As we all are supposed to be minimizing the amount of time we come in contact with others through social gatherings and places like bars, restaurants and theaters, we are being forced to stay more at home. But staying at home can often imply that we will have guests, whether they are close family, friends or perhaps even displaced students unknown to them as to ever fulfilling their college aspirations of completing their education on time. I find it hard to believe that most of the world will actually remain at home without the occasional trip elsewhere. But that’s what it’s kinda all about. Needing to go, vice ‘want’ ing to go.
We may occasionally need to run out to the market. One of many items that is hard to find on the supermarket shelves right now during this COVID-19 scare is regular household bleach. The year 2020 is making us all a bit sketchy as to whom we come in contact with and some of the things we also contact, like shopping cart handles, door knobs and elevator buttons. Bleach has been known for years to be a good choice for cleaning and disinfecting areas in the house and for use in laundry. Many people use too much bleach (e.g. 50/50 concentrate or even 100 percent) to keep things clean. If used improperly it can result in health risks, a very clean smelling house; or, since bleach (sodium hypochlorite) is a very strong alkali base (ph ~13) and has very corrosive properties, it can devour your clothing, tile grout and even your skin. Used in confined spaces without adequate ventilation, can be fatal.
I had attended culinary school a few years ago where safety and sanitation was always highly regarded and religiously practiced in the kitchen. As a culinary student, one of the daily rituals in the kitchen were to make up sanitization buckets for use on all of the cooking workstations, prep tables and countertops. To create a bucket of sanitizer was a simple as dipping the bucket into the #3 sink in the wash basin area of the dishwashing station. That third sink contained a religiously monitored concentration of food-safe sanitizer liquid to a certain quantity of fresh room temperature water. I found this guide on line to help you along. https://ucfoodsafety.ucdavis.edu/sites/g/files/dgvnsk7366/files/inline-files/26437.pdf
The concentration in the number three sink helped fill our buckets, because we would dip them in just after preparing the sanitation solution for the first set of the dishes. Often times we had to make our own buckets of sanitization solution by mixing about 1 teaspoon (tsp) of food safe sanitization fluid (basically, just bleach) with about 1/2 gallon of room temperature water. This maintained a sanitization standard of 100 ppm, but not to exceed 200 ppm. Somewhere around 125 ppm is what we’re talking. Do not use bleaches that contain other additives such as fragrances or other agents. Use only pure/plain bleach. Room temperature water helps maintain the correct concentration longer.
Now, I have come to know that hand sanitizer is also difficult to come by during this time of ‘virus’. Although the use of bleach would be considered dangerous on our hands, the persistent use of sanitization fluid for kitchen duties, results in a relatively constant hand contact with the mild solution in your bucket. This results in your hands smelling rather clean often times as now you’re kitchen rags also smell much fresher, more often. Use a separate bucket of sanitization fluid (1 tsp to 1/2 gal room temperature fresh tap water) to routinely clean all of the door knobs, light switches and whatnots you find your hands touching; like this cell phone. Especially if your cell phone gets played with by the grandkids. You can even carry a small spray bottle of the mild solution with you in your purse or pocket to spray the shopping cart handle at the home improvement center, or at the beauty supply place. They seem to have run out of cart wipes at the door as well. When you are done for the day spraying that sh’t everywhere . . . and on everything, you’ll find your hands may want some moisturizer from being dried out by the mild bleach solution. Not uncommon, and not worrisome if using the recommended mild solution.
Another product I have been using rather persistently since having my grandkids smear their little fingerprints all over my stainless steel. A 50/50 mix of white distilled vinegar in a spray bottle is perfect as the natural acids in the vinegar are not only a degreaser, but also a disinfectant.
I’m not saying any of the aforementioned dilutions of products are recommended for eliminating COVID-19. What I am saying, is that along with whatever nastiness you need to clean in your own home, do another daily ritual of cleaning your home’s kitchen and other areas with some mild solutions that will better your chances of maintaining a cleaner, more sanitized life.