Cleaning and Laundry Tips

Focus on high-touch surfaces 

March 23, 2020

The CDC recommends frequent cleaning and disinfecting of high-touch surfaces. These include: 

  • Tables 
  • Doorknobs 
  • Light switches 
  • Handles 
  • Desks 
  • Toilets 
  • Faucets 
  • Sinks 

Use standard household cleaners and EPA-registered disinfectants on these surfaces. 

When a surface is dirty, clean it using detergent or soap and water before disinfecting. 

Afterward, use diluted household bleach solutions, alcohol solutions with at least 70% alcohol, or other household disinfectants recommended by the U.S. Environmental Protection agency to combat coronavirus.

Follow label instructions on standard household cleaners such as:

  • Alcohol-based wipes (no baby wipes)
  • Clorox
  • Lysol
  • Microban
  • Hydrogen peroxide

Never mix household bleach with ammonia or any other cleanser. You can prepare your own bleach solution by: 

  • Mixing 5 tablespoons bleach per gallon of water or 
  • Mixing 4 teaspoons bleach per quart of water 

Be sure to protect yourself while cleaning and disinfecting by wearing gloves and ensuring good ventilation. If you use disposable gloves, discard them after use. If you have reusable gloves, clean and store them in a dry location. Be sure to clean your hands immediately after removing gloves. 

Laundry guidelines 

Launder clothing, towels, linens, and other items according to manufacturer instructions but be sure to:

  • Use the warmest water setting possible to kill germs.
  • Minimize shaking of contaminated items before placing in the washer to limit the dispersion of particles.
  • Wear gloves when handling an ill person’s laundry.
  • Always clean your hands immediately after removing gloves.

Normal washing with laundry detergents, hot water and hot dryers are good for killing pathogens, UCI infectious disease experts say. If you cannot wash clothes right away, it’s OK to put them in a laundry basket. Virus degrades and deteriorates over time without a live host.

Even if viruses are on clothing, the only way to get sick is by rubbing hands on the cloth right after a droplet spray and then touching mouth, eyes or nose without washing hands.