COVID-19: how to disinfect your home

Thursday, May 7, 2020

COVID-19: how to disinfect your home

The primary way the coronavirus spreads is from person to person. Nevertheless, it can linger on surfaces for several days. If you or someone you live with has COVID-19, disinfecting your home daily is a must. People who suspect they have the virus should take the same precautions, while those who donít have it can minimize their risk of getting sick by being equally vigilant.

Hard surfaces

Wash hard surfaces with soap and water or a mild detergent before you disinfect them. The coronavirus can be killed using a solution of bleach and water with a ratio of one teaspoon per cup or four teaspoons per quart. A number of household cleaners are also effective at removing the virus. The Environmental Protection Agency has published a comprehensive list of these products on their website.

Surfaces you should target include:

Cupboards and drawers
Tables and hard chairs
Toilet lids and flushers
Light switches
Childrenís toys

In addition, electronics like computers, keyboards, mice, tablets, touchscreens, phones and remote controls should be cleaned according to the manufacturerís instructions. Wrapping these items in an easy-to-wipe plastic covering is also a good idea.

Soft surfaces

Though the coronavirus has a shorter lifespan on soft, porous surfaces, it can still live on them for up to 24 hours. Rugs, carpets and upholstered furniture should be cleaned as their care labels dictate.


Itís best to launder clothing, linens and drapery at the warmest appropriate water temperature setting and according to the manufacturerís instructions. Use disposable gloves if handling items from a person with COVID-19 and wash your hands immediately afterward. To avoid dispersing the virus in the air, donít shake the dirty laundry. Itís best to use a bag liner thatís disposable or can be laundered. Disinfect hampers as you would other hard surfaces.

While practicing proper hand hygiene is the most effective way to protect yourself and others from COVID-19, regularly disinfecting your home can also help prevent the virus from spreading.