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How Cleaning & Disinfecting Procedures Can Help Stop The Spread Of Viruses

Cleaning and Disinfecting

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When cleaning and disinfecting, focus on surfaces that frequently contact people’s bare skin like desks, chairs, benches, faucets, light switches, and remote controls. Also, make sure to clean any surfaces that could encounter uncovered wounds or cuts.

Here are some other important things to know when cleaning and disinfecting surfaces throughout your work area:

Wear disposable gloves when cleaning and disinfecting surfaces. Gloves should be discarded after each cleaning. If reusable gloves are used, those gloves should be dedicated for cleaning and disinfection of surfaces’ germs and should not be used for other purposes. Clean hands immediately after gloves are removed.

Cleaning with a household cleaner that contains soap or detergent reduces the number of germs on surfaces and decreases the risk of infection from surfaces. In most situations, cleaning alone removes most virus particles on surfaces. Disinfection to reduce transmission of COVID-19 at home is likely not needed unless someone in your home is sick or if someone who is positive for COVID-19 has been in your home within the last 24 hours.

If surfaces are dirty, they should be cleaned using a detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.

For disinfection, you can use:

  • most common EPA-registered household disinfectants should be effective
  • alcohol solutions with at least 70% alcohol
  • a bleach solution by mixing: 5 tablespoons (1/3rd cup) bleach per gallon of water; or 4 teaspoons bleach per quart of water

For soft (porous) surfaces such as carpeted floor, rugs, and drapes, remove visible contamination if present and clean with appropriate cleaners indicated for use on these surfaces.

When and how to clean surfaces in your home

  • Clean high-touch surfaces regularly (for example, daily) and after you have visitors in your home.
  • Focus on high-touch surfaces such as doorknobs, tables, handles, light switches, and countertops.
  • Clean other surfaces in your home when they are visibly dirty or as needed. Clean them more frequently if people in your household are more likely to get very sick from COVID-19. You might also choose to disinfect.
  • Clean surfaces using a product suitable for each surface, following instructions on the product label.

Reduce contamination of surfaces

Take steps in your home to limit contamination of surfaces from airborne particles or from touching surfaces with contaminated hands.

  • Ask visitors who are not fully vaccinated to wear masks.
  • Follow guidance for people who are fully vaccinated before inviting visitors to your home.
  • Isolate people who are sick with COVID-19.
  • Have everyone in your household wash hands often, especially when returning from outside activities.
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