How to safely sanitise the surfaces in your home

We’ve all become much more conscious and diligent about killing germs on the things we touch daily, like computers, phones, counters, doorknobs and faucet levers. Italtile provides some in-depth best practices for keeping the surfaces in your home clean and virus-free while also preventing them from being damaged.

What disinfect and when

According to recent scientific studies, the coronavirus seems able to survive for the longest time on non-porous surfaces like Stainless Steel from anywhere from 2 to 9 days. And while varying factors can determine the lifespan of Covid on metal, transmission via surfaces at least is a well-established fact. For this reason, it is recommended that you frequently clean your stainless steel fittings and appliances, as well as chrome products, for optimal home hygiene. Transmission from person-to-person is a much greater risk than transmission via surfaces, but it is recommended that you clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces in your home at least once daily just to be safe, assuming contact with the outside world in some way, either a person leaving and returning or goods coming in.

Pick your tools carefully

Before you grab your strongest disinfection detergents and head for the kitchen and bathroom, please keep in mind that many abrasive cleaning products can damage surfaces in your home. The kitchen, or any area where food is prepped or consumed, is one of the best places for germs to hang around. There are many steel surfaces you have to touch, often as a matter of habit, that you can easily overlook places to keep disinfected even if you have the best of intentions. Washing with soapy water should do the trick in most cases: a few drops of dish soap to eight ounces of water. Although soap and water will not kill all germs, scrubbing with soapy water should be effective in removing coronavirus and other germs from surfaces.

Chemicals to avoid

If you choose to wash your stainless steel products and surfaces with anything other than regular or liquid soap, here is a list of chemicals and cleaning tools that should be avoided as they can cause pitting and corrosion over time: 1.         Chlorine 2.         Bleaches containing hypochlorite. Although sodium hypochlorite is very effective at killing the virus, it is not recommended for use on Stainless Steel. 3.         Silver dip cleaners 4.         Foods like citrus fruit juice, salt, vinegar, mustard, pickles and mayonnaise, left on the surface for prolonged periods 5.         Strong acids like photo developing liquids or denture cleanser 6.         Steel wool pads

Sanitisers and foggers

A number of sanitisers and disinfectant foggers contain chemicals such as chlorine.  These chemicals will cause stainless steel, as well as chrome-plated products such as your taps to tarnish and rust, and the use of these will void the validity of your product Warranty. Where the use of these products is necessary, always remember to clean with soap before disinfection to further reduce the risk of spreading infection. Any non-porous surface should stay wet with the disinfectant for at least 10 minutes before wiping with a clean towel to allow the sanitiser to work effectively. After sanitising, use a solution of dishwashing liquid and water to clean the products and surfaces after sanitising to remove the residue. This must include cleaning of the underside of your sink bowls where foggers have been utilised, in order to prevent the sanitiser damaging your stainless steel. Franke Inox Cream can also be used to remove residue from the surfaces after sanitising, but this requires a more intense cleaning process.

Remember to disinfect your cleaning tools

Cleaning of items such as cleaning cloths and mops should be rinsed with soap and hot water followed by a disinfectant or bleach solution. This should be done in a bucket rather than in your kitchen sink. Leave your mop and tools to dry completely once finished. Mop water is especially full of germs and dirt – don’t pour mop water into the kitchen sink. Instead, empty dirty water into the toilet and flush to keep germs from spreading from one area to another. It takes only a few minutes, but cleaning high-traffic surfaces once a day using these guidelines can make a difference in preventing the spread of infection.