If you’ve read any news source or turned on the tv in the past few weeks, all you’ve probably heard about is the coronavirus. We live in an area of the nation where the virus has affected, so you may be concerned.
You’ve probably also heard of some ridiculous ways that you can stay safe from getting sick. But what’s really true?
Should you really take baths in hand sanitizer? (The World Health Organization doesn’t recommend it.)
Or should you lock yourself indoors until it all passes? (Not coming into contact with anyone can certainly help you avoid catching any illness. But you have a busy life, and that’s not always feasible.)
As a cleaning service, our staff comes into contact with germs daily. We know you’re probably concerned yourself. So what should you do when it comes to keeping your home clean and your family safe, without compromising your values?
If you’re like us, you’re also concerned about the environment. You might be wondering if natural cleaning products are just as effective as the heavy-duty chemical products. Will your home still be clean and germ-free without bleaching every surface?
Let’s explore all of these questions and more, and see how you can help lower your risk of getting sick.
How our maid service helps keep your home clean
Are you looking for a little bit of extra attention for your house during this time, but you don’t want a maid service to use bleach on all of your surfaces? You’ve come to the right place.
We use natural cleaning products and focus on wiping down surfaces that you frequently come into contact with. You touch doorknobs, refrigerator and cabinet handles every day, but these don’t get cleaned as much as other surfaces in our home.
We’ll make sure that these get cleaned on a regular basis. This is important during all times of the year, but especially during the winter, when cold and flu season is at its peak.
You may be wondering how natural cleaning methods compare to bleach and chemical disinfectants when it comes to something like the coronavirus.
Bleach is one of the most potent disinfectants out there, removing 99.9 percent of germs. There’s no doubt that it is effective at its job.
But it’s also toxic and sends thousands of people to the ER every year. And if you’ve ever cleaned with bleach, you’ve surely noticed how it can burn your nose and lungs. The Association of Occupational and Environmental Clinics has named bleach as an asthmagen. That means there are signs it can cause asthma, not just make it worse in people who have it already.
Other traditional chemical disinfectants are also toxic. They contain things like hydrochloric acid and ammonia, which can cause chemical burns if they touch your skin. Even breathing in their fumes can cause harm to you and your family.
And these negative effects can increase if you use multiple cleaning products at once – which some cleaning companies and homeowners do without thinking.
Traditional cleaning products are largely unregulated, with up to 70 percent containing products that are unapproved by the EPA. Chemicals can react in unexpected ways. Unfortunately, by using multiple products together, you might not know what the true outcome is, or what fumes you’re really breathing in.
So while these products might effectively kill the germs in your home, they can also introduce nasty chemical fumes into the air, which can make your family sick in a whole different way.
Plus, they can exacerbate pre-existing respiratory problems. For instance, many common household products – including air fresheners and traditional cleaning products – contain chemicals that have been known to worsen asthma and disrupt hormones.
While there’s solid evidence that traditional cleaning products can kill germs, there are still a lot of unknown factors at play.
If you’re like us, you don’t want to weaken your respiratory system by trying to keep your house clean, especially when there’s risk of a virus at hand.
So can natural cleaning products help stop my family from getting the coronavirus?
When it comes to the coronavirus, you’ve probably heard that people with compromised respiratory systems are more at risk.
This particular virus is brand new and has spread quickly since December. Research is still ongoing, and there’s no cure as of yet. With that in mind, you should know that there’s also no guarantee that any one method of cleaning your house will stop you from catching it.
While of course we can’t make any guarantees that any one type of cleaning will protect you from getting sick, we do have our opinions.
And it doesn’t hurt to try and keep the surfaces of your house clean. It’s a great first step in preventing your family from catching any virus.
We will continue to only use certified natural cleaning products, with the aid of things like white vinegar and baking soda wherever possible. These can clean the surfaces in your home in a completely non-toxic manner, without aggravating your respiratory system.
As an example, white vinegar can be used to disinfect many surfaces. It contains acetic acid, which kills 99 percent of germs and 80 percent of viruses. With regular cleanings, your home will stay clean.
And unlike bleach, vinegar has not been found to cause asthma. It’s safe enough to ingest, which means you’ll be safe if you happen to come into contact with it.
Our other cleaning products are just as safe for your whole family.
What else can I do?
On top of keeping your house clean, there are a number of other things you can do to help prevent you and your family from getting sick. All of these recommendations are thanks to sources such as the CDC and the WHO.
Washing your hands is one of the simplest, most effective ways to keep disease-free, no matter if there’s an epidemic going on or not. Make sure to wash your hands for at least twenty seconds under warm, soapy water, especially after you’ve come back home from being inside, before you’re about to eat, or after you’ve sneezed.
Hand sanitizer works when you’re out of your house without easy access to a sink. However, it’s alcohol-based and will dry out your hands more than washing with soap and water. Whenever possible, stick to washing your hands.
Just like any other cold and flu season, practice good coughing and sneezing etiquette.
Cough and sneeze into your arm, and wash your hands afterward. Keep some distance between you and others if you feel like you’re about to sneeze.
Perhaps most importantly, stay home if you don’t feel well. Be aware of symptoms of the virus, and seek medical attention if you experience them.
Health officials are trying to stop the spread of the disease as much as possible. Since the coronavirus in particular is spread through particles in the air (coughing and sneezing), it’s vital to avoid contact with other people if you think you might be sick.
The main symptoms of the coronavirus are:
- Trouble breathing
If you experience any of these symptoms, or otherwise feel ill, stay home from work. Seek medical attention, and follow your doctor’s advice.
You can stay up to date on current information by visiting the WHO or the CDC websites. These official sites also have great resources to help you ease your fears and not panic. While we should all take this virus seriously, it’s also important not to panic.
Anxiety and fear of the unknown can sometimes be the worst part of an upsetting event. By staying calm and focusing on official resources, you can help ease your fears.