How To Keep It Clean During Your Coronavirus Quarantine
word to the wise, don’t be like this person 👆
11 Minute Read
This coronavirus pandemic has me thinking a lot about … A LOT! There are so many thoughts and feelings going through my head: uncertainty, fear, lack of productivity, and wondering if my business might just cave in. Truth? Situations like the coronavirus, the mandatory quarantining, and the shut-down of just about everything, bring out the best and the worst in people.
Best? I’ve seen a lot of kindness and consideration over the past few weeks. And that’s not just a blanket statement. I’ve heard from people I haven’t spoken to in years, who have reached out to make sure I’m OK.
Worst? People are selling bottles of Lysol on eBay for $48 bucks! Yes, it’s true… I know, because we bought it.
Before you start rolling your eyes at me, let me explain…
When this whole coronavirus situation started to escalate, and we’d already quarantined ourselves for a week and were running low on rubbing alcohol. We were using it to disinfect surfaces, handles and doorknobs, and to sanitize things we brought into our home, like groceries. Up until that point, I’d been adamant about keeping mainstream (and toxic) cleaning products out of our home.
But at this point, with our supplies running low, and my fear of coronavirus starting to seep in, I gave in and said: “OK, let’s buy the disinfectant.”
So, we started scouring the internet: Amazon, eBay, fresh direct, Walmart.com… you name it. But we couldn’t find a standard disinfectant ANYWHERE. So Wilson started looking on eBay and found the eventual bastard we ended up buying from. He charged $48 for a 32 oz spray bottle and a 64 oz refill pack. I cringed inside, but our will was wearing down and, again…the fear was creeping in. I figured that a $40 surcharge for the cost of our health was worth it. But it still made it hard to swallow.
Since then, we’ve been trying to stock up when we can on groceries and other supplies, and are trying not to panic. We’ll get through this. And so will you.
When thinking about the $48 purchase I made out of fear, I’m glad that there are a few things that I don’t have to worry about when it comes to safely stocking up for a long-ass quarantine. Things like having clean clothes, toilet paper, and (as a woman) what I need during my period, are worries that haven’t even crossed my mind during the lock-down. You see, for these specific needs, I had sustainable and reusable alternatives wayyyy before the coronavirus came into being. And I’m grateful that I don’t have to stress about making sure I have supplies for some of the basic hygienic needs that many people are struggling to stock up for.
So, in an attempt to ease any stress or anxiety you may be feeling about running out of much-needed essentials and not knowing where you’ll be able to get them, I’ve put together a coronavirus survival kit of sorts that I’m personally using.
I’ve had these long before the shit hit the fan, but am extra grateful I have them now. By no means am I encouraging you to go out and buy these things if you don’t need them. But if you’re looking for alternatives that free you from stocking up regularly and allow you to stay at home when you don’t feel safe leaving your front steps, then maybe they can put your mind at ease.
If you don’t have a washing machine at home during the coronavirus, this can help you from doing all your laundry in the sink…
If you live in a city, you probably do your laundry at a laundromat like I do. Which means when you’re confined to your apartment for an undefined number of days or weeks during [a coronavirus lockdown!], having clean clothes can become a bit tricky. Now, you can totally hand-wash your clothes in your sink or in a bucket. But there are also compact washing machines that can wash your clothes for you without having to hunch over your sink all day. They don’t need a fancy hookup or special plumbing. They just need a regular plug and to be near to a sink for filling up.
About 6 months ago, Wilson found one of these compact washing machines on the curb and brought it home. I had this look of disgust on my face when he first brought it up. “You got that off the street? Is it sanitary? Does it even work?” The answer to all of these questions was: Yes. So I cleaned it off and watched a YouTube video on how to use it. And now that we’re in full lock-down, I’m really glad we have it. No, it doesn’t do loads as big as the laundromat can, but it’s keeping us clean, sanitary, and sane! This is the one we have.
It works great and is super simple to use. But a friend of mine has been using the one below and is in love with it. Make sure you pay attention to the size, so you know if it’ll fit in your space (very important when living in a tiny matchbox apartment!).
I’d be remiss if I didn’t talk about using a sustainable laundry detergent to wash your clothes without all the added chemicals. Now, you know I love my laundry ball when using a standard washing machine. But I’m not so sure how it would work with a smaller machine like the one I have. So I’ve been using this non-toxic laundry detergent. If you go for the refill option, you can get it in a paper bag (less packaging), and I feel completely at ease using it to wash my clothes. So even though I gave in on the Lysol, I’m still able to stick to my sustainable values with other things.
