To clean your home to reduce the spread of COVID-19, look at your cleaning product. If it says it kills coronavirus on the label, it is EPA-approved and okay to use. Several name-brand products do, such as Lysol and Clorox.
For cleaning workplaces, see our Business Tools and Guidance page for links to OSHA’s latest requirements. See CDC guidance for cleaning and disinfecting your facility.
Use the Product Right
First, clean dirt off of the surface. Then wipe the surface with disinfectant.
Leave the surface you are cleaning wet with disinfectant for as many minutes as the product instructions require. This is a key step that people often miss. It's not enough to just wipe a surface with a rag dampened with disinfectant!
What to Clean
- High-touch areas such as door handles, phones, remote controls, light switches and bathroom fixtures.
- Horizontal surfaces such as countertops, kitchen tables, desktops and other places where cough droplets could land frequently
The most important factors to disinfecting are to clean frequently and thoroughly, and to use the cleaning product correctly! No special products required!
A one-time “deep clean” is not effective.
It's unclear exactly how long COVID-19 can remain on a surface. Early evidence suggests that the virus can survive for several days at room temperature. This is why wiping down commonly touched surfaces helps to prevent the spread of illnesses like COVID-19 and the flu.
Most disinfecting wipes claim they can kill up to 99.9% of germs. If used appropriately, they may be effective against COVID-19. Make sure to follow the instructions on the label. It's important to clean a visibly dirty surface to rid it of dirt and debris before disinfecting.
Do not reuse wipes to wipe down multiple surfaces. This can transfer germs from the used wipe to other surfaces. To prevent this, use one wipe for each surface and then throw it out.
Do not dry the surface after using the disinfectant wipe. The surface that you are disinfecting will need to stay wet for the amount of time listed on the label. This step is important because the contact time is what is required to kill the germs.
At Home or the Dorm
- Clean all high-touch surfaces every day (counters, tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets and bedside tables).
- Clean any surface that may have blood, stool or body fluids on them.
- Use a household cleaning spray or wipe according to the label instructions.
- Labels contain instructions for safe and effective use of the cleaning product, including precautions you should take when applying it (wear gloves and use good ventilation).
Schools, Jails and Other Community Settings
- Follow your organization’s routine cleaning and disinfection program.
- Emphasize cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces such as bathrooms, water coolers, desks, countertops, doorknobs, computer keyboards, hands-on learning items, faucet handles, phones and toys.
- Special processes beyond routine cleaning are not necessary or recommended at this time.
- Follow standard procedures for cleaning and disinfecting with an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered disinfectant with a claim for human coronaviruses.
Follow the disinfectant manufacturer’s instructions for use, including:
- Use the proper concentrations of disinfectant
- Allow required wet contact time
- Pay close attention to hazard warnings and instructions for using personal protective items such as gloves and eye protection
- Use disinfectants in a sufficiently ventilated space
- Follow the safety data sheets (SDS) for each disinfectant chemical