The outbreak of Covid-19 has transformed the world’s attitude towards viral contamination and infection control. As governments around the world race to develop vaccines to tackle the virus, it is essential that we take a series of measures to protect ourselves, our colleagues and our families. Whilst regular and effective cleaning of interior spaces will play a vital role in our response to the pandemic, we must take extra care to avoid complacency around the proper cleaning of not just furniture and workspaces, but our own personal effects and property.
Whilst our understanding of the Coronavirus continues to change on a weekly basis, early evidence indicates that the virus thrives and has ultimate longevity on hard surfaces. However, it is essential that we look at what makes these spots particularly at risk of contamination, and these points equally apply to everyday items like phones, wallets, keys and more:
- Items are touched several times per day
- Items are often used before hand washing
- Items are often dropped or set on top of other, potentially contaminated surfaces
- Items are frequently exchanged between individuals
- Items like phones are held close to face, increasing transmission risk
So, whilst public health advice has rightly focused on high-risk areas like elevator buttons, office desks, handrails and door handles, it is essential that we focus on those personal effects that are particularly prone to contamination. These items include:
- Mobile phones
- Handheld devices
- Credit cards & store cards
Antios Advice on Protecting High Risk Objects
There are a number of ways of protecting commonly touched, high-risk items. We’ve shared some of the most effective steps you can take to make your personal effects safe and at a significantly reduced risk from Covid contamination.
Data published by the World Health Organisation around the longevity of SARS (a genetic cousin of Covid-19) found that such viruses can survive for 36 hours on a plastered wall; 72 hours on plastic and stainless steel surfaces and a lengthy 96 hours on glass, including that used on smartphone screens. This means that if not properly and regularly cleaned, your smartphone could host multiple days of contamination on its screen, which will then be touched by your fingers and potentially transmitted when touching your eyes, nose or mouth (indeed, research conducted by the University of South Wales found that we touch our faces an average of 23 times per hour.
But how can we clean these highly-expensive electronic devices without breaking them or voiding the product’s warranty?
- Turn your device OFF before cleaning
- Remove any cases or accessories
- Use a microfiber cloth with a little pressure
- Use 70% isopropyl alcohol wipes, avoiding ports, speakers and other entry points
- Repeat this process with cases and accessories, using hot soap & water where possible
- Avoid abrasive cleaning solutions and materials (these can destroy your screen over time)
**Disclaimer: Antios recommend looking for device-specific instructions. To find this information please contact the manufacturer. Antios accept no responsibility for broken or compromised devices and these steps are offered only as rough guidance and are not official.**
Car Keys & House Keys
Car keys and house keys are some of the most commonly touched and shared items, and it is essential that these are properly and regularly cleaned – especially if these are shared with a partner. These items are just as commonly contaminated as smartphones, and we should therefore ensure that these are cleaned routinely:
- Avoid bleach (this can damage any vinyl or plastic covering on your keys)
- Avoid ammonia-based cleaners for the same reason
- Use 70% alcohol-based wipes for your keys
- Use multiple wipes as opposed to one wipe for a whole set
- Wipe keys with a reasonable degree of force and give the chemicals time to settle on the keys
- Repeat this process every time keys are used
- Ensure you wash your hands properly before and after using your keys
**Disclaimer: Many keys are automatic and have an electronic configuration. To avoid damaging these keys, Antios recommend looking for device or manufacturer-specific instructions.**
Wallets, Purses and Handbags
Wallets, purses and handbags are among the most commonly touched objects out there. Whilst we keep hard currency and plastic cards in our purses and wallets, our handbags are often used to carry a multitide of items, from keys and tablets through to cosmetic products and even food. This means that wallets, purses and especially handbags are at particular risk from infection and Covid-19 contamination.
Don’t just go on what we’re saying. A report from The Daily Mirror highlighted a number of studies which found handbags to be breeding grounds for infection. Scientific findings shared in the tabloid claimed that handbags typically carry up to 10,000 types of bacteria, making them ‘dirtier’ than the average toilet seat. So, how can we take steps to keep these items clean and at a reduced risk from contamination?
- Use 70% alcohol wipes to wipe the exterior of these objects, using a reasonable degree of pressure
- Test out a small amount of hand sanitiser on your wallet, purse or handbag before spreading liberally. Consider using fresh antibacterial wipes to do this.
- Consider keeping items in a disposable bag to reduce risk of infection
- Use alcohol-based wipes to clean credit cards
- Use wipe or alcohol rubbing spray to clean the inside of your bag
- Ensure proper handwashing each time these items are used
**Those wishing to learn more about proper cleaning processes during the Covid-19 pandemic should consult the UK Government guidance on cleaning of non-healthcare settings outside the home.**
PROTECTING YOUR PERSONAL PROPERTY: HOW ANTIOS CAN HELP
Antios are leading suppliers of antibacterial and biodegradable wipe products, offering personalised, branded and totally customisable orders ranging from a single carton of wipes up to multiple pallet-loads. With extensive stock holding facilities, deliveries are completed within an average of 1-3 working days. To inquire about large, bulk-sized deliveries or to discuss how we can help your organisation enter the new normal with a rebranding deal, get in touch with our expert team today.