With the uncertainty that comes with a novel virus, it’s easy to see why many people have a scorched-earth mentality when it comes to cleaning their homes and workplaces since COVID-19 hit.
But it may surprise you to know that not only are greener cleaning methods up to the COVID-19 challenge, they are, in fact, the better choice – even during this pandemic.
The Virus Is Easy to Kill
There is good evidence that the novel coronavirus is one of the simplest to kill, because enveloped viruses like SARS-CoV-2—which rely on a protective lipid coating—are the easiest type to deactivate.
That’s why handwashing is so effective – the soap literally disrupts the virus’ fatty membrane thus breaking it apart and rendering it powerless.
So when it comes to cleaning a home or office, simply wiping down surfaces with soap and water — coupled with an EPA-registered disinfectant – will kill the virus on hard surfaces. (Be sure to read the label, many disinfectants require a dwell [or contact] time to be effective.)
Many porous (soft) surfaces, such as towels, linens, curtains or rugs can simply be laundered – the agitation of the washing machine and high heat of the dryer will destroy the virus. For an even greener approach, consider line drying – there is research that suggests sunshine also disempowers the virus.
There Are Disinfectants with Safer Active Ingredients
It’s tempting to choose conventional chemical cleaners, but there are proven options that provide a safer environment for building occupants and cleaning staff. Green Seal recommends choosing EPA List N products with one of the following active ingredients:
- Hydrogen peroxide (if it does not also contain peroxyacetic acid)*
- Citric acid
- Lactic acid
- Ethyl alcohol/ethanol/alcohol
- Isopropyl alcohol
- Peroxyacetic acid (if it does not also contain hydrogen peroxide)*
- Sodium bisulfate
*The combination of hydrogen peroxide and peroxyacetic acid is a designated AOEC asthmagen, so avoid products that contain both.
Some certified green cleaners are also concentrates designed to be diluted with unheated water, and thus, they prevent packaging waste and reduce the carbon footprint from transportation.
Indoor Air Quality Has Never Been More Important
The virus that causes COVID-19 appears to spread mainly from person to person, through respiratory droplets from an infected person, for example, when he or she coughs, sneezes, or talks. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
Some experts also believe it’s possible COVID-19 can be transmitted via aerosolized particles.
All of which means indoor air quality is more important than ever, particularly for those who are in a high-risk group, such as people with asthma or other chronic lung issues.
Sticking with EPA List N products that have safer active ingredients will provide better air quality for this group as well as other building occupants and cleaning staff.
After all, the enhanced cleaning and disinfecting protocols you’ve put into place are design to keep building occupants healthy and safe – they should not increase exposure to hazardous chemicals.
Bottom line: Using a green approach to cleaning and disinfecting during COVID-10 is not only effective, it’s better for building occupants.
Plus, it gives Momma Earth a bit of a break. Goodness knows she could use it.
If you are looking for a turnkey, evidence-based commercial cleaning and disinfecting solution WellNest can help. Contact us today via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, phone at (800) 791-2878, or through our website.