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COVID-19 Preventative Measures: Cleaning and Disinfection1

Natalie Seymour, Mary Yavelak, Candice Christian, and Ben Chapman 2

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

Figure 1. 
Figure 1. 
Credit: NCSU

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


1. 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.
2. 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.

Publication #FSHN20-5

Date: 5/19/2020

  • Critical Issue: Agricultural and Food Systems
Fact Sheet


  • Michelle Danyluk