Making sure you disinfect properly is essential especially before and after grocery shopping. According to microbiologists, there are essential steps you can take to properly disinfect before and after grocery shopping.
Most likely, like the rest of us, don’t go out much and only for the essentials. Although, we do have to grocery shop, right? And when we do, we must protect ourselves and others at all times. This means, we must disinfect properly before heading out the door and at home too.
Are Your Thoroughly Disinfecting Your Home And Yourself?
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When you stop to think about it, disinfecting everything is very stressful and time consuming. More so, it’s essential we all take the right steps to disinfect properly because vigilance pays off!
First of all, unless you had testing, you don’t know if you carry an illness and present asymptomatically. More so, you can expose yourself to the germs out there and put you and your family at risk. Either way, it’s important to educate yourself and make sure you take the right steps to protect yourself.
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to disinfect everything properly especially when grocery shopping. Today, I’m sharing with you, the steps I take to ensure I protect myself, family, and the public.
The Importance Of Disinfecting Properly
First of all, it’s important to understand the distinction between disinfecting and sanitizing. When we sanitize, it reduces but does not kill the occurrence and bacteria on any given surface.
Conversely, disinfecting a surface will kill any organisms and this is our goal. Although sanitizing is good, under our current situation, we want those nasty germs dead!
More so, according to a new study from the National Institutes of Health, COVID-19 can live in the air for up to three hours, on cardboard for up to 24 hours and on plastic and stainless steel for up to three days.
For example, Jeffrey VanWingen a doctor from Grand Rapids primary care said, “It’s time to start washing your groceries, so you’re not bringing the virus home.” You can see the video on how to clean your groceries below if you missed it.
After I watched this video demonstrating how to properly disinfect groceries, I followed his process to the letter. Of course, that’s not all we should do. Before I leave my home and after I return, I continue the process of disinfecting and sanitizing my home as well.
Steps To Disinfect Yourself And Your Groceries
Below, you’ll learn the disinfecting and sanitizing steps I take every day to protect myself and others. Of course, it’s a good idea to continue with this process even after the initial threat passes.
Practicing good hygiene is important regarding our current situation. We might not be quite as obsessed with cleaning but, good hygiene habits should be maintained.
First, before you leave for grocery shopping, make sure you have a face mask, antibacterial gel, and if possible, disinfecting wipes with you. Before I leave for the store, I wash my hands with soap for at least 30 seconds.
Then, I use a disinfecting wipe on the doorknobs, light switches, and car handles. I also wipe down the steering wheel as well. Since I’m at high risk and so is my husband, I make sure all the surfaces we touch are thoroughly disinfected.
Also, try not to wear any makeup on your face as it will create makeup grime on your mask preventing you from wearing it multiple times. Yes, for some of us, it’s difficult leaving home without makeup but highly advisable. You can get multiple uses out of your face mask if you disinfect it properly.
How I Disinfect My Face Mask For Repeated Use
It’s also very important to properly disinfect your face mask so you can use it over and over again. As you know, it’s very difficult to purchase face makes during these challenging times so reusing them is essential.
For example, if you have a cloth face mask you can wash it with deterrent and hot water. Then, it’s a good idea to dry it on a hot cycle in the dryer to kill off any remaining bacteria and microbes.
If you use a surgical or N95 mask, it’s important to follow the proper protocols for cleaning them. If you work in the healthcare industry, please be sure and practice the CDC guidelines for cleaning them.
Personally, I use 91% alcohol on mine and only use them several times before discarding them. If you can’t find alcohol you can wash your surgical mask as well. Please be sure to follow proper guidelines when doing so.
More so, I make sure not to touch my face mask when I’m outside or home and only handle them with by the elastic ear straps. Next, I place my mask in a clear Ziplock Storage Bag when I’m not wearing it.
For instance, I found a small clear plastic misting bottle filled with alcohol works best. I spray it before use and after I arrive home. Of course, you’ll want to spray the front and inside of the mask and keep from touching it afterward.
Please note, this is how I clean my mask and as mentioned above, be sure and follow the proper protocols for cleaning your face mask at all times.
Important: Make sure you label the alcohol bottle clearly to avoid any potential hazards.
Returning Home From Grocery Shopping
Now, this is where things get arduous and to put it bluntly, a huge PIA. Coming back from the store requires a lot of disinfecting. But this process ensures we did our best to disinfect properly our groceries, home, and person.
Below, you’ll find the disinfecting steps:
- Place all grocery bags in an area outside your home. Preferably, in the garage or on your front or back porch area.
- Once inside your home, wash your hands thoroughly according to CDC guidelines.
- After washing hands, disinfect doorknobs with wipes or soap and water if you can’t find them. You can also use alcohol to clean them as well. I also use disinfecting cleaning products as well.
- According to the Doctor VanWingen video above, clean your groceries and stow them away.
- Next, remove your dirty shoes, clothes, and outerwear and machine wash.
Remember, when shopping at the store:
- Always wipe down your cart with disinfecting wipes or spray with alcohol mister.
- Remember, try not to touch anything you aren’t going to buy.
- More importantly, don’t go to the store if you feel sick or have a fever.
- And always plan ahead to minimize your time in the store. You want to calmly shop but get in and out as fast as possible.
Of course, using antibacterial gel or spray creates an added layer of defense against germs, bacterial, and organisms. It’s not a replacement for washing your hands but as additional tool for you to use if you can’t get to water.
In addition, wear a face mask when outdoors at all times. Most states have mandatory laws for wearing face masks as well. And most of all, stay home if you can. Sit in your backyard or go for a walk and get some sun too. We all know how important sunshine is for our health and well-being.
I hope you gather some tips on how to disinfect your home and self during these challenging times. It’s important to remember, even when our world returns to “normal”, we will still need to practice good hygiene.
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Don’t forget to read 7 Great Tips On How To Fully Sanitize Your Home too!
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