Spring Cleaning on a Shoestring Budget

As most of us are encouraged to stay at home these days to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, why not turn to do some spring cleaning? And you’ll be surprised that most items you need are already at home so you can keep your home tidy and sanitized on a dime.

Here are household items that will work against the coronavirus — according to experts.

Soap and detergent remove the viral particles that have attached themselves to surfaces and suspends them in the water, so they can be washed away. Make sure to lather up for at least 20 seconds to completely destroy the virus.

Bleach is effective in killing coronavirus and other germs. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends mixing 5 tablespoons (1/3 cup) of bleach in one gallon of water or 4 teaspoons of bleach in one quart of water. Be careful when using this harsh cleaner so make sure you’re wearing gloves to protect your skin. Don’t mix bleach with anything else but water and avoid using it on metal surfaces to prevent corrosion.

diy bleach solution for coronavirus

Alcohol that are at least 70 percent solution will kill the coronavirus with less potential for damage than bleach. Alcohol is safe to use for almost every surface so no need to dilute it.

Wipe clean high-touch areas around the house with the above-mentioned products — like faucet handles, doorknobs, stair rails, and countertops. Studies show that this virus can be detected for up to four hours on copper, up to 24 hours on cardboard and up to two to three days on plastic and stainless steel.

Important note: Dr. Paul Pottinger, a professor of infectious diseases at the University of Washington Medical Center says “To decontaminate a surface, you can’t just swipe it, you’ve got to scrub it, really scrub it until the entire surface is wet, and then let it dry on its own. The elbow grease and force that you put into the cleaning process can really pay dividends. You’ve got to physically wipe away the grime. The antiseptic agent is the additional measure of security that any virus left behind will be killed.”

Basic DIY recipes for cleaning your home:

Floor cleaner

In a spray bottle, add 2 cups warm water, ½ cup distilled white vinegar, ¼ cup rubbing alcohol, ⅛ tsp liquid dish soap and gently swirl to mix. Lightly spray 3-foot sections then wipe with a mop.

Window cleaner

Mix the following ingredients on a spray bottle – 2 cups warm water, ¼ cup vinegar, ¼ cup rubbing alcohol, 1 tbsp cornstarch. Clean windows as usual.

Toilet bowl cleaner

Spray vinegar in a bowl and on the outside. Wait 5 minutes. Sprinkle baking soda in a bowl and scrub with a brush. Use a dry cloth to wipe off outside.

Carpet deodorizer

Sprinkle baking soda on the carpet. Let it sit for about 20-30 minutes then vacuum.

Stainless Steel cleaner

Add a dab of dish soap, a little water, and clean along the grain to get rid of oil marks, smudges, or stubborn fingerprints. Repeat the process with the baby oil to polish. Use a lint-free cotton cloth.

Other essential to-dos that cost you nothing but elbow grease:

  • Sweep floors and yard
  • Dust furniture, appliances, shelves, etc.
  • Discard old or expired food in pantry, fridge, and freezer
  • Discard expired personal care products, makeup, and old medications
  • Flip mattresses
  • Recycle unneeded paperwork
  • Declutter tools, sporting equipment and toys
  • Clean the vegetation around your AC

Spring cleaning and donating unwanted items is a good way to pass the time as we try to protect ourselves from the novel coronavirus. Let’s make the most out of the situation and do what we can.

Spring Cleaning on a Shoestring Budget