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For essential workers with household employees, staying on top of disinfecting high-traffic areas significantly reduces the risk of transmitting bacteria and viruses.
Research shows the virus can live on surfaces for a few hours, such as on on clothing, and as long as days on cardboard and stainless steel. Now more than ever it is important to clean these areas daily. Here are the best practices for sanitizing the most high-trafficked surfaces in your home, as recommended by the NIH and CDC.
  • Clean the area with soap and water or another detergent if it is dirty. Then, use a household disinfectant.
  • Recommend use of EPA-registered household disinfectant
  • Follow the instructions on the label to ensure safe and effective use of the product.
  • Many products recommend:
  • Keeping surface wet for a period of time (see product label)
  • Precautions such as wearing gloves and making sure you have good ventilation during use of the product.
For clothing, towels, linens and other items:
  • Launder items according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Use the warmest appropriate water setting and dry items completely.
  • Wear disposable gloves when handling dirty laundry from a person who is sick.
  • Dirty laundry from a person who is sick can be washed with other people’s items.
  • Do not shake dirty laundry.
  • Clean and disinfect clothes hampers according to guidance above for surfaces.
  • Remove gloves, and wash hands right away.
For kitchen counters, tabletops and appliances:
  • Clean the area with soap and water or another detergent if it is dirty. Then, use a household disinfectant.
  • Diluted household bleach solutions may also be used if appropriate for the surface.
  • Be sure to use unexpired household bleach for effectiveness against coronaviruses
  • Follow manufacturer’s instructions for application and proper ventilation. Never mix household bleach with ammonia or any other cleanser.
  • To make a bleach solution, mix: 5 tablespoons bleach per gallon of water (or 4 teaspoons bleach per quart of water)
  • Leave solution on the surface for at least 1 minute.
  • Alcohol solutions with at least 70% alcohol may also be used.

For electronics, such as tablets, touch screens, keyboards, and remote controls:
  • Consider putting a wipeable cover on electronics
  • Follow manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning and disinfecting
  • If no guidance, use alcohol-based wipes or sprays containing at least 70% alcohol. Dry surface thoroughly.
For shoes made of synthetic materials:
  • Remove shoes upon entering your home
  • Wipe shoes down using alcohol-based wipes or sprays containing at least 70% alcohol.
  • Additionally, wash your shoes if they are machine washable or clean them with hot water and soap.
For packages:
  • Wash hands with soap and water after handling packages.
  • Wipe down packages before opening with 70% alcohol-based wipes or sprays.
  • Set package aside in a corner until the item(s) inside.
  • Wipe down any surfaces the package rested on.