In the ongoing battle between you and the germs, you may think germs have the advantage. And, you are aware of the fact that they can be just about everywhere at once unlike you. Moreover, it has become more important than ever to make your home and surroundings clean, sanitized, and disinfected.

But, before we move forward, the first thing that you need to know is that cleaning and disinfecting are two very different things. The CDC advises us to do a bit of both, even if nobody in your home is sick.


Here’s the difference between the two:

  1. Cleaning is about removing contaminants from a surface.
  2. Disinfecting is about killing pathogens.


It is recommended to do both daily if anything or anyone has entered or exited your home. Make it a practice to disinfect the following surfaces regularly:

  1. Doorknobs
  2. Table surfaces
  3. Faucets and faucet knobs
  4. Bathroom counters
  5. Hard dining chairs (seat, back, and arms)
  6. Kitchen counters
  7. TV remote controls
  8. Toilets (seat and handle)
  9. Light switches
  10. Game controllers


Normally, disinfectants like Lysol are available and play a critical role in cleaning most surfaces that contain viruses, but at these times, many items have been widely out of stock across the United States. We are here to help you in disinfecting and sanitizing your home with DIY sanitizers and disinfectants. If you cannot find any of these products, you can make an effective homemade disinfectant from a mixture of water and bleach. Read more to know about it in detail.


 DIY Disinfectant Solution:          

To make a bleach solution, mix 5 tablespoons (1/3rd cup) bleach per gallon of water or 4 teaspoons bleach per quart of water. This Bleach solution will be effective for disinfection up to 24 hours.


Homemade Bleach Disinfectant Spray:

  1. 4 teaspoons household bleach
  2. 1 quart water
  3. Pour both into one quart spray bottle, shake vigorously
  4. Spray on surface to disinfect, let sit for 10 minutes, wipe away with wet cloth

Note: Bleach is excessive in most cases. You should never mix bleach solution with any other cleaning chemical, and it’s likely to damage or discolor sensitive surfaces. Use it as a last resort if you can’t source or acquire any other kind of disinfectant. With bleach, remember to wear gloves, open your windows (ventilation is your friend), and be careful.

How to DIY Clean Different Surfaces: 

Soft surfaces

  1. For soft surfaces such as carpeted floor, rugs, and drapes.
  2. Clean the surface using soap and water or with cleaners that are appropriate for use on these surfaces.
  3. Launder items (if possible) according to the manufacturer’s instructions. For them, use the warmest appropriate water setting and dry items completely or,
  4. Disinfect with an EPA-registered household disinfectant. These disinfectant external icons meet EPA’s criteria for use against COVID-19.
  5. Non-bleach Options: Non-bleach disinfectants are usually safe on fabric and other soft materials, though they are generally rated to “sanitize” rather than disinfect.


  1. For clothing, towels, linens, and other items:
  2. It is advisable to launder items according to the manufacturer’s instructions. It is always recommended to use warm water for cleaning and dry items completely.
  3. Always wear disposable gloves when handling dirty laundry from a person who is sick. Note: Dirty laundry from a person who is sick can be washed with other people’s items.
  4. Do not shake dirty laundry.
  5. Clean and disinfect clothes with proper cleaners.

Note: Always remove gloves after cleaning, and wash your hands right away.



  1. For electronics, such as tablets, touch screens, keyboards, and remote controls.
  2. Consider putting a wipeable cover on electronics.
  3. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning and disinfecting.
  4. If no guidance, use alcohol-based wipes or sprays containing at least 70% alcohol. Dry surface thoroughly.


Some Practical Expert Tips for Cleaning & Disinfecting:

  1. Diluted household bleach solutions may also be usedif appropriate for the surface.
  2. Check the label to see if your bleach is intended for disinfection, and ensure the product is not past its expiration date. Some bleaches, such as those designed for safe use on colored clothing or for whitening may not be suitable for disinfection.
  3. Unexpired household bleach will be effective against coronaviruses when properly diluted.
  4. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for application and proper ventilation. Never mix household bleach with ammonia or any other cleanser.
  5. Leave the solution on the surface for at least 1 minute.
  6. Alcohol solutions with at least 70% of alcohol may also be used.
  7. Bleach mixtures can be used only on hard surfaces — they will permanently damage most fabrics and many other soft materials.
  8. Always wear gloves while cleaning your home.
  9. Ventilate the space as well as possible.
  10. You also need to wipe it off after the 10-minute dwell time, because left to sit indefinitely, bleach can damage even resilient materials like stainless steel.


A Quick Technique to Proper Cleaning: A good swipe isn’t enough!


To disinfect a surface, you can’t just swipe it, you’ve got to scrub it until the entire surface is wet, and then let it dry on its own. The elbow grease and force that you put into the cleaning process can really pay dividends. You’ve got to physically wipe away the grime. The antiseptic agent is the additional measure of security that any virus left behind will be killed.

It’s critically important to use enough of the disinfectant and give it time to work. Use enough wipes for treated surface to remain visibly wet for 4 minutes. Let surface dry.



Whatever you use, it’s crucial to know how to use a disinfectant properly. It means allowing enough time for a disinfectant to do its job, which can be as much as 10 minutes.

There’s a lot going on right now. It’s stressful. It’s scary. It can be hard to know what you should do or what’s going on.

If you have more questions related to disinfecting and sanitizing, or you need any help with them, feel free to contact Dry Effect. Till then, Stay Home, Stay Safe!

About Lisa McIntyre

Lisa McIntyre has always resided in the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. She graduated from University of Cincinnati with a degree in Applied Science. Ultimately, her passion for science and teaching came to fruition after her husband requested her assistance in developing Dry Effect Restoration Services. She was able to develop her knowledge, degrees and certifications further in many indoor air quality associations and organizations. Thus allowing her to educate Realtors and Insurance Agents on the damages that many common indoor air quality irritants and water bacterial growths can lead to in ones home or business. Over 10 years later she’s glad to have taken the leap of faith to assist her husband what seemed to be a fun project into a lifetime achievement and to see the individuals she teaches prosper from their newly found knowledge.

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