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How to disinfect your home after someone has Covid-19

Sick woman with Covid-19 at home

Personal hygiene may be the key to minimising the spread of Covid-19, but what should you do after someone in your household contracts it? The majority of the South African population is now well-aware of the importance of washing their hands and wearing face masks.

There have been so many public education initiatives and awareness campaigns on personal hygiene, but not many on how to go about disinfecting and sanitising your home after someone falls ill. This information will allow you to thoroughly clean your home and the room in which the sick person stayed during their two-week quarantine.

Clean does not necessarily mean disinfected

Always be aware that a clean and spotless surface does not mean that it is disinfected. Viruses, bacteria and other microbes are invisible to the naked eye, so they could still exist on a clean surface. These surfaces, including mattresses, fabrics and carpets, need to be thoroughly sanitised in the prescribed manner.

Cleaning may reduce the number of germs and viruses on a surface, but it does not mean that it kills them all. Disinfecting is the only way to kill these harmful microbes. The best method is to do a double-up; first, clean the room and then disinfect all surfaces. This will give you the best results when it comes to Covid-19 and sanitising the room.

Lock the room after Covid-19

Always be sure to contain an infected person in one room, obviously allowing them to use the bathroom too. This will reduce the number of rooms that you will need to sanitise later and it will minimise the chances of spreading the virus to other members of the household. Ideally, the sick person should have a dedicated bedroom and bathroom that no one else uses, if at all possible.

According to multiple medical sources, the Covid-19 virus can remain viable on surfaces for up to several days. The first step after someone in your home has contracted the virus is to ensure that they fulfill their 14-day quarantine in one room. Once they have recovered, lock the room for another seven days and do not allow anyone to enter that particular space.

This will allow most of the viral spores to die off naturally as they won’t be able to replicate themselves and infect anyone else. If sealing a room for a week is not possible, or once the seven days are up, then you will need to clean and disinfect the entire space and all the contents within.

How to disinfect a room and its contents

Be sure to wear the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) when cleaning and disinfecting the room. This includes face masks, rubber gloves and clothes that you can wash immediately afterward. Start by cleaning the room as you usually would - wiping down hard surfaces and sweeping, mopping or vacuuming the floor. Once the room is thoroughly clean, you can start the process of disinfecting it.

Use a household detergent or soap and water mix for hard surfaces, such as bedside tables, desks, bed frames and doors. Dishwashing liquid, bleach or disinfectant spray work well. You can even create a solution of Dettol and water to sanitise these hard surfaces. For the soft surfaces, such as carpets, curtains, linen and towels, clean these as you usually would. When putting laundry in the washing machine, use the hottest setting possible and be sure to rinse everything thoroughly at the end.

Use alcohol-based wet wipes or a disinfectant solution to wipe down all objects and electronics in the room. Any phones, computers, televisions, remote controls, picture frames, lamps and loose objects should be wiped down carefully and meticulously. Once complete, dry these objects with disposable paper towels.

If you’re nervous about entering the room and attempting to disinfect it yourself, you can always call IWESCO. Our highly-trained teams are knowledgeable of the correct procedures for Covid-19 sanitisation. We wear the appropriate PPE and use the best disinfectant chemicals to ensure maximum safety and effectiveness. Contact us today to get an obligation-free quote or to enquire about our professional cleaning services.


IWESCO offers specialised cleaning and waste control services to industrial and commercial customers in South Africa. These services are aimed at minimising our customers’ impact on the environment. Our services also include pest control, garden maintenance, fogging and disinfecting. Our staff are highly trained to offer the most professional services. IWESCO is a Level 2 B-BBEE supplier with ISO 14001 certification for environmental management.

We are a one-stop shop for all your contract cleaning and waste control needs and have a national footprint. Our head office is located in Tshwane but we can provide services to any industrial and commercial client in the major metropolitan areas around South Africa, including Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban, Port Elizabeth, Mbombela and more.

For more information on our offerings and insights into the latest industry news, follow us on Facebook and LinkedIn.


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