Cleaning with a household cleaner that contains soap or detergent reduces the amount of germs on surfaces and decreases 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.
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 unvaccinated visitors to wear masks.
- Follow guidance for fully vaccinated people 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.
Cleaning and Disinfecting
Different Types of Surfaces
For soft surfaces such as carpet, rugs, and drapes
- Clean the soft surfaces (carpets, rugs, and drapes) with soap and water or with cleaners made for use on these surfaces.
- Launder items (if possible) using the warmest appropriate water setting and dry items completely.
- Disinfect using an EPA List Nexternal icon product for use on soft surfaces, if needed.
- Vacuum as usual. If vacuuming an area occupied by a sick person or someone positive for COVID-19 in the last 24 hours, wear a mask when vacuuming.
- Use the warmest appropriate water setting and dry items completely.
- It is safe to wash dirty laundry from a person who is sick with other people’s items.
- If handling dirty laundry from a person who is sick, wear gloves and a mask.
- Clean clothes hampers or laundry baskets according to guidance for surfaces.
- Wash hands after handling dirty laundry
- Consider putting a wipeable cover on electronics (for example, phones, tablets, touchscreens, keyboards, and remote controls) to make cleaning easier.
- Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning the electronic device.
- If needed, use a disinfectant from the EPA List Nexternal icon but note that many of the products for electronics contain alcohol because it dries quickly.