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7 Home Sanitization Tips

One way to stay safe is by sanitizing—cleaning and then disinfecting—the surfaces in your home. The first action wipes away as many microbes as possible, while the second zaps the ones that are left.

Here is how to become the sanitary champion of your block.

Take Proper Precautions.That means wearing gloves when handling cleaning fluids and opening windows to vent fumes. Wash your hands well when you’re done.

Start with High-Touch Surfaces. According to the CDC, this includes “tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets and sinks.” That would seem to cover everything; if it doesn’t, add whatever else you touch a lot to the list.

Clean First. Don’t just wipe the surface down with a wet rag, either—use soap and water—before allowing to dry completely. This process makes the next step more effective.

Disinfect Second.You can use one of the sanitizers listed by the EPA here;> be sure to follow package directions. You can also use these products on things like shipping boxes and such grocery items as cans and milk containers.

Have Backup. Ok, we know: Trying to find some of these products is almost impossible right now. Fortunately, you can use plain bleach (check the expiration date), a third of a cup in a gallon of water (don’t add anything else). Allow it to sit for 10 minutes before wiping down; for bleach-sensitive surfaces, such as stainless steel or many countertops, rinse with water afterwards. Or you can pour undiluted hydrogen peroxide into a spray bottle and allow it to sit for a minute before wiping it off; like bleach, it can discolor some surfaces.

Don’t Forget Your Phone.Use 70% isopropyl alcohol and a soft cloth—paper towels are too abrasive. The phone should be unplugged and powered down.

Clean Your Clothes—and the Hamper. Wash clothes in the warmest possible water (check labels), and dry them completely. Clean and disinfect the hamper as well.

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**These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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