How to Clean Your Home During the Coronavirus Outbreak

Detailed advice from doctors and health policy experts

Ann Hinga Klein
Elemental
Published in
6 min readMar 27, 2020

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Photo: Moyo Studio/Getty Images

AtAt a glance, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines for preventing exposure to coronavirus at home look almost simple (basically, clean and disinfect frequently used surfaces daily). But applying them to real life raises lots of practical questions about where to clean, what to use — and when to clean again.

Adding to the angst, stores across the country and even Amazon have struggled to keep disinfecting supplies in stock.

First, what we know: The research is still evolving, but public health agencies say you’re more likely to catch the virus through the air than on a surface. That’s because it’s believed to spread mainly from person to person through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or even just exhales.

What’s the most important thing in your house to clean? No question: It’s your hands.

That said, those droplets also land on objects and surfaces around the person who just coughed. Based on what we know about viral illnesses, it’s prudent to assume you can contract Covid-19 after touching those objects or surfaces and then touching your mouth

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Ann Hinga Klein
Elemental

Iowa-based journalist covering humans, health, mental health and education. Prairie hiker. Fan of surf and snow.