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How to Clean and Disinfect Your Home During the Coronavirus

Posted by Gerald Lombardo on Friday, April 17th, 2020 at 3:25pm.

Keeping your home (and hands) clean is more important now than ever as we all work together to try to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Here are some tips and advice on how to keep your home clean.

Clean

  • Clean surfaces using soap and water. Practice routine cleaning of frequently touched surfaces.

Disinfect

  • Clean the area or item with soap and water or another detergent if it is dirty. Then, use a household disinfectant.

  • Recommend use of EPA-registered household disinfectant.

  • Follow the instructions on the label to ensure safe and effective use of the product.

  • Many products recommend:

  • Keeping surface wet for a period of time (see product label)

  • Precautions such as wearing gloves and making sure you have good ventilation during use of the product.

  • Diluted household bleach solutions may also be used if appropriate for the surface.

  • Check the label to see if your bleach is intended for disinfection, and ensure the product is not past its expiration date. Some bleaches, such as those designed for safe use on colored clothing or for whitening may not be suitable for disinfection.

  • Unexpired household bleach will be effective against coronaviruses when properly diluted.

  • Follow manufacturer’s instructions for application and proper ventilation. Never mix household bleach with ammonia or any other cleanser.

  • Leave solution on the surface for at least 1 minute.

To make a bleach solution, mix:

  • 5 tablespoons (1/3rd cup) bleach per gallon of water

  • OR

  • 4 teaspoons bleach per quart of water

  • Alcohol solutions with at least 70% alcohol may also be used.

Soft Surfaces

For soft surfaces such as carpeted floor, rugs, and drapes

Clean the surface using soap and water or with cleaners appropriate for use on these surfaces.

Launder items (if possible) according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Use the warmest appropriate water setting and dry items completely.

OR

Disinfect with an EPA-registered household disinfectant. These disinfectants meet EPA’s criteria for use against COVID-19.

Electronics

  • For electronics, such as tablets, touch screens, keyboards, and remote controls.

  • Consider putting a wipeable cover on electronics

  • Follow manufacturer’s instruction for cleaning and disinfecting

  • If no guidance, use alcohol-based wipes or sprays containing at least 70% alcohol. Dry surface thoroughly.

Laundry

  • For clothing, towels, linens and other items

  • Launder items according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Use the warmest appropriate water setting and dry items completely.

  • Wear disposable gloves when handling dirty laundry from a person who is sick.

  • Dirty laundry from a person who is sick can be washed with other people’s items.

  • Do not shake dirty laundry.

  • Clean and disinfect clothes hampers according to guidance above for surfaces.

  • Remove gloves, and wash hands right away.

Clean Hands Often

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds.

  • Always wash immediately after removing gloves and after contact with a person who is sick.

  • Hand sanitizer: If soap and water are not readily available and hands are not visibly dirty, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. However, if hands are visibly dirty, always wash hands with soap and water.

  • Additional key times to clean hands include:

  • After blowing one’s nose, coughing, or sneezing

  • After using the restroom

  • Before eating or preparing food

  • After contact with animals or pets

  • Before and after providing routine care for another person who needs assistance (e.g. a child)

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

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