The Cheapest Way to Decontaminate Your Stuff (And the Safest)

If you can’t find cleaning supplies…

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Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels

Don’t waste your disinfectant

The muggles are hoarding disinfectant as a substitute for street smarts. They flout social distancing guidelines, thinking six gallons of hand sanitizer and disinfectant spray will save them.

1. Stay the hell home

The less you go out, the less chance of touching the wrong surface, or breathing around the wrong person.

2. Buy less stuff

The less you buy (including online), the less you have to disinfect. I know, it’s tough. We’re used to ordering whatever we want, and it shows up on our doorstep 1–2 days later. You can’t do that right now.

3. Use the three-day rule

In case you don’t know, the coronavirus can last 72 hours max on plastic, and even less on other surfaces. It only lasts 24 hours on cardboard.

4. Make a COVID shelf or two

My family has re-purposed two shelves to put anything we buy or get through the mail. If it’s non-perishable, it waits three days.

5. Always wash your produce

Put your fruits and vegetables somewhere out of the way. Wash them with soap and water right before using them.

6. Re-bag whatever you buy

Experts agree that you shouldn’t worry that much about picking up viruses from the surfaces of groceries you buy. You’re more likely to get sick from being around asymptomatic carriers.

7. About your milk…

Your refrigerated goods (like milk) can’t sit on a shelf for three days. So either disinfect them, or wash them down real good with soap and water. It’s better than nothing. You have to lather and scrub. Then rinse.

7. Conserve your strong disinfectants

You don’t need a thousand alcohol wipes. What you should mainly worry about are what experts call the high-touch surfaces — door knobs, car door handles, faucets, refrigerator handles, etc.

  • After picking up groceries, come straight home
  • Leave “going out” shoes outside
  • Open bathroom door with elbows
  • Immediately wash hands
  • Disinfect front door knob (outside and inside)
  • Unbag all groceries outside
  • Put all refrigerated stuff in sink
  • Wash my hands
  • Scrub and rinse milk, hummus, etc, with soap
  • Wash my hands
  • Dry and bag refrigerated goods
  • Wash my hands
  • Put everything else on a shelf for three days
  • Wash my hands

8. Disinfectant should be the extra guarantee

Yeah, yesterday I forgot to kick my “going out” shoes off before I came in. So I promptly poured one tablespoon of Pine-sol into a bowl of water, swirled with a rag, and wiped off where I’d stepped.

9. It shouldn’t be the go-to

If you’re smart and patient, you don’t need to bathe everything you buy in alcohol wipes. You don’t have to douse everything with Lysol. This is lazy. And it’s also not that healthy.

You can’t panic-spray your life

Eventually, almost all of us are going to catch this virus. No amount of disinfectant will prevent that. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if the assholes of the world who go around spewing Lysol on everything aren’t the ones most at risk. Self-fulfilling prophesy is a bitch.

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