During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend social distancing, hand washing, and regularly disinfecting high touch areas to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The virus may remain on surfaces for a few hours to several days on a variety of materials including plastic, wood and steel.
What’s the difference between cleaning and disinfecting?
- Cleaning removes germs and dirt from surfaces. To clean, use soap and water or a cleaning solution.
- Disinfecting uses chemicals to kill germs on surfaces. Bleach solutions (1/3 cup per gallon of water) or EPA-registered household disinfectants can be used if appropriate for the surface. Never mix chlorine bleach with ammonia-containing products.
Read the label on all products for any precautions you should be aware of, such as wearing gloves and ensuring good ventilation. Always wash your hands after removing gloves.
What household areas should be cleaned and disinfected?
It’s easy to overlook common household areas when doing your routine house cleaning because some surfaces might not look dirty to the naked eye. Items and places you touch frequently that should be cleaned include:
- Doorknobs and handles
- Handles on furniture and appliances
- Tables, desks, and hard-backed chairs
- Light switches
- Faucets and sinks
- Toilet flusher
- Toiletries and makeup
- Hand and dish towels
- Handbags, tote bags, and laptop bags
- Steering wheel
- Cell phones, tablets, and laptops
Cleaning dirty surfaces followed by disinfecting is one of the best ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other viral respiratory illnesses. And always remember to wash your hands after cleaning any surface.