Know the Facts about Coronavirus in our Community

Cleaning Tips for COVID-19

Follow these cleaning and disinfecting guidelines for all surfaces in your home, car, and groceries.

April 6, 2020

Cleaning tips for COVID-19

As COVID-19 continues to spread throughout New York State, it’s important to know how to properly clean your home, car, and groceries to help keep you and your family safe.

Melissa Bronstein, Director of Infection Prevention and Control and COVID-19 Task Force member for Rochester Regional Health, has created a list of her top cleaning tips and provided insight into how you can help reduce the spread of the coronavirus in your community.

Cleaning vs. Disinfecting: What’s the difference?

Cleaning and disinfecting are terms that are often confused with one another, but they mean very different things.

Cleaning is the removal of germs and dirt from surfaces, but cleaning does not kill germs. It merely removes germs and lowers the risk of spreading infection.

Disinfecting is the process of using chemicals to kill germs on surfaces. This doesn’t mean dirty surfaces are cleaned or germs are removed, but by killing germs on a cleaned surface, disinfecting lowers the risk of spreading infection even more.

“Wear disposable gloves when cleaning and disinfecting,” Bronstein said. “This will reduce the spread of germs from your hands to other areas of your house, car, or groceries.”

How to clean and disinfect

Generally, the most important areas to clean and disinfect are commonly touched surfaces such as tables, doorknobs, light switches, handles, toilets, etc. These surfaces should be cleaned every day.

Cleaning and disinfecting techniques vary depending on the type of surface being cleaned.

Guidelines to follow:

Hard Surfaces

  • Clean surfaces using soap and water. Remove all visible soil and dirt.
  • Disinfect surface with a household disinfectant. Be sure the product is an EPA-registered household disinfectant.
  • Follow the instructions on the product label to be sure you are using it safely and effectively.
  • Keep the surface wet for the period of time recommended on the product label.
  • Wear gloves and ensure sufficient ventilation while using the product.

Soft Surfaces

  • Clean using soap and water or with the appropriate cleaner for that surface.
  • Wash items in the laundry if possible. Use the warmest appropriate water setting and dry thoroughly.
  • Some items can be disinfected with an EPA-registered household disinfectant.

Electronics

  • Put a cover on electronic devices that can be wiped.
  • Used alcohol-based wipes and sprays containing at least 70% alcohol. Dry the surface completely.

Laundry

  • If someone in your household is sick, wear disposable gloves while doing laundry.
  • Laundry from a sick person can be washed with another person’s laundry.
  • Wash laundry with the warmest appropriate water setting and dry completely.
  • Do not shake dirty laundry.
  • Clean and disinfect clothing hampers.
  • Wash hands with soap and water after removing disposable gloves.

Groceries

Upon returning home from the grocery store, it’s a good idea to take extra measures to prevent the spread of illness into your household. Wash your hands before and after handling your groceries.

If you are concerned about potential contamination, cleaning and disinfecting your groceries can reduce the risk of germs spreading.

How to clean groceries:

  • Wipe products with hard surfaces using an EPA-registered household cleaner.
  • Throw out any disposable packaging.
  • If someone in your household is considered high risk for severe illness from COVID-19, scrubbing fruits and vegetables with soap and water for 20 seconds may be a good idea.

Cleaning if someone in your home is sick

If someone in your household is sick, do the best you can do designate one room and bathroom for their use only. If a separate bathroom is not an option, the bathroom should be cleaned and disinfected after each use by an ill person.

If they are too sick to clean, the caregiver should wait as long as possible before entering the bathroom and cleaning and disinfecting the high-touched surfaces.

Provide personal cleaning supplies for the sick person’s room and bathroom, unless they are a child or someone who should not handle cleaning products.

Supplies include paper towels, cleaners, EPA-registered household disinfectants, and tissues.

Always wash your hands

No matter how clean your household is, if your hands aren’t clean, you can get sick, Bronstein explains.

“One of the most common ways for COVID-19 to be spread is through hand-to-face transmission.”

When to wash your hands:

  • Before eating
  • After using the bathroom
  • When coming back inside
  • After handling any dirty materials

Wash your hands using soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand rub if soap and water aren’t available.

Learn More COVID-19 Tips

Recent News

Coronavirus in New York
New active coronavirus cases are on the rise in Monroe County, and Dr. Michael Mendoza says we need to be vigilant and keep social distancing as the warm weather continues. Get the latest numbers of coronavirus cases in Monroe County and Western New York.

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Live Updates: Coronavirus in Western New York

New active coronavirus cases are on the rise in Monroe County, and Dr. Michael Mendoza says we need to be vigilant and keep social distancing as the warm weather continues. Get the latest numbers of coronavirus cases in Monroe County and Western New York.

Read News Article
Health check ups during covid-19
Routine health check ups with your doctor can reduce your risk of getting a serious infection and can detect potentially life-threatening diseases before it’s too late. Primary Care Physician Sonia Dar, MD, tells us what else we need to know during the coronavirus pandemic.

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Health Check Ups are as Important as Ever

Routine health check ups with your doctor can reduce your risk of getting a serious infection and can detect potentially life-threatening diseases before it’s too late. Primary Care Physician Sonia Dar, MD, tells us what else we need to know during the coronavirus pandemic.

Read News Article
View All Recent News Articles