Do you stay home when cleaning lady comes. Since the onset of the pandemic, families are spending extra time indoors and either the dust bunnies are multiplying more quickly than before. Or maybe we are just noticing them more!
The idea of having an outside cleaning person or service help tackle the house cleaning tasks and put your home back in order (and then help keep it that way) can be a convenient solution, but trusting them to be inside your home can be difficult for some.
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Currently, most states consider cleaning and disinfecting as an essential service, meaning that cleaning services are free to enter a home or office, but the decision to have house cleaners in your home during the Covid-19 pandemic is a personal one.
If you are feeling that it’s time to get outside cleaning help, there are things you can do to mitigate the risks so you can enjoy the benefits of a healthy home that is cleaned safely by someone else.
Maintaining a Clean, Healthy Home is Good for You and the Prevention of the Virus
Numerous studies have shown that keeping a clean, tidy house is good for your mental and physical health.
A build-up of dust, grime and germs can weaken your immune system, trigger allergies, asthma and other respiratory problems, as well as affect the quality of your sleep.
The risks are even greater for people with weakened immune systems.
But these days, it’s also important to maintain a clean home to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
When your home is clean and tidy, you will also feel a sense of calm and harmony, knowing that everything is in order.
10 Questions to Ask:
While there’s no guarantee that anyone, including a house cleaner. Is free of Covid-19 or any other harmful virus, there are things you can do that will ultimately give you peace of mind and more importantly, keep you safe.
To make the process as stress-free as possible, here are 10 questions that you should ask your current house cleaner or cleaning service or one that you are about to hire.
Are daily health checks conducted on everyone entering your home?
Under normal circumstances, this would have been a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), but these are extraordinary times and this simple procedure will give both you and the cleaning staff some peace of mind.
Are the cleaners equipped with masks and other protective personal equipment (PPE), such as fresh pairs of disposable gloves? And if so, will they be wearing them when they arrive at your home and right up to when they leave?
It’s important to know this in advance in case a cleaning person arrives at your doorstep without the proper equipment. In most cases, professional cleaning companies are supplying their workers with the required PPE but if they aren’t, you should consider providing them with it.
Do the housecleaners know how to “don and doff” disposable gloves?
Protective gloves are an important piece of safety equipment for the cleaning company employee. When they are donned properly, they protect the worker from exposure to hazardous substances, including viruses like Covid-19. It’s important to know that the cleaning staff who come into your home know how to “don and doff” properly. This includes checking for any tears prior to wearing the gloves and ensuring that they fit securely. Taking the gloves off is equally important to protect against cross contamination. And the cleaning person should know the proper technique when doing so.
Do the cleaners know how to change linens properly as well as handle dirty laundry the right way?
To avoid possibly releasing any contaminants into the air, dirty laundry and linens should not be shaken. The CDC recommends that laundry be washed in the warmest appropriate water setting and then dried completely.
Are cleaning tools disinfected after use in other people’s homes?
If new cloths are not used every time a home is cleaned, consider supplying the house cleaner with your own newly purchased cloths. Even when cleaning cloths are laundered, contaminants may still remain.
What kind of disinfectant will be used? How it will be applied? Is it effective against the virus responsible for Covid-19?
If the disinfectant is on the EPA’s list of products approved for use against Covid-19. You should ask about its active ingredients and if it is safe to use around young children and pets if they are part of your family. If the product needs to be wiped as opposed to air-dried, will sanitary cloths be used? It’s also important to know if the staff is aware of the proper dwell time of the product. I.e. how long it stays wet in order to kill a virus or other contaminant.
Are the cleaners wearing a fresh pair of disposable shoe covers in your home?
If not, you may want to think about supplying these to the cleaning staff. According to a recent CDC report, the virus can travel on shoes, so it is wise to be extra vigilant.
Are the cleaning people following social distancing policies in your home?
This is equally important if you plan to be home. You, like the cleaning staff, should also practice approved social distancing guidelines. And when that’s not possible, always wear a mask.
If you are using a company, do they have a sick leave policy in place?
You will need to know if the company provides flexible sick leave. And time off to its employees if they are sick. This is important to be sure that cleaning staff are covered financially if they don’t work because they are feeling ill.
Do they ask all clients about the state of their health?
This eliminates the potential risk of spreading the virus between different clients’ homes. If they have been exposed to coronavirus or other illnesses.
If you’re in doubt about resuming your regular cleaning service, we’re confident that these tips will help you make the best decision. Let us know if we can be of further help as you navigate these difficult times.