disinfectant and gloves near computer surfaces touched frequently

Updated: June 12, 2020

How to Help Prevent COVID-19 Spread at Home

One of the most effective ways to help fight the spread of COVID-19, aside from social distancing and washing your hands, is cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces in your home on a daily basis, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We’ve put together tips on how to clean, and a list of surfaces and items that you may use often enough to warrant a daily cleaning.

On This Page:

  1. Routine Cleaning Tips
    1. Homemade Disinfectants
  2. List of Surfaces to Disinfect in the Home
    1. Devices
    2. Appliances
    3. Fixtures
    4. Hard Surfaces
    5. Soft Surfaces
    6. Additional Items

Routine Cleaning Tips

According to CDC guidelines for cleaning and disinfecting your home, it’s important to use a two-step process for this project by first cleaning and then disinfecting surfaces.

  1. Clean surfaces and items using soap or detergent and water. This will lift any impurities from the surface and remove germs.
  2. Disinfect the clean surface with an EPA-registered disinfectant approved for use against COVID-19. This will kill remaining germs on the surface.

The CDC recommends wearing gloves during cleanings and using a fresh rag or towel. Dispose of gloves and launder rags between cleanings.

If you are unsure of your ability to disinfect effectively, especially after someone confirmed with the virus has been in contact with surfaces in our home, consider consulting a local deep cleaning service for help. Then read our guide on how to safety prepare when inviting a professional into your home.

Homemade Disinfectants

If you can’t get hold of a brand-name disinfectant, the CDC says you can make an effective solution at home using either:

  • One-third cup of unexpired bleach per gallon of water
  • Alcohol solutions with at least 70% alcohol

Important note: Never mix household bleach with ammonia or any other cleanser.

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Surfaces to Frequently Disinfect in the Home

Here is a list of surfaces you may come into frequent contact with throughout the day. Follow CDC guidelines to clean these areas daily, or as often as possible to prevent spreading germs.

Devices

  • Home phone
  • Cell phone
  • Laptop
  • Keyboard
  • Mouse
  • Headphones
  • Game console controllers
  • Buttons and switches
  • Chargers

The CDC says to consider using wipeable covers for electronics. If no manufacturer guidance is available, you may want to try alcohol-based wipes or a spray with at least 70% alcohol to disinfect touch screens. Be sure to completely dry electronic surfaces to avoid pooling liquids. Always follow manufacturer instructions for cleaning and disinfection products.

Appliances

  • Coffee machine and buttons
  • Blender
  • Microwave
  • Controls on laundry machine
  • Front of refrigerator
  • Inside of fridge and freezer
  • Buttons on dishwasher

Fixtures

  • Sinks
  • Faucets
  • Toilets
  • Toilet handles
  • Light switches
  • Lamp pulls
  • Shower
  • Window crank
  • Window blinds pull

Hard Surfaces

  • Kitchen counters
  • Bathroom countertops
  • Stove
  • Front of oven
  • Floors
  • Tabletops
  • Backs of chairs
  • Desks
  • Doorknobs
  • Cabinet handles
  • Drawer pulls
  • Inside drawers and cabinets
  • Shelves
  • Trash cans and lids

Soft Surfaces

  • Rugs
  • Drapes
  • Blankets
  • Furniture
  • Sheets and pillowcases

The CDC provides a list of EPA-approved cleaners for porous surfaces like fabric and carpet. You can also go to our guide for upholstery cleaning for additional tips. Be sure to check manufacturer instructions. If possible, launder items with the warmest appropriate water setting and dry them completely.

Additional Items to Consider

  • Salt and pepper shakers
  • Lighters
  • Toothbrush canisters
  • Hair and makeup brushes
  • Electric razors
  • Curling irons and hair dryers
  • Food and spice containers
  • Any other surface you interact with daily

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