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Cleaning up COVID confusion

Last updated: 01-15-2021

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Cleaning up COVID confusion

Cleaning up COVID confusion
Jan 08, 2021  •   •  3 minute read
Eco-friendly disinfectants help prevent illness in the home. SUPPLIED
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Eco-friendly tips for everyday cleaning
A lot of what we know about COVID-19 has changed since it hit. Back then, many of us — myself included — were disinfecting everything that came into the house. Now we know it’s not necessary to wipe down the mail and understand that it’s more important to wash hands frequently, wear a mask around others, and keep our social distance.
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Though I no longer wipe packaged groceries with alcohol, I continue to do what’s always been part of my home hygiene — frequently cleaning and disinfecting handles, fixtures, and switches — all magnets for a variety of bacterial baddies that can make us sick. I also think it remains sound advice to wipe tins of food — which so many hands may have touched — before storing and opening.
Consumers working and schooling from home rightly continue to focus on indoor air quality. A study from Dyson www.dyson.com indicated that while outdoor air metrics improved in some cities during lockdown, there was a small but consistent increase in indoor contaminants. Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health was one of several authorities suggesting that increasing ventilation and purifying air while limiting occupants in a space could reduce infection.
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Given that public health experts have long known that well-designed airflow improves human health, it’s no surprise they began to ask how it could affect Covid infection. The response from Big Ass Fans www.bigassfans.com is a ceiling unit the Lexington, Kentucky-based company claims kills Covid in the air by combining germicidal UV-light and ion technology with powerful circulation. An average room, they say, would be clean in an hour. Bigger fans, which come as wide as 24 feet, could play a role in safer industrial, commercial, recreational, and institutional re-openings.
There are other simple ways to improve air quality. Reducing chemical use — another basic of eco-design — just got a boost from cleaning product manufacturer Libman, whose research suggests that water and friction are often sufficient to remove bacteria from surfaces.
Used with water, they say, Libman’s re-fillable Freedom Mop www.libman.com can remove 99 per cent of two species of bacteria — E. coli and staphylococcus aureus — common but nasty little germs. That makes it an eco-friendly tool for everyday cleaning. TIP: Keep one of their little brushes by the sink exclusively for scrubbing root vegetables and fruit.
When I do use disinfectant, I use product from reputable sources, like the Quebec-based Attitude www.attitudeliving.com, which sells refillable home clearing product online, some of it in bulk. The company has just added to its line up new disinfectant cleaners with a lavender/thyme scent, and five new unscented products.
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The pad for Libman’s Freedom Mop washes like a ribbon in the machine (air-dry it, though) and comes off the stick with minimal touching. In the spirit of reducing contact with germs, expect more and more homeowners to use motion and voice-detection systems for lighting, audio, and water.
Air quality can also be affected by materials like rugs, which can play host to hundreds of thousands of microbes. Korhani www.korhani.com has a new line of anti-microbial indoor/outdoor rugs ($29 to $999) that it says slow growth of bacteria, fungus, and mildew.
Made just east of Montreal, they are just one of several home products incorporating anti-microbial properties. Laminates from sources like Wilsonart www.wilsonart.com that inhibit bacteria, mold, and mildew and protect it from the stringent cleaning protocols, may set new standards.
Adding to a sense of cleanliness and calm are the fact that many of these now mimic nature so effectively; Wilsonart’s own pretty Wellness Collection is inspired by restful scenes of fog-misted mountains and layered skies.
Vicky Sanderson is the editor of Around the House, ww.aroundthehouse. ca. Check her out on Instagram@athwithvicky, on Twitter@ATHwithVickyand on facebook.com/ATHVicky.
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