In between disinfectant products and guidelines: towards Phase 2

Disinfectant products and related tools: the most rigorous products in coronavirus time, paying attention to additional tools and their treatment, to secure safe hygiene.

Know how to defend yourself

The basic guidelines for safely sanitizing and protecting our homes, our offices, our companies come from the Ministry of Health, at this time when hygiene is more important than ever. But let us review some basic aspects together.

By now we all know how coronavirus spreads. It is a respiratory virus that spreads mainly through the so-called droplet effect, that is, contact with the droplets of breath of an infected individual.

But how far do the infamous droplets spread? Their distance varies according to the type of emission. A breath will have a length of propagation far less than that of a cough or sneeze. Think, in fact, that the droplets of a sneeze, according to a recent study, can reach a distance of about 8 metres!

Hence the precautionary measures, recommended by the Ministry of Health, which each of us, if in doubt, must comply. As for example, in addition to distancing, the foresight to sneeze or cough in a handkerchief or with a flexed elbow. Remember to always throw away used tissues in a closed rubbish bin which can be emptied frequently. And again, wash your hands immediately after and, anyway frequently, with soap and water or with alcoholic solutions.

The indications for cleaning safely from the Ministry of Health


Again, the Ministry of Health shows us the guidelines for the sanitation of surface areas. The information we have available suggests that Covid-19 manages to survive 9 days, depending on the room temperature, humidity and other parameters.


However, the infectious charge on the surfaces hardly reaches values that make the systematic disinfection of everything that comes into contact with the outside world and with other people necessary.


Towards the reopening of companies and commercial activities


From 4th May we will enter the so-called phase 2 following the criterion of “staggering” the re-openings.

The bans will not go away, but they will feel less oppressive. Entrepreneurs, freelancers and traders who had to close their businesses due to compliance with previous decrees continued to work behind closed doors, planning the reopening.


Of course, their programming will have to deal with that provided by the Government. But will precautionary measures be possible for businesses and commercial activities? We hope so.


One of the first aspects that will be faced in the reopening of activities will certainly be that of the sanitation of the premises according to the first ministerial requirements. It seems that these requirements will become more stringent and demanding for businesses and various commercial activities. In fact, the Ministry is even considering sanitizing the premises, offices, workstations and common and leisure areas twice a day in these places. It is clear that this could entail a series of rather complex problems.

Having said that, as we have already written, the solution for safe sanitation in the fight against viruses and bacteria is the use of alcohol or 70% chlorine-based disinfectants. However, if we talk about sanitizing companies or commercial activities, it is important to point out that the use of alcohol is prohibited as it is flammable.

On the other hand, delicate or coloured bleaches are not considered effective, because they do not contain sodium hypochlorite, but oxygen-based bleaching agents. Even the gel formulations are not effective as they have low concentrations of this compound, which is only 2%.

The best cleaning for domestic environments

Many think, that in these times of coronavirus, a different type of cleaning from the usual one is necessary for domestic environments. In reality, with the appropriate precautions and a few more tricks to avoid upsetting daily habits, we can proceed with the usual routine. Indeed, we will take advantage of this article to remember some basic rules and common sense for the sanitation of our home or office, to always be applied, regardless of the emergency situation in which we find ourselves.

Strict hygiene rules must be applied in bathroom environments, while at home taking a bit more care than usual will be enough to protect yourself from unwanted guests.

Of course, if you were to live with an infected person, the measures must be different.

General detergents and cleaners: only to remove dirt

The function of detergents and cleaners is to remove dirt and maintain a home environment in good hygienic conditions. However, these types of products are not effective against bacteria and viruses, but only serve to reduce their permanence on surfaces.


Surgical medical aids: are they effective against coronavirus?

The medical surgical aids are recognizable because they bear the red cross symbol on the label. They have the specific function of fighting, but not of completely eliminating, viruses and bacteria. In addition, of course, to that of acting as highly disinfectant products.

However, these are products based on benzalkonium chloride in a concentration between 0.35% and 0.5% which, according to the sources, is not very effective on the coronavirus.

How to sanitize transit areas

As we have already written, alcohol and sodium hypochlorite, i.e. common bleach, thanks to their chemical composition are effective substances against coronavirus. They can be used at home to sanitize surfaces, that have been suitably diluted in water, according to the percentage indicated.

We take into account that these products are irritating to the skin, alcohol is flammable and sodium hypochlorite is polluting for the aquatic environment.


However, in this moment of viral attack, they represent the most effective solutions. They are also the least expensive products to disinfect the rooms and transit areas of our homes and companies.

By transit areas, we mean not only the floors of the entrances, but also door handles, and everything we touch with dirty hands, such as keys, the intercom, light switches and buttons in general. In short, all those surfaces that a lot of the time we forget about.

Therefore, it can be deduced that it is not necessary to spread invasive products throughout the home or company environment. Just disinfect the surfaces that are most exposed to the outside.

Door handles and surroundings … so as not to forget any details

We must not only be sure of door handles, switches, but also of the computer keyboard and all devices we use, from the computer itself to our smartphone and tablet. The best sanitization for these is to go over the surface with a piece of tissue or cotton wool, soaked in pure alcohol.

Remember not to neglect glasses always close to our eyes. We know that among the favourite targets of coronavirus are eyes that could be affected by severe forms of conjunctivitis. This is why we must also take care of them, whether they are prescription or sunglasses, by washing them with soap and warm water.

Safe cleaning: the precautions to be taken

When we clean, in general, it is always better to use gloves so as not to damage our hands and not to absorb toxic substances at an epidermal level.

When using bleach and alcohol, glasses must also be worn as well as gloves. This will allow us to protect ourselves from any dangerous splashes.

In order for the sanitization to be truly such and not just a simple cleaning operation, it is necessary that undiluted alcohol and bleach be used because, otherwise, the effective concentration will not be reached to obtain a real sanitization.

Sponges, cloths, allies or enemies?

Sponges and cloths are essential accessories during the sanitization. But there is a detail that should never be overlooked, and even less so in the time of coronavirus.

Did you know that sponges can contain many germs? Do you know that according to a recent study they can contain up to 54 billion germs in 1 cubic cm out of the frying pan, into the fire, but the remedy is to change these sponges every 1-3 weeks. The appearance of a bad smell is the alarm bell that warns us of the presence of germs on them. Better to throw them away before this happens!

For cloths the situation is slightly less alarming.

Normally we use them to clean the surfaces of worktops and floors throughout the house. So, we must be rigorous in dividing the cloths by colour, in order to avoid mixing them with the cloths used for cleaning areas of different types, for example a bathroom or a kitchen.

This scrupulous “colour” distinction must be observed both for the dusting and cleaning phase, up to that of the sanitization. For this reason, the colours of the cloths were set by the Leg. Dec. n. 81/08 which, are conventionally used for different surfaces. Specifically, blue is intended for office furniture, green for the kitchen, yellow in the bathroom for sinks and tiles and red for the toilet.

This is especially true for workplaces, from businesses to catering establishments to professional offices. However, it would be a good criterion to follow in our homes.

At the end of their use, the sponges and cloths must be washed at 60 ° with a sanitizing detergent. To avoid washing sponges and cloths after every use, perhaps to make things quicker but equally sanitizing, we could think about using disposable cloths, which are very practical.

To continue growing further

We have tried to provide you with the fundamental guidelines to follow in order to continue to “do business” as best as possible. Even in these times of the coronavirus: taking care of all those who contribute in making a company great!