A CLOSER LOOK: cleaning, disinfecting, sanitizing, per CDC’s COVID-19 guidelines

A Closer Look

Keeping it clean during COVID-19

ARKANSAS (KNWA/KFTA) — Businesses, family visits, and just plain old getting outdoors may come with requirements (such as wearing a mask) because of COVID-19, which was declared a pandemic on March 2020 by the World Health Organization.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has made revisions for cleaning, disinfecting and sanitizing areas of businesses, community facilities and even your home, to help keep the new coronavirus from spreading.

On April 1, the CDC added guidance on “the timing of disinfection after a suspected/confirmed COVID-19 case,” according to its website.

New research shows COVID-19 may stay “viable” anywhere from hours to days on a variety of surfaces. The CDC recommends cleaning and disinfecting dirty areas to help prevent the spread of the illness in community settings.

CDC recommendations for community facilities

These are schools, daycare centers, most non-healthcare businesses.

Cleaning: the removal of dirt, including germs, from surfaces. Germs are not killed just by cleaning, but it does reduce the risk of spreading infection. Dirty surfaces should be cleaned using a detergent, or soap and water, before being disinfected. Use disposable gloves when cleaning. If you have reusable gloves make sure the gloves are only used for cleaning/disinfecting of surfaces for COVID-19.

Electronics should be cleaned according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Do not shake dirty laundry. Wash items according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Use the warmest water setting and dry the items completely. Dirty laundry that has been in contact with an infected person can be washed together.

Disinfecting: EPA-registered disinfectants work best to kill germs on surfaces. Doing this reduces any risk of spreading infection. Click here to see if your item is on the list of EPA-approved products.

Sanitizing: Household surfaces can be sanitized by using bleach. The solution can be 1/3 cup bleach per gallon of water, or four teaspoons bleach per quart of water. The solution will disinfect up to 24 hours. But, rules must followed: NEVER mix bleach with ammonia or any other cleaner. Wear rubber boots, gloves and eye protection. Try not to breathe in the fumes. If you are using the products inside, open windows and doors to let in fresh air.

CDC general recommendations for households

At home it’s recommended to often clean surfaces that are touched. For example: tables, doorknobs, light switches, handles, desks, toilets, faucets, sinks, and electronics.

If you have an area that is dedicated for someone who is sick with COVID-19, or otherwise, it’s suggested to reduce cleaning frequency to “as-needed” and try to avoid contact with the sick person. You can leave cleaning supplies in the sick person’s room (unless occupied by a child or another person where the supplies would not be recommended). A separate bathroom is recommended for the sick person. If that’s not possible, the bathroom should be cleaned and disinfected after each use.

An ill person should stay isolated in a specific room and away from others in the home. CDC: “what do do if you are sick.”


The CDC reports 1,324,488 total cases and 79,756 deaths due to COVID-19 as of May 11 in the United States.

Cases & Deaths by State

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