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Publication #FSHN20-5

COVID-19 Preventative Measures: Cleaning and Disinfection1

Natalie Seymour, Mary Yavelak, Candice Christian, and Ben Chapman2

This flyer is best viewed as a PDF. It provides guidance regarding cleaning and disinfection measures for COVID-19.

Figure 1. 
[Click thumbnail to enlarge.]

Current evidence suggests that novel coronavirus may remain viable for hours to days on surfaces. Cleaning followed by disinfection is recommended by the CDC as a best practice measure for prevention of COVID-19 and other viral respiratory illnesses in households and community settings.


  • Clean surfaces using a detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.

  • CDC recommends diluted household bleach solutions, alcohol solutions with at least 70% alcohol, and compounds on the EPA recommended list, found here:

    • Note: this list is based on current data, but compounds have not been validated for COVID-19.

Diluting Bleach

  • Follow manufacturer's instructions for application and proper ventilation.

  • Prepare a bleach solution by mixing:

    • 5 tablespoons (1/3 cup) OR

    • 4 teaspoons bleach per quart of water

  • Use containers of bleach that have been opened no longer than 30 days.

If Cleaning Up after an Infected Individual

  • Wear disposable gloves while cleaning and discard after cleaning. Follow glove removal procedure to avoid contaminating hands ( Wash your hands after removing gloves.

  • Clean any porous surfaces (carpets, clothing, linens, etc.) with appropriate cleaners and/or launder items using the warmest appropriate water setting. Dry completely.

  • Do not shake dirty laundry. This will minimize the possibility of spreading virus through the air.

For More Information


(800) 232-4636



This document is FSHN20-5, one of a series of the Food Science and Human Nutrition Department, UF/IFAS Extension. Original publication date March 2020. Visit the EDIS website at for the currently supported version of this publication. © NCSU. Used with permission.


Natalie Seymour, MS, Extension associate; Mary Yavelak, MS, Extension associate; Candice Christian, MPH, Extension associate; and Ben Chapman, professor, food safety specialist; NC State University Extension. UF Contact: Michelle Danyluk, professor, Food Science and Human Nutrition Department, UF/IFAS Citrus Research and Education Center, Lake Alfred, FL | | (863) 956-8654.

The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) is an Equal Opportunity Institution authorized to provide research, educational information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function with non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, political opinions or affiliations. For more information on obtaining other UF/IFAS Extension publications, contact your county's UF/IFAS Extension office.

U.S. Department of Agriculture, UF/IFAS Extension Service, University of Florida, IFAS, Florida A & M University Cooperative Extension Program, and Boards of County Commissioners Cooperating. Nick T. Place, dean for UF/IFAS Extension.