With the coronavirus outbreak still a persistent health issue facing the entire globe, how can we best keep our homes free of the illness? Plus, what kinds of precautions should we take to ensure the health of asthmatic and allergy-prone children from being affected by this deep cleaning? Dr. Ahmet Akçay of the Pediatric Allergy and Immunology Department answered these questions and more.
What is disinfection?
Disinfection refers to the act of cleaning an area with chemicals that remove or kill microorganisms that cause disease on living or inanimate surfaces. Laundry bleach is often used for disinfection of floors.
The Ministry of Health has published guidelines in the fight against the coronavirus, which have been updated frequently. This guide also includes products recommended for surface cleaning and disinfection as well as their specifications. Before cleaning, ventilate the room you wish to have cleaned first. According to the Ministry of Health's COVID-19 guidelines, it is sufficient to clean the floors and walls with chlorine-free hydrogen peroxide. The advantages here lie in the chemical's light smell, nontoxic nature and excellent cleaning properties and environmental friendliness. Cleaning agents containing hydrogen peroxide can be harmful to surfaces containing acrylic, zinc or copper. Before using bleach, it is wise to check if its expiration date as the substance should not be used after it has expired.
How should laundry be washed?
Do not shake your dirty laundry by hand, as this can cause any viral traces to spread. Try to wash the laundry at as high a temperature as you can – at 60 degrees Celsius if possible. You can wipe down the baskets you use to carry the laundry with bleach that contains hydrogen peroxide. If you have someone with allergies or asthma at home, do not use a fragranced softener.
What's the best way to clean carpets and curtains?
For soft or porous surfaces, such as carpets and curtains, it is necessary to remove visible contamination. These should be cleaned with specified cleaning materials as much as possible. If the items can be washed, this has to be done in line with the manufacturer's instructions using the hottest water, before being dried completely.
How can we protect children with allergies or asthma when cleaning the home?
Due to the fact that children are at home with us too these days, care should be taken when cleaning. This is because children suffering from allergies or with asthmatic lungs are very sensitive. Chlorinated bleach may trigger allergic or asthmatic symptoms in children due to their odors, with the child experiencing nasal congestion, sneezing, shortness of breath and coughing. This may even result in the need for emergency medical treatment – which is risky at the moment. For these reasons, it is best for children to be in another room while cleaning and to use bleach containing hydrogen peroxide with a light smell.
Can vinegar be used in home cleaning?
Unfortunately, vinegar is not recommended as a means of warding off the coronavirus, despite popular belief. It is not effective enough against the virus for proper disinfecting.
Where should one use chlorinated bleach?
Chlorinated laundry bleach should be used in toilets by diluting it in water by a 10th. Note that the diluted bleach should be used within 24 hours.
* When cleaning the home, it is best to use an odorless laundry beach containing hydrogen peroxide on the floors and walls.
* Due to the smell, chlorinated bleach can cause nasal congestion and asthma attacks in individuals with allergies or asthma.
* To reduce the possibility of adverse reactions to cleaning agents, environmentally friendly bleach that contains hydrogen peroxide, which has little smell, may be preferable.
* Cleaning with vinegar is insufficient in fighting the coronavirus.