Coronavirus | A cleaning guide for sits

Paul - Head of Membership Services

During the coronavirus pandemic, it's more important than ever to make sure health and safety is a priority. Coronavirus may live on some surfaces for several hours or even days, so all members are asked to protect each other from infection by taking a vigilant approach to cleanliness. 

We have produced the following guidelines, as well as a comprehensive cleaning guide checklist, on how to thoroughly clean and disinfect a property to help you prepare for your upcoming sit. Owners should follow these guidelines before they handover the property, while sitters should incorporate them into their regular cleaning routine and ensure disinfection of the property before they leave.

Coronavirus cleaning guide

  1. Where possible, try to ventilate a room before cleaning by leaving windows open for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Make sure you wash your hands thoroughly before and after cleaning, using soap and water for 20 seconds or a hand sanitiser with at least 60% alcohol content.
  3. When cleaning items or surfaces, it’s important to first use detergent or soap to remove any dirt, grease, dust and germs. You should then sanitise the items or surfaces using a disinfectant. Diluted household bleach or solutions with at least 70% alcohol content are believed to be effective against the coronavirus. Allow the disinfectant to air dry, and ensure you pay special attention to frequently touched surfaces such as light switches, doorknobs, and remote controls.
  4. Please also consider soft furnishings, removing any visible dirt or grime and then cleaning them with an appropriate product. 
  5. While cleaning, wear disposable gloves and ensure they’re replaced between rooms, and safely disposed of.
  6. Dispose of any disposable wipes that have been used, and wash any cleaning cloths at the highest heat setting appropriate for the material.
  7. To avoid cross-contamination, be sure to close the door once you have finished cleaning and disinfecting a room, remembering to also disinfect the doorknobs.
  8. All linens should be washed at the highest heat setting recommended by the manufacturer. This includes bedding, towels, kitchen towels and blankets.
  9. Laundry baskets should also be cleaned and disinfected regularly. 
  10. Vacuum cleaners must be emptied after every clean and then wiped down with a disinfectant.
  11. Be sure to check expiration dates on all supplies. 
  12. Owners must provide sitters with cleaning products and disposable gloves so they can disinfect the property before leaving.
  13. When entering the property, sitters should wash their hands with soap and water for 20 seconds, or use a hand sanitiser with at least 60% alcohol content. Make sure to go back and wipe down any surfaces touched prior to this (such as door handles or taps) with a disinfectant.

Top tips for safe handovers

  • Keep a bottle of hand sanitiser gel containing at least 60% alcohol content by the entrance of your home, so that sitters are able to disinfect their hands upon entering.
  • Where possible, sit handovers should be conducted with the least amount of person-to-person contact, and ideally should take place virtually via a video calling platform.
  • Sitters should also aim to arrive after some time after the owner departs, and leave the property before they are due to arrive back home. Keys should be left in a safe and secure place for a contact-free pick-up.
  • However, in instances where this isn't possible (and you are permitted to meet with another household), you must follow social distancing rules as governed by the country you are in.
  • In these instances, if you can wear a mask, you should do so to further limit any potential spread. These steps can be discussed ahead of time, to make sure you are both comfortable before the handover takes place.

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