URMC shares tips on safe cleaning and disinfecting

Sam LaRocca
Updated: June 09, 2020 06:47 PM
Created: June 09, 2020 06:44 PM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — As the area continues its phased reopening, more people will be out and about.

So how do we stay safe and make sure we are not bringing the coronavirus home after being out in the community?

News10NBC's Samantha LaRocca attended a virtual briefing with the University of Rochester Medical Center about safe disinfecting during the pandemic.

URMC experts shared the best way to safely disinfect your homes, your groceries and the products that most effective against the COVID-19 virus.

“Cleaning agents for one thing for surfaces potentially shouldn't necessarily be mixed together at all in most situations and shouldn't be applied to the skin,” Dr. Timothy Wiegand said.

“It’s a real issue and something that is happening here and you want to make sure that people use cleaners safely and avoid hurting themselves or their children,” Dr. Katrina Korfmacher said.

So what should we use at home or what can we make at home to help disinfect?

“Using bleach because properly diluted can be an effective disinfectant, especially if people are having trouble getting to the store or getting supplies because a lot of disinfectants are in short supply,” Dr. Korfmacher said. “Knowing how to properly dilute and use bleach as a disinfectant can be a good strategy. Also using more than 70% alcohol or hydrogen peroxide for different kinds of surfaces can be appropriate.”

If you are to make your own product the key is making sure the concentration is appropriate.

“Most of the guidelines you will see 1/3 of a cup of bleach per gallon of cool water,” Dr. Korfmacher said. “We actually encourage people to think of a teaspoon and a cup. And that is because it's a really small amount and it's really important to use the bleach solution within 24 hours after you make it, because it starts to degrade after that.”

Another topic the doctors wanted to touch on was how to safely clean our groceries when we bring them home.

They mentioned that groceries and packages on groceries are not a big risk of exposure.

“It is also important to be sensible about when you bring things into your home and leave them out to make sure they are safe,” Dr. Korfmacher said. “You can wipe them down but be really really careful that you don't end up ingesting some of that cleaner accidentally. We really recommend just scrubbing with water. Some people have vegetable cleaners that they usually use if that's what they usually use and they are effective at rinsing them afterward. That's fine but we really recommend cool water and washing things really.”

Lastly, they spoke about over application and the harm of using some products.

“Over application, application to fruits and vegetables and ingesting the over cleaned groceries and accidental childhood exposure pediatric exposures are the most frequent thing that they are seeing,” Dr. Wiegand said.

So next time you are about to use a product, make sure it is not only safe for the surface you are cleaning, but if it is safe for your family when used.


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