Coronavirus can thrive in your home. Here's how to kill it

Coronavirus can thrive in your home. Here's how to kill it

The novel coronavirus is officially a pandemic and a national emergency. Not only do you need to be cautious when you're grabbing lunch, shopping in stores and moving about your usual day, but you also have to worry about the germs you bring home. Part of the best way to minimize your exposure to the disease known as COVID-19 is to keep your home disinfected and sanitized. 

Washing your hands frequently is one of the best steps you can take, but the virus can still cling to surfaces you carry with you into your sanctuary, like your clothes, shoes, car and even your phone . 

If you're worried you may have come in contact with someone who tested positive for the virus, or you just want to be extra cautious, you can use cleaning products like bleach and hydrogen peroxide to sanitize all the surfaces in your home. Make sure you focus on cleaning all the doorknobs, countertops and other high traffic areas during your deep clean.

Here are more ways to keep your home sanitized from the coronavirus, and other areas and items you should disinfect, stat.

Use disinfectant wipes to quickly clean down surfaces

Think about the things you touch multiple times a day -- doorknobs, sinks, cabinet handles, refrigerator doors, remote controls -- and how many germs are lingering on those surfaces that you may not think about. Since home is where you're most relaxed, you may not be as militant about washing your hands in your own space as you are in public places.

To keep the germs at bay, use a disinfectant wipe to quickly sanitize those areas. Once or twice a day should do the trick to remove germs, but if someone in your house is sick, you may want to wipe down surfaces more frequently. After you wipe the area, let it air dry to give it time to kill any bacteria that could linger.

Clean surfaces with a disinfectant spray

For areas like your couch and carpet that can't be wiped down, you can use a disinfectant spray, like Lysol, to go after unseen germs. I suggest spraying in a sweeping motion to cover the entire surface, then let it completely dry before sitting down or walking on the surface.

You can also spray down countertops, mattresses and tables. If you're out of wipes, you can also aim your disinfecting spray into a paper towel to wipe down sink handles and other smaller surfaces.

Use a bleach mixture to clean floors

Your shoes step on a lot of gross stuff during the day and if you don't take them off when you come into the house, you could track in viruses and other germs. To clean the floors in your kitchen and bathroom,use bleach mixed with water.

Note that you'll need to use a different disinfectant for porous floors -- for example, if you use bleach on hardwood, it can remove the stain color. Instead, use a disinfecting wet mop cloth on your hardwood floors or combine half a cup of white vinegar and 4 litres of water.

Clean up with hydrogen peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide isn't only effective for whitening teeth -- in fact,  3% hydrogen peroxide is able to inactivate rhinovirus within eight minutes. When you pour the substance directly on surfaces like your sink, countertops or toilets, you'll need to let it soak for around 10-15 minutes. This will give it time to completely do its job. After you let it sit, scrub the area and then rinse with water.

It's also safe to clean your toothbrush with hydrogen peroxide since the bristles can harbor bacteria.