Expert on cleaning, as seen on A&E’s ‘Hoarders,’ shares tips to keep you and your home free of Covid-19 virus

Expert on cleaning, as seen on A&E's "Hoarders," shares tips to keep you and your home free of COVID-19

WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - An expert cleaner shared tips to help you better protect your family from Covid-19.

Cory Chalmers, CEO of Steri-Clean, is a familiar face for those who watch A&E’s Hoarders, where he appears as a host and expert.

Chalmers said he is concerned that many are not disinfecting properly.

He does not believe a simple swipe of a Lysol wipe or spraying disinfectant cuts it against Covid-19.

He recommends that first, people clean surfaces with soap and water, or another alcohol- or bleach-based product to remove “biofilms.”

Chalmers said the biofilms block the disinfectant from effectively reaching and penetrating the virus.

“Those are clusters of germs, bacteria, even the oils on our hands where we are constantly touching things and that builds up and overtime,” he explained. “If you don’t clean those surfaces regularly and, in a case like this, daily, then your Lysol or your disinfectant isn’t going to work.”

Then, he recommends an EPA-registered, hospital-grade disinfectant listed as a disinfectant with an “Emerging Pathogens Claim.”

Chalmers also recommended switching out towels or wipes frequently while cleaning.

“The biggest mistake is to use one sponge or one towel to clean our entire kitchen,” he said. “That’s just spreading the germs around. So, we need fresh towels or at least fold a towel in half, so you have different quarters that you can use. Only clean small surfaces with that clean towel and then use a new towel. So we are not picking up those germs and viruses and putting them somewhere else.”

He said he takes precautions to keep the germs out of his home in the first place.

He takes off his shoes when he first arrives and even changes out of dirty clothing in his family’s mud room, if necessary.

He also disinfects everything that comes into his home.

“The last grocery trip I did, I backed my truck up and we set up a cleaning station in the garage. Everything in a cardboard box, like cereal, we dumped out into another container.”

He said what couldn’t go into a new container, they wiped down to disinfect.

He said it’s important to clean every day because we are still learning just how long the virus lives on surfaces.

“There are too many unknowns and too many variables with viruses,” he said of the new strains. “It is going to be a year before we know everything about this virus, like H1N1 and other flus we dealt with. On the cruise ships, the virus was alive after 17 days in multiple parts of those ships. Some studies are saying it dies after two or three days.”

He said until we know exactly how long it survives, it’s best not to let your guard down. That’s why he thinks it is important for Americans to stay home and listen to other recommendations from the CDC while we fight the pandemic.

He also expressed concern about those who are hoarding cleaning supplies.

“As much as we want to have it in our own home, the people who really need it right now are the first responders and hospitals and even people like us who have to go out and clean places that we know are infected. We are out of options.”

He recommended that if you have extra supplies, donate them to hospitals or other first responders.

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