How to Clean and Disinfect Items You Bring in Your Apartment

While quarantining from coronavirus, we always like to feel safe in our own homes. However, every time you return to your house or apartment from the grocery store or even just receiving a package, you're potentially introducing new germs into your home.

Even if you undergo regular cleaning on a normal basis, you may want to do some extra disinfecting to ensure that your home is truly germ-free.

Since we are unsure of exactly how long the virus can linger on surfaces, it's important to be aware of the potential risk inside your home. Utopia Management has been sharing the following recommendations with their tenants for cleaning and disinfecting their apartments. In addition to your regular cleaning, follow these steps whenever you leave your home, have someone inside your home or bring in objects from the outside.

When returning home

While ideally, we would never leave the house during a quarantine, we have to go out for essentials, and sometimes cabin fever just gets to us. At some point, you'll enter your home from outside.

Returning to your home is a key moment when you could potentially disrupt the clean sanctuary you've worked so hard to create. This is the time to employ these additional cleaning methods:

  1. As soon as you enter your home, place any objects you're holding on a designated surface.
  2. Immediately wash your hands with soap for 20 seconds.
  3. Change your clothes or take a shower if you were in an area with potential exposure, especially public places like a grocery store.
  4. Use disinfecting wipes to clean every object you just brought into the home. This includes your phone, keys and glasses that you touched while out. Then, wipe down the surface that these objects were placed onto.
  5. Disinfect all of the door handles you touched when you entered — this is very important because you touch these handles often and may not realize they're a potential point of exposure

washing hands

When having a guest

Of course, if you want to minimize your exposure, you should not have guests enter your home. However, if you have had to have someone in your home, for an emergency repair, for example, it's important to follow a similar disinfecting procedure:

  1. Use disinfecting wipes to clean all of the door handles they touched when entering.
  2. Immediately ask them to wash their hands and disinfect any objects they brought with them (phone, keys, etc).
  3. After they leave, wipe down or clean any objects they came into contact with during their stay, things like furniture and appliances.
  4. Wash your hands again.
  5. Wipe the door handle once they leave, as well. They may be carrying the virus, could have touched their face during their stay, and then touched the door handle again.

When receiving a package

Most people may not even think twice when they bring the mail inside, and online orders are becoming far more common while individuals are staying home. However, bringing in these foreign objects is still a risk, albeit a small one, because other people had to handle these items first. And you can't be sure that they wore gloves or employed clean working strategies.

  1. Immediately deal with the packages you brought in. Discard any unimportant mail items and determine a safe location to store important ones. Don't touch the stored mail for at least 24 hours. For boxes, immediately open the package and discard the cardboard packaging.
  2. Wash your hands.
  3. You may want to wipe down the contents of your package, but this is not absolutely necessary.

In all of these procedures, wearing gloves is always a good option. If you wear disposable gloves whenever interacting with new people or objects, you won't need to wash your hands as often. Additionally, it's a good idea to regularly wipe down common surfaces in your home, such as countertops, tables and chairs.

Safety is key

Of course, these guides may seem overwhelming or excessive, and it's your choice to employ some or any of these procedures. These methods, at minimum, will provide peace of mind that your home is completely clean.

Peter Evering Peter Evering, Business Development Manager of Utopia Management Sacramento, is an expert in apartment rental and property management. Utopia Management offers both commercial and residential property management at some of the lowest rates available.

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