Amidst COVID-19, germs are more worrisome than ever. Never before have we looked at our kitchen counters, floors and bathroom tiles like they may be harboring microscopic organisms that could change the course of history – and the thought that your cleaning efforts aren’t thorough enough can cause some serious stress.
The truth is, not all cleaning products kill germs. The ones that do are labeled antibacterial. Concerned about one type of bacteria in particular these days? The Environmental Protection Agency has a list of cleaning products that are particularly effective at killing Coronavirus. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also has a thorough guide to household cleaning during COVID-19, including tips for which surfaces to focus on (don’t forget your remote controls and light switches) and how to safely handle rubber gloves.
To be sure that your antibacterial cleaning products are indeed killing bacteria, check the label for instructions. Many require that you clear off crumbs and other debris first to remove barriers between disinfectants and germs.
Labels will also recommend how long to leave a cleaning product on a surface for it to work, which typically ranges from 30 seconds to 4 minutes. To let a product do its job, apply it to a surface and wipe it around so it’s coated evenly. Then let it sit to dry for the recommended time before putting your household items back on it.
Cautious about being wasteful? Antibacterial wipes can be reused as long as they’re still wet, and some cleaning agents can be mixed with water in a bucket to be applied with a reusable rag.