As the coronavirus spreads and the country is taking measures to slow the outbreak, it is important for you to do your part. This guide will detail the most effective ways to keep your bathroom sanitary and healthy.

How Long Does the Coronavirus Live on Surfaces?

The newly discovered coronavirus, or COVID-19, can live on surfaces for a number of hours, depending on the surface. A study done by the National Institutes of Health, CDC, UCLA and Princeton University scientists in The New England Journal of Medicine, says the virus is detectable on copper for 4 hours, aerosols for 3 hours, cardboard for 24 hours and plastic/stainless steel for about 2-3 days. Because the virus can be spread through touching a contaminated surface, it is important to constantly disinfect solid surfaces.

What are Effective Cleaners to Clean the Surfaces?

The first thing you should always do to your surfaces is to clean them with water and detergent. This is because some materials can react with some chemical, making them less effective.

Although the coronavirus is easily spread and has a relatively long life on some surfaces, there are many cleaning supplies that can prevent it. The easiest method is through the use of soap and water. Soap and hot water will destroy the virus. According to Richard Sachleban of the American Chemical Society, you should scrub the surface like you are trying to remove something sticky. Afterwards, throw out the towel or rag or leave it to sit in a bucket of soapy water.
Alcohol solutions with at least 70% alcohol are also very effective at killing the virus on hard surfaces. Clean your surface with water and detergent first, then apply the alcohol solution. Let it sit for 30 seconds and then wipe the surface clean. It is important that you do not dilute the alcohol.
Bleach is another great way to combat the virus. The CDC recommends that you use ⅓ cup of bleach for each gallon of water used in the solution. When using bleach make sure you have the proper hand, mouth and eye protection before you apply it. Bleach can damage some surfaces if it is left there for an extended period of time, so let the bleach sit for 10 minutes at most, then wipe it off. Bleach can discolor and damage some plastics, metals and some countertops, you will want to use it quickly and efficiently to ensure the longevity of your bathroom.
You can also use disinfectant wipes or sprays, but they aren’t quite as effective as the previously mentioned methods. It is a good idea to have them as a backup plan, but don’t rely on them.

Sharing a Bathroom With a Family Member?

If you are sharing a bathroom with another person or multiple people, you need to make sure you are all taking the proper precautions. First and foremost, under no circumstances should you be sharing any toiletries. The virus can be spread through the air and by contact, so make sure each person has their own set of toiletries. Keep your toothbrush, toothpaste and soaps in their own cases, and possibly label them to ensure the right people are using them.

Treat your bathroom the way you would treat any room during this outbreak and wipe it down after every use. This includes anything you touched, and even the fixtures that you may not have touched. At the very least, wipe your area down with disinfectant wipes in order to slow and eliminate the spread of any germs. It is important to note, that just because you are sharing a bathroom with your family members, doesn’t mean the virus won’t affect you or your loved ones.

How Should You Clean Your Office Bathroom?

Depending on the size of your workplace, a large number of people can be using a single bathroom. It is best to treat this in a similar way to how you would treat a home bathroom. It is of the utmost importance that everything is constantly being sanitized and cleaned multiple times a day.

Start with the door handle. Wipe the door handle down after every time it is touched. Keep some disinfectant wipes in the immediate vicinity to ensure this is being done. In the actual bathroom, take similar precautions. If your office bathroom has sensor activated soap dispensers or paper towel dispensers, do whatever you can to keep them clean and use them properly. After every time you use the bathroom, wipe down surfaces before and after you touch them, but do what you can to not touch them all together.

How to Avoid Touching Surfaces?

One of the best ways to slow the spread of the virus is to avoid touching surfaces directly. This can be a little tricky, but it can be done if you take the right precautions. First, you should always sanitize your hands before and after you touch any surface. Also, make sure you are washing your hands with soap and water for at least twenty seconds after using the restroom, before eating or touching your face. This will greatly increase the chances that the virus does not spread as easily.

If you absolutely need to touch a surface for some reason, there are several ways to be as safe as you can while doing it. For example, avoid touching anything with your fingertips. Instead, use the back of your hand to open doors or to press an elevator button. If you can’t, it is advised that you carry a pack of tissues with you. This way, you will be able to use the tissues to grab or touch anything without physically touching it. If you avoid physical contact with any and all surfaces, the chances of the coronavirus spreading will decrease.

Sensor Activated Faucets, Soap Dispensers and Paper Towel Dispensers

Some of the most important fixtures to have in a bathroom during this outbreak are sensor active ones. These are incredibly helpful in limiting the spread of the virus. When using these fixtures, be sure not to actually touch them. This will defeat the purpose all together. Be sure to use the fixtures without touching them to make sure that you and others are not contacting them and spreading any germs. If your work or home bathroom has any of these fixtures, make sure you are using them responsibly in order to protect yourself and those around you.

Important Practices to Follow

If you do have to go out in public for whatever reason, make sure you are following a few key guidelines.

  • First of all, always wash or sanitize your hands several times a day. You should be doing this before touching any surface. This includes your face, counters, keyboards and any other item that you may come in contact with. This is a top priority to stop the spread of the virus.
  • Cough and sneeze into your sleeve, not your hand. This is another incredibly important guideline to follow. Bacteria from a cough or sneeze can travel further than you might think, so it is important to act accordingly. In some cases, it is probably a good idea to wear a proper facemask.
  • If you experience any symptoms at all, such as a cough, fever or difficulty breathing, seek out medical attention immediately. If you don’t feel well and do not have medical access, stay home. Don’t go out and do anything that isn’t absolutely necessary.
  • Stay informed. Although it might be frightening, it is important to know as much as you can in order to educate yourself about the coronavirus. The more you know, the safer you and your loved ones will be.
It is important to note that individuals that have underlying conditions are at higher risk. People with heart/lung disease or diabetes will be at higher risk for developing complications from the COVID-19. If anybody you regularly come into contact with has any of these conditions, it is crucial that you do your part to stop the spread of the virus.