We all love a clean home. Few feelings compare to tackling the hidden grime in every room—and seeing your floors and countertops sparkle. Of course, COVID-19 has given us a whole new reason to break out the cleaning products. If the virus is lurking anywhere in your home, disinfecting it regularly can reduce the chances that your family members will contract it.

Here are five simple tips to help you disinfect your living space—and give you greater peace of mind…

1) Clean before you disinfect

Many homeowners aren’t aware that cleaning and disinfecting are two different things. While the former refers to the act of removing germs, the latter is all about killing them. That requires powerful agents such as bleach, or products specifically designed to do the job—such as Lysol disinfecting wipes and sprays.

To remove as many germs as possible from hard surfaces and leave them feeling smooth, start by cleaning. Wipe them down with soapy water, then apply your disinfectant once they’re dry.

2) Target the things you touch

When it comes to disinfecting your home, some areas need more attention than others. These include the spots that you and your family touch most—such as your doorknobs, light switches, and cabinet drawer handles. These surfaces are more likely to get contaminated than others.

To tackle the things you frequently touch, simply wipe them with a disinfecting spray or wipe. So long as COVID-19 is an ongoing concern, you should consider taking this step twice daily.

3) Focus on soft surfaces

Of course, it’s not just your doorknobs that can get contaminated. Fabrics that come into contact with germs may also pose a risk. That can include both the clothing that you wear outside of your home, and the floor mats and towels in your bathrooms.

Luckily, if you have a washer and dryer, you can significantly reduce the risk of infection within your home. While it’s not entirely clear how long COVID-19 can live on clothing, it’s a good idea to throw garments you’ve worn outside into a hot wash. The same is true for soft surfaces in your bathroom. Since moist environments can get especially germy, a good rule of thumb is to launder these items after every other use.

4) Have bleach on hand

When the pandemic began, disinfecting products weren’t always easy to come by. It may be easier to find name brand sprays and wipes on grocery store shelves now, but household bleach is still an affordable and effective option. It’s also highly versatile.

From your countertops to your bathroom sinks and everything in between, there are few things bleach can’t disinfect. You’ll want to use different concentrations depending on the surface, so make sure to dilute it according to the manufacturer’s directions.

5) Use microfibre cloths

If you’re like most people, chances are you touch your electronics a lot. From your remote control to your laptop to your smartphone, the devices you and your family enjoy can become breeding grounds for germs.

While dousing these items is a bad idea, there are safe methods for disinfecting them. The simplest is dabbing a microfibre cloth with isopropyl alcohol, then swabbing the surfaces.

As we adjust to the new normal, it’s important to stay vigilant about stopping the spread of COVID-19. Along with practicing social distancing, keeping our homes disinfected is key. By using these five tips, you can help keep your family—and the general public—safe.

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