April 02, 2020

Disinfecting Your Home for COVID-19 Protection

Disinfecting Your Home for COVID-19 Protection

Along with washing your hands and social distancing, cleaning and disinfecting your house is an important part of protecting you and your family from COVID-19. It’s important to note that cleaning and disinfecting are two very different things:

  • Cleaning is about removing contaminants from a surface. 
  • Disinfecting is about killing pathogens.
  • Do both daily if anyone or anything has entered your home.

Although transmission of COVID-19 is a much greater risk from person-to-person, the CDC recommends that we clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces in our homes daily just to be safe. 


High-Touch Surfaces That Should Be Cleaned Daily

The novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19 is capable of living on surfaces such as cardboard for 24 hours, but up to three days on plastic and stainless steel. That means that you should clean and disinfect the following high-touch surfaces every day:

  • Doorknobs
  • Table surfaces
  • Hard chairs (seat, back, and arms)
  • Kitchen counters
  • Bathroom counters
  • Toilets (seat and handle)
  • Light switches
  • TV remotes
  • Game controllers

Everyone’s household and habits are different, so think about the surfaces you and your family interact with the most and make sure to clean and disinfect those surfaces regularly. 

How to Clean and Disinfect Your Surfaces

First, clean the surfaces by removing contaminants like dust and debris by wiping them down with soapy water (or a cleaning spray) and a hand towel. Then use a surface-appropriate disinfectant, such as disinfecting wipes or disinfectant spray. That’s it. If you clean and disinfect your surfaces every day, you’ll be helping to lower the risk of infection for you and your family.

Here are some disinfectants you can use:

  • Disinfecting wipes (Clorox, Lysol, or store brand)
  • Disinfectant spray (Purell, Clorox, Lysol, or store brand)
  • Isopropyl alcohol
  • Hydrogen peroxide

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What If I Can’t Find Store-Bought Cleaners or Disinfectants?

Just like the empty toilet paper aisles you’ll find in most stores, cleaners and disinfectants are also hard to come by. That said, using more soap and water when you’re scrubbing surfaces makes a big difference. Here’s how you can make homemade cleaning spray and disinfectant spray:

  • How to make homemade vinegar cleaning spray:
    • 1 ¼ cups water
    • ½ cup white vinegar
    • 10 drops of your favorite essential oil (optional)

Spray liberally on surfaces and wipe clean with a soft cleaning cloth or spray directly on cloth before wiping.

  • How to make homemade bleach disinfectant spray: 
    • 4 teaspoons household bleach
    • 1 quart of water
    • Pour both into a quart spray bottle, shake vigorously
    • Spray on surface, let sit for 10 minutes, wipe with wet cloth

You should never mix bleach with any other cleaning chemical. It’s also important to note that bleach can damage or discolor sensitive surfaces, so use sparingly, wear gloves and make sure the area is properly ventilated.

How Do I Clean If Someone in My Home Is Sick With COVID-19?

If someone in your home is infected with COVID-19, here’s what you should be doing to keep you home clean and disinfected:

  • Keep a separate bedroom and bathroom (if possible) for the sick person. Keeping the sick person away from everyone in the house is crucial to limit the spread of COVID-19 in your home.
    • Limit cleaning to as needed (e.g. soiled items and surfaces) to minimize contact with the sick person.
    • Provide cleaning products to the sick person (if appropriate).
  • Shared bathroom. Clean and disinfect after each use by the sick person using the methods described above. 

More Questions About COVID-19?

If you have more questions or concerns about COVID-19, go to BaptistHealth.com or visit other reputable sites, such as the World Health Organization or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).


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