Wash your hands

Cleaning & Disinfecting

Everyday Steps, Steps When Someone is Sick, and Considerations for Employers

How to clean and disinfect

  • Wear disposable gloves to clean and disinfect
    • Clean surfaces using soap and water. Practice routine cleaning of frequently touch surfaces
      • High touch surfaces include: tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, sinks, etc.
  • Clean the area with soap and water or another detergent if it 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) and precautions such as wearing gloves and making sure you have good ventilation during use of product.
    • Diluted household bleach solutions may also be used if appropriate for the surface. Check to ensure the product is not past its expiration date. Unexpired household bleach will be effective against coronaviruses when properly diluted.
    • Follow manufacturer’s instructions for application and proper ventilation. Never mix household bleach with ammonia or any other cleanser.
    • Leave solution on the surface for at least 1 minute. Bleach solutions will be effective for disinfection up to 24 hours. To make a bleach solution, mix 5 tablespoons (1/3 cup) bleach per gallon or 4 teaspoons bleach per quart of water.
    • Alcohol solutions with at least 70% alcohol.
  • Soft surfaces – for soft surfaces such as carpeted floor, rugs, and drapes
    • Clean the surface using soap and water or with cleaners appropriate for use on these surfaces.
    • Launder items (if possible) according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Use the warmest appropriate water setting and dry items completely.
    • Or, disinfect with an EPA-registered household disinfectant. These disinfectants meet EPA’s criteria for use against COVID-19.
  • Electronics – such as tablets, touch screens, keyboards, remote controls, and ATM machines
    • Consider putting a wipeable cover on electronics
    • Follow manufacturer’s instruction for cleaning and disinfecting
      • If no guidance, use alcohol-based wipes or sprays containing at least 70% alcohol. Dry surface thoroughly.
  • Laundry – such as 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.
  • Cleaning and disinfecting your building or facility if someone is sick
    • Close off areas used by the person who is sick
    • Open outside doors and windows to increase air circulation in the area. Wait 24 hours before you clean or disinfect. If 24 hours is not feasible, wait as long as possible.
    • Clean and disinfect all areas used by the person who is sic, such as offices, bathrooms, common areas, shared electronic equipment like tablets, touch screens, keyboards, remote controls, and ATM machines.
    • If more than 7 days since the person who is sick visited or used the facility, additional cleaning and disinfection is not necessary.
    • Continue routine cleaning and disinfection.
  • When cleaning:
    • Wear disposable gloves and gowns for all tasks in the cleaning process, including handling trash.
      • Additional personal protective equipment (PPE) might be required based on the cleaning/disinfectant products being used and whether there is a risk of splash.
      • Gloves and gowns should be removed carefully to avoid contamination of the wearer and the surrounding area.
    • Wash your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds.
      • Always wash immediately after removing gloves and after contact with a person who is sick.
      • Hand sanitizer – if soap and water are not available and hands are not visibly dirty, and alcohol=based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol may be used. However, if hands are visibly dirty, always wash hands with soap and water.
    • Additional key times to wash hands include:
      • After blowing one’s nose, coughing, or sneezing.
      • After using the restroom.
      • Before eating or preparing food.
      • After contact with animals or pets.
      • Before and after providing routine care for another person who needs assistance (e.g., a child).
  • Additional Considerations for Employers
    • Educate workers performing cleaning, laundry, and trash pick-up to recognize the symptoms of COVID-19.
    • Provide instructions on what to do if they develop symptoms within 14 days after their last possible exposure to the virus.
    • Develop policies for worker protection and provide training to all cleaning staff on site prior to providing cleaning tasks.
      • Training should include when to use PPE, what PPE is necessary, how to properly don (put on), use, and doff (take off) PPE, and how to properly dispose of PPE.
    • Ensure workers are trained on the hazards of the cleaning chemicals used in the workplace in accordance with OSHA’s Hazard Communication standard (29 CFR 1910.1200).
    • Comply with OSHA’s standards on Bloodborne Pathogens (29 CFR 1910.1030), including proper disposal of regulated waste, and PPE (29 CFR 1910.132).

  • For facilities that house people overnight:
    • Follow CDC’s guidance for colleges and universities. Work with state and local health officials to determine the best way to isolate people who are sick and if temporary housing is needed.
    • For guidance on cleaning and disinfecting the bedroom/bathroom for someone who is sick, review CDC’s guidance on disinfecting your home if someone is sick.

Guidance for Cleaning & Disinfecting Public Spaces, Workplaces, Businesses, Schools, and Homes

  1. Develop Your Plan
    • Determine what needs to be cleaned. Areas unoccupied for 7 or more days need only routine cleaning. Maintain existing cleaning practices for outdoor areas.
    • Determine how areas will be disinfected. Consider the type of surface and how often the surface is touched. Prioritize disinfecting frequently touched surfaces.
    • Consider the resources and equipment needed. Keep in mind the availability of cleaning products and personal protective equipment (PPE) appropriate for cleaners and disinfectants.
  2. Implement
    • Clean visibly dirty surfaces with soap and water prior to disinfection.
    • Use the appropriate cleaning or disinfectant product. Use an EPA-approved disinfectant against COVID-19, and read the label to make sure it meets your needs.
    • Always follow the directions on the label. The label will include safety information and application instructions. Keep disinfectants out of the reach of children.
  3. Maintain and Revise
    • Continue routine cleaning and disinfection. Continue or revise your plan based upon appropriate disinfectant and PPE availability. Dirty surfaces should be cleaned with soap and water prior to disinfection. Routinely disinfect frequently touched surfaces at least daily.
    • Maintain safe practices such as frequent handwashing, using cloth face coverings, and staying home if you are sick.
    • Continue practices that reduce the potential for exposure. Maintain social distancing, staying six feet away from others. Reduce sharing of common spaces and frequently touched objects.

Information provided by the CDC, Ohio Department of Health and the Butler County General Health District.