) with a standard household cleaner that’s appropriate for the surface you’re cleaning. 
  • After surfaces are clean, disinfect them with an  EPA-approved disinfectant. Be sure to check expiration dates, as expired products may no longer be effective at killing viruses, and take note of the recommended contact times for efficacy.
  • If you don’t have access to an EPA-approved disinfectant product, you can use a solution of one-third cup of bleach to one gallon of water, or a rubbing alcohol solution that contains at least 70% alcohol. Take care with these options on marble, granite and other delicate surfaces. 


  1. Do your laundry the right way.

    Hot water and soap has been determined to kill the coronavirus. Here’s how to do your laundry properly to keep yourself safe. 

  • Avoid shaking your dirty laundry as you’re placing it in the washer, as shaking can spread viruses through the air. 
  • Use the hottest water setting possible, and dry your clothes thoroughly in the dryer. 
  • Disinfect your laundry bin after you’ve placed the laundry in the washer. (Or, if you have just returned home, remove your clothes and put them directly into the washer.) 
  • Wash your hands. 


  1. Get the kids involved.

    The current outbreak of COVID-19, coupled with the interruption of their regular school and play routines, is unsettling for children, to say the least. Help them ease their anxiety by getting them involved daily cleaning routines and engaging them in healthy practices. 

  • Tape a list of their favorite songs to the mirror over the sink and have them sing a verse of it while they wash their hands. 
  • Make cleaning fun by encouraging kids to imagine they’re vanquishing monsters. Make up songs about how they’re helping to ward off viruses and getting stronger as they do. 


In summary 

We’re living in uncertain times and navigating uncharted waters. Please know that this information is meant as a helpful guide to you and is based on the most current information available. Obviously, no one can guarantee that precautionary steps will be 100% effective. The best any of us can do is continue to do what we can to keep our families protected, from both tangible and intangible threats. It’s natural to feel apprehensive. However, taking proactive steps as a family to keep your home both clean and disinfected is a good way to ward off worry and feel safer. 


About Hays + Sons

For more than 38 years, Hays + Sons has been the property restoration company that families, businesses and schools trust. We’re committed to helping you be prepared when the unexpected strikes, and whether you need help with water damage restoration, mold remediation, fire damage restoration, storm damage restoration, contents restoration or emergency board-up service, Hays + Sons has the capacity and expertise to get you back to normal ASAP. 


The compassionate, experienced and trusted restoration experts at Hays + Sons are just a phone call away, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. With offices throughout the Midwest in Fort Wayne, Crown Point, Indianapolis, Columbus, Muncie and Lafayette as well as Cincinnati, Ohio, there’s a Hays + Sons near you. 


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