This is an unprecedented situation that’s new to us all. It’s ok to not be perfect.
Next up – wiping your butt when all the TP is sold out…
With lots of people hoarding TP since the coronavirus panic started to set in, there’s been no shortage of memes about toilet paper over the past few weeks. And even though there’s no evidence that we have an actual shortage of toilet paper, you know how some people roll. This means a lot of people are now having a hard time finding toilet paper at all. However, for me, the thought of buying toilet paper hasn’t even crossed my mind over the past few months. Why? Because I use a bidet for most of my TP needs.
I got a bidet last year to cut down on my toilet paper use (with the goal of cutting down on my personal environmental footprint). It took some getting used to since I’ve been wiping my lady parts with scratchy toilet paper for most of my life, but it’s amazing how much less TP my husband and I go through now. I literally can’t remember the last time I bought toilet paper, and our supply is still going strong.
Soooo…if you’re looking for a sustainable alternative, not only for your aspiring eco-friendly bootaayyyy, but also for this time of uncertainty and supply shortages, an easy-to-install bidet attachment for your toilet could be the solution to all of the above. In case you’re wondering what the hell it looks like, here it is…
Pretty slick, right?
They’ve got all kinds of colors and styles, and they even have one that sprays warm water on your lady parts, which is sooooo refreshing, especially in the winter when its cold AF outside. Yes, I know… I’m getting real personal with you now. But I wouldn’t be talking about this if I didn’t believe in it.
If you’re wondering how this strange contraption gets rid of your TP needs, allow me to explain. When you’re on the toilet, you wash your private parts with water (instead of wiping it with TP). Then you pat yourself dry with a towel. Simple.
It’s actually much more sanitary than wiping yourself with a dry piece of toilet paper. And it can also help with other issues you may be experiencing like UTIs. Oh, and in case you’re wondering, the water comes from the main plumbing in your bathroom. It doesn’t spray you with toilet water or anything like that.
P.S. They also have a travel bidet in case you wanna make sure you have a clean tushy wherever you go.
Alright… this one’s for my ladies (…or any person with a leaky bladder)
Ok, ok. I know that all of these things I’m talking about aren’t sexy. But we all have needs. And we gotta talk about them, even if they aren’t dinner table conversation-starters.
If you get a monthly, or even a randomly irregular period, the last thing you wanna worry about during a coronavirus quarantine is running out of pads or tampons. And truth be told, I never wanna worry about something like this on a regular basis. This is why I use period panties instead of disposable pads and tampons. I’ve been using them for well over 3 years, and have never looked back. I initially tried them out because I wanted to reduce my use of single-use items. Again…part of my continual progression of lowering my environmental footprint.
And I have to say: its so much easier knowing that I’m always stocked up on clean period panties and never have to run to the store for any unexpected surprises. You can use each period panty over an over for a minimum of 2 years. That’s how long the company guarantees them for. But I’ve been using the same ones for 3 years, and they’re still goin’ strong.
So, how do they work?
You put on the period panty, just like you would a regular panty, and it collects your period blood… just like a pad or tampon. When you’re ready to change it out or take a shower, simply take it off, give it a quick rinse in the sink to get out the excess liquid, let it hang dry, and toss it in your laundry basket. When laundry day rolls around, wash your panty on a cold cycle with your other clothes, and hang it to dry. You treat it just like you would any other delicates you have. And you use it over and over again.
There are different styles and cuts that absorb different amounts of liquid: from half a tampon’s worth to 4 tampons worth. So it doesn’t matter what type of flow you have, you’ll be covered.
Here’s what they look like…not bad for something that has the word period in it:
Thinx, the company that makes these awesome period panties, also makes underwear for people with incontinence (aka when you pee yourself a lil bit). This is a lot more common than people think. And especially true for new mothers and those a lil bit older, who just don’t have the same level of bladder control they used to. So instead of wearing panty shields daily, why not put on a comfy pair of these babies and feel more like yourself?
Click here to check out all of Thinx’s products: from panties made just for teens getting used to their flow; to period panties for women of all shapes, flows and sizes; to underwear for people who have bladder leaks. No matter which option, I promise you’ll feel comfortable and secure. And you’ll never have to worry about stocking up on disposable pads or tampons again.
These are just a few essentials I thought might be helpful to have during your coronavirus quarantine. Maybe you’re wondering how you can even be sustainable in a time like this. And if it should even be a priority right now. Either way, you have options to keep you both clean and sustainable.
What sort of essentials have you found to be the most helpful during the coronavirus uncertainty?
They don’t have to be sustainable items, but may be a helpful idea or resource for somebody who has the same needs as you.