As the world re-opens and travelling begins to resume, we want to ensure you feel safe when you travel, which is why we have prepared a set of guidelines to help you prepare your home for your future swap. We know that some of you will be hosting and swapping locally, so it is also important to follow your own government guidelines for home cleaning routines.
Here are steps you can take to keep your home safe, for yourself and for guests. We are following the guidelines published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). We strongly recommend our users to follow the CDC’s guidelines here. They provide approved methods on how to clean different types of surfaces and items, with approved products.
“Cleaning”: the removal of dirt and impurities, including germs, from surfaces. Cleaning alone does not kill germs. But by removing the germs, it decreases their number and therefore any risk of spreading infection.
“Disinfecting” works by using chemicals, for example, EPA-registered disinfectants, to kill germs on surfaces. This process does not necessarily clean dirty surfaces or remove germs. But killing germs remaining on a surface after cleaning further reduces any risk of spreading infection.
Here are steps you can take in your home before someone comes to stay at your home:
- Make sure there is at least a 24-hour period between guests. During this window, the home should be thoroughly cleaned, disinfected, and aired out to help reduce any spread of COVID-19.
- Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds before you start cleaning and after. Make sure any hand sanitizers have at least 60% alcohol. Wear gloves if possible, but make sure to still wash your hands after each use.
- Open your windows and doors! Allow fresh air to circulate throughout your home especially while cleaning. We recommend a minimum of 2 hours.
- Clean floors and surfaces. This involves removing any dirt, impurities, and germs. Remember, cleaning alone does not kill germs.
- Disinfect! Disinfect all surfaces, appliances, doorknobs, remotes, and other items in your home that are frequently touched. We will have a separate list of what to disinfect at the end. Make sure to use the right type of disinfectant for each surface. Look at the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) list of approved disinfectant products.
- Machine wash sofas, bedding, linen, drapes, and other similar surfaces with the appropriate cleaners and according to each item’s instructions. Bedding, towels, and other linens should be washed on the highest possible heat setting suitable for the material. This includes all towels, hand towels, dish towels, shower mats, blankets.
- Clean and remove dirt and germ from rugs. If you can machine wash your rugs that is best. You can steam clean carpets and use appropriate cleaners to eliminate germs.
- Clean and disinfect laundry hampers. You may line hampers with disposable bags to avoid further contamination.
- Keep your vacuum (hoover) clean by emptying it out after each use.
- When you are done, make sure to immediately place the clothes you cleaned in, into the washing machine.
What needs to be disinfected (using a product approved by the EPA or disinfectants typically with a 70% alcohol base):
- Closet and door handles
- Sinks, faucets, handles
- Shower products (shampoo, conditioner, soap)
- Shower rails, bathroom rails
- Shower curtains
- Hairdryers, hair straighteners
- All surfaces
- All appliances (oven, stove, microwave, toaster, coffee maker, water bottles or filters)
- Handles, drawers, cabinets
- Condiments, salt and pepper shakers, spice containers and any other products
- Dining tables, chairs
- Garbage bins
- Thermostats, fans
- Remote controls and other TV controls
- Ironing boards and irons, steamers
- Staircase railings
- Dishwashers and washing machines
- Games and toys
- Lighters and candles
We hope this has helped you prepare for your next Holiday Swap adventure. We want to ensure that you feel safe when you exchange homes so if you have any questions or concerns, please email us at email@example.com.