© Getty ImagesExactly how to clean your home during COVID, according to an infection prevention expert.
I've spent the majority of this year at home with my kids (hello, Melbourne lockdown fun times) and our house has copped a beating on the cleanliness front.
My husband and I both work full time, which doesn't leave a lot of time for chores. We need fast, efficient methods that actually work, and keep our home COVID-safe.
To get an expert opinion on cleaning at home in times of COVID, I spoke to the Senior Infection Prevention Nurse Specialist at GAMA Healthcare, Carla De Marco. Carla used to work in the Infection Control Department at the Royal Melbourne Hospital and was a Critical Care Nurse in the Intensive Care Unit. She is also mum to a two year old who has had two open heart surgeries in the last year.
In short, she knows pretty much everything there is to know about disinfecting your home and keeping your family as healthy as possible.
Carla De Marco, Infection Prevention Extraordinaire. Image: Supplied.
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1. We're trying to keep our homes clean while juggling all the things - work, family, Zoom catch-ups and staying sane. What works best for you?
In COVID times the most important thing is cleaning with an effective product, which has to come in the form of a two-in-one cleaner. If you want to clean anything properly you have to clean then disinfect it. Cleaning is about removing the organic matter, dirt and dust on surfaces and objects first. This allows the surface to be ready for disinfection, killing the bugs.
It's a bit like vacuuming. First you have to remove all the clothes and toys on the floor. Then you can effectively suck up all the dirt. If you want a clean house, you can't do one without the other. Using a two-in-one cleaner like Clinell Universal Wipes is not only efficient, it saves you time.
You also need to clean a whole surface, not just part of it. For example, if you're wiping down a table make sure you clean the whole table, or the bug could go on living on the bit you missed.
2. Why is it so important to disinfect surfaces and objects in our home?
A lot of bugs can live on surfaces for days, even months. COVID-19 can live on plastics and metals for up to three days. The most recent study from CSIRO has shown it can live on surfaces for up to 28 days. If you don't clean and disinfect the surface, the bug is still going to be there. While a lot of us are staying home, especially if you're in Melbourne, we're still getting heaps of deliveries and coming into contact with many surfaces.
For example, today I got a delivery and I immediately wiped it down. Kids especially are constantly touching things - at the park, at school, at the supermarket - so we need to be vigilant. If you come into contact with a contaminated surface going about your day, it's important you don't bring the bug into your home. Both cleaning and hand hygiene are essential in preventing transmission.
Remember to wipe down those deliveries and light switches. Image: Supplied.
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3. So you recommend Clinell Universal Wipes. Why are they better than what we see at the supermarket?
They are the only wipe available in Australia that is proven to kill COVID-19 in 30 seconds. They also kill 99.99 per cent of bacteria like Golden Staph and other viruses like Norovirus Influenza and Herpes Simplex. With a lot of other wipes and disinfectants, you have to wait 10 minutes for them to work and still have to perform a cleaning step first.
I also love that they're safe and kind to your skin, Clinell Universal Wipes have been dermatologically tested. I can wipe down a toy and my child play with it after it's dry without me having to worry.
I've worked in hospitals including the ICU and Clinell wipes are used in 60 per cent of hospitals in Australia. They have been developed by doctors to protect frontline healthcare workers and patients so you know they're the best of the best.
They're also super easy to use. All you do is wipe the surface and let it air dry. You can use them everywhere - in the bathroom, kitchen, living area, nursery, car - the list goes on. And I've definitely saved space in the cleaning closet.
4. That's a big claim - "the only wipe available in Australia that is proven to kill COVID-19 in 30 seconds". What sort of testing goes on behind the scenes?
All claims registered in Australia need to be backed by testing in an accredited laboratory. The Clinell Universal Wipe is the first wipe in Australia to be tested against the actual SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) virus rather than a surrogate virus. A surrogate virus is one that might show similar properties to COVID-19 but isn't the actual virus.
5. OK, so sum it up for us. What are your three top tips for cleaning your house during COVID?
First, use products that are proven to work or you're wasting your time. Second, make sure you're using a product that cleans AND disinfects. Third, look for products that are safe to use, especially if you have kids or susceptible family members.
After I spoke to Carla, I ordered the Clinell Universal Wipes from Officeworks and used them to clean our entire home. Unlike the other wipes I've been using they didn't wreck my nails and skin and I know that they actually work. You can also get them online from Amazon, eBay and BrightSky Australia, along with other leading retailers.