How to: Clean and Disinfect to Prevent the Spread of Coronavirus in Your Home

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Whilst most short-term rental properties in Singapore enjoy the help of a cleaning service, many services are suspended for the time being as a safety measure. Additionally, even if your service has been continued, you may wish to take the extra step to regularly disinfect your accommodation. Contaminated objects and surfaces aid the transmission of disease, so maintaining a clean, sanitised and disinfected home should be prioritised.


Cleaning, Disinfecting, or Sanitising?

For a safe environment, it is important to understand the differences between the terms cleaning, sanitising and disinfecting. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention differentiates between these important terms as follows: 

  • Cleaning: The process of removing germs, dirt, and impurities from surfaces. Cleaning commonly involves using soap or detergent, and is not focused on killing germs, but rather removing them. Cleaning results in lower germ numbers, and reduced risk of spreading infection.
  • Disinfecting: The process of disinfection is aimed at killing germs on surfaces or objects through the use of approved chemicals. However, disinfecting does not remove dirt, so it is essential to clean the surface before disinfecting it. By killing germs, disinfecting reduces the risk of spreading infection. If of interest, you can read the US Environmental Protection Agency’s approved list of disinfectant products.
  • Sanitising: By undergoing the process of cleaning or disinfecting, the surfaces may become sanitised, which essentially means the number of germs are lowered to a safe level.


Disinfection Takes Time

An important element of disinfection that people often overlook is the time commitment that is required to sanitise and disinfect correctly. Disinfectants typically require 10 minutes of application / drying time. If sufficient time is not provided, the products may not successfully lower the number of germs. Some products also require extra time to wash the area where disinfectant has been applied after the dry time has elapsed. When using strong chemical products, it’s also important to follow CDC guidelines in addition to manufacturer recommendations.


What Should Be Disinfected?

Obviously, disinfecting every surface in your accommodation regularly would be excruciatingly time consuming. So where should you focus your disinfecting efforts? The answer is – high touch surfaces. High touch surfaces are frequently touched areas around your home. Oftens, hands are carriers for pathogens, so surfaces that people frequently come into contact with are at greatest risk of being contaminated. These would include, but are not limited to:

  • Door Knobs/Handles
  • Light Switches
  • Faucets
  • TV Remotes
  • Phones
  • Keyboards


How should I clean?

Now that you are equipped with the knowledge of what you should use to clean, and what should be cleaned, it’s time to learn about cleaning techniques that should be practiced on various objects. How you clean is important. By using poor cleaning techniques, you run the risk of re-contaminating the object you’re cleaning, while you’re cleaning it!

  • Surfaces: As mentioned earlier, it is important to clean surfaces first and then disinfect them. To clean, wear gloves used for routine cleaning or disinfecting, and clean the surface with soap and water. Then, use a disinfectant on the EPA’s approved list of disinfectant products mentioned earlier. One of the most effective techniques for cleaning surfaces is using an “S” shape to clean. This entails cleaning from one side of a surface to the other, without backtracking on any areas that you have already wiped. If you are using a reusable cloth, be sure to wash it after use, and ideally dry it in a sunny spot. For soft surfaces, first clean the item, then launder it if possible or use a disinfectant, and vacuum as usual. 
  • Dishes: When it comes to washing dishes and cutlery, hot water with detergent should do the trick. If you have the option, using a dishwasher is even more effective, since it can use hotter water than hands can tolerate.
  • Clothing: To give yourself the best chance to eliminate as many germs as possible, use a warm setting on your washing machine to clean your clothes and linen. It is also important to allow it to completely dry, as to not give bacteria a chance to fester. However, some clothing items do not cope well in a hot wash, so be sure to check the manufacturer’s instructions. If handling clothing of someone who is sick, be sure to wear gloves and do not shake the dirty laundry. 

For more information you can visit the CDC website.


Residential Air Cleaning Options

Having a system in place to clean and recycle the air through your accommodation can also make a significant difference when it comes to protecting your home from the spread of COVID-19. Some popular residential air cleaning systems to be aware of include:

  • HEPA Air Purifiers: High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters are electronic devices that can be found in a variety of air purifiers. HEPA pushes air through fine mesh to trap any contaminants, and claims to remove a minimum of 99.97% of any airborne particles with a size of 0.3 microns.
  • Air Cleaners: This is a broad term for any device that works to remove fine particulate matter from the air that is associated with respiratory distress, asthmatic episodes, and allergic reactions. Common cleaners include whole-house air filters, electronic precipitators, and UV germicidal lights. Many of these air cleaners claim to remove 95% of these particulates.
  •  Duct Cleaning: These devices target bacteria, dust, and other allergens, through utilising a vacuum for air ducts. This vacuum is known as a Negative Air Machine, these devices target bacteria, dust, and other allergens, and aim at the prevention of circulating bad air.


Whether you’re a long-term resident or staying in a short-term coliving apartment, maintaining a clean, sanitised and disinfected home is of particular importance during this time. By utilising the tips feasible for you suggested in this article, you can help to prevent the spread of disease within your home. 


As relocation experts, Relogo provides tailored short term accommodation search, moving and storage solutions, pet relocation, and school search, among other complimentary a-la-carte relocation services. If you are looking for more comprehensive help, our team also provides concierge service packages. We are happy to lend our expertise to any enquiries, so don’t hesitate to contact us now.