8 Tips From a Pro Cleaner for Keeping Your Home Virus-Free

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With the Coronavirus running rampant, keeping your home clean and disinfected is more important than ever. We called on cleaning guru and essential worker extraordinaire Kadi Dulude of Wizard of Homes for advice on sanitizing your space so it stays germ-free, and she had lots to share. From steam cleaning your doorknobs to taking your shoes off as soon as you walk through the door, scroll down for eight COVID-19 housekeeping tips straight from the mouth of a pro cleaner.

1. Steam clean all of your surfaces.

Steam cleaners are appliances that use steam to clean and disinfect surfaces, while requiring minimal drying time. Good news: Dulude says the process is often effective enough to sterilize a space, too. "Take time to steam clean everything in your home, including the front door knob and any other 'high-touch' areas of your home such as countertops, tabletops, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones and keyboards," she says.

2. Disinfect everything.

"From now on (until Coronavirus is all cleared) assume that everything you touch outside of your home is infected," Dulude says. "Disinfect everything you possibly can. Take out trash (and disinfect trash bins), wash all dirty laundry (including sheets and towels), do the dishes. Be sure to wash dish cloths as well. Get into a habit of disinfecting the front door knob of your home after you've touched it and opened it for yourself."

3. Take your shoes off as soon as you walk through the door.

Your shoes are magnets for all kinds of harmful germs and bacteria, which is why Dulude says they need to come off the second you get home. "Always take off your shoes and leave them at the door," she says. "And if possible, keep them behind or outside the front door."

4. Wash your hands and change clothes right away.

"As soon as you remove your shoes, go straight into your bathroom (keep the bathroom door open so you don't have to touch it) and wash your hands with soap and hot water," Dulude says. "The next step is to change into clean clothes and to wash your hands again."

5. Handle dirty laundry accordingly.

While Dulude says you can keep using your usual laundry soap, she recommends washing and drying your stuff at the highest temperature possible to combat COVID-19. "Heat kills the virus," she explains. "Just remember to wash your hands after handling dirty laundry. And if you're handling laundry of a sick person, then wear a mask while putting the laundry into the machine. Wash your face and hands when finished."

6. Wash your produce as soon asap.

Like any other surface, your produce can also carry the Coronavirus. "As soon as you get back from the grocery store, put all vegetables and fruits into the kitchen sink and wash them, just as you would before preparing them."

7. Wipe down your groceries with rubbing alcohol.

"As soon as you get home from the grocery store, lay everything (except produce) out on your counter," Dulude says. "Spray or wipe everything down with 70% isopropyl alcohol and let it all dry for a few minutes before putting everything away. Then use the alcohol to wipe and polish the counter."

8. Approach cardboard boxes with caution.

"As with everything else outside of your home, treat your incoming mail and delivery boxes as if they are infected," Dulude says. "If possible, don't open them until they've sat in your garage for a day or two. If you must open them, do it outside your home, take the items and put the box and shipping materials directly into recycling. Go inside and wash your hands very well with soap."


Caroline Biggs is a writer living in New York City. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Apartment Therapy, Refinery 29, and more.

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