I don’t know about you, but the thing that has been even more stressful than going to the grocery store in a time like this, is coming home and sanitizing every single item purchased before I put them away in my kitchen. But it doesn’t have to be that way! It just takes a little preparation and patience. Simply follow this easy guide to ensure safety for you and your loved ones.
Since one study in the New England Journal discovered that the Coronavirus can live for up to 24 hours on cardboard and 72 hours on metal and plastic, we need to create a disinfecting spray that will be effective and ready to use when you walk in the door with your grocery haul.
Regular rubbing alcohol with a high-percentage solution (typically 60-90% ethanol) is known to kill the virus, so let's grab a bottle of that, some water to dilute it, and some cleansing essential oils like antibacterial Tea Tree oil, antiseptic Lavender oil, or powerful germicide Eucalyptus oil.
You’ll notice that rubbing alcohol can eat through plastic and can create some harmful fumes, so it’s important that you dilute it enough with water. About ¼ alcohol and ¾ water should do the trick. Add about 10-20 drops of your essential oil of choice or get creative and mix your own blend. Pour into a reusable spray bottle, shake it up, label it, and keep it ready to use near the front door. Have a handful of paper towels or cloth rags beside it, ready to wipe down your boxes and bags of food after a good spray down of your new homemade disinfectant.
You can also soak a bunch of paper towels in the solution to create homemade disinfectant wipes. Also works great on doorknobs or fridge handles. Make sure to wipe down thoroughly. If possible, try to clean everything off outside of your front door, to avoid bringing inside anything that may have been in contact with the virus. If you are using reusable grocery bags, throw them in the washing machine immediately and wash your hands before touching anything else. If possible you can leave any paper or plastic bags outside overnight and wait a few days for any potential virus to die off.
It is always important to wash your produce, even when the Coronavirus isn’t around. Simply fill a sink full of water, add about a cup of apple cider vinegar and about 5-10 drops of cleansing Lemon essential oil. Allow the produce to soak for around 10 minutes. After rinsing again under cold water, allow the produce to dry on a clean towel or rag and when it's all dried, store as desired. That’s its! Your produce is clean and ready to use.
I know this may be a lot more work than we are used to and it can get annoying, so when I notice my patience being tested by these things I like to take a moment to slow down, breathe, and practice some gratitude. I remind myself how fortunate I am to even have this food to sanitize. It may take a lot of extra time, but we are all in this together, and maybe a little reminder of even the little everyday things we took for granted isn’t that bad, because it gives us a chance to reflect and look forward.