COVID-19 Home Isolation – Cleaning

COVID-19 Home Isolation – Cleaning

Cleaning is the best way to prevent the spread of a virus.

The risk of infection depends on many factors, including:

  • the type of surfaces contaminated
  • the amount of virus shed from an individual
  • the time an individual has spent in the environment of concern
  • the time that has passed since an individual left the environment of concern

When considering contaminated environments, the risk of infection decreases over time; in most circumstances, this risk is reduced significantly after 72 hours.

For public areas where an individual with symptoms has passed through and spent minimal time, such as corridors, that has not been visibly contaminated with body fluids can be cleaned thoroughly as normal.

All surfaces that a symptomatic person has come into contact with must be cleaned and disinfected, including:

  • objects which are visibly contaminated with body fluids
  • all potentially contaminated high-contact areas such as bathrooms, door handles, telephones, grab-rails in corridors and stairwells etc.

Use disposable cloths or paper roll and disposable mop heads, to clean all hard surfaces, floors, chairs, door handles and sanitary fittings

COVID-19 survives a few hours on hard surfaces. Chemicals such as disinfectants can kill the virus on contact.  These chemicals include:

  • Bleach
  • Chlorine –based disinfectants
  • Solvents containing at least 70% alcohol

DO NOT put chemical cleaning products on your skin.



You should wash items in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions, using the warmest water setting and drying items completely after washing. Dirty laundry that has been in contact with an unwell person can be washed with other people’s items; BUT do not shake dirty laundry before loading, as this will increase the possibility of dispersing virus through the air.



Waste from an infected individual and from cleaning of areas where the infection may be found (including disposable cloths and tissues):

1.   Should be put in a plastic rubbish bag and tied when full.

2.   The plastic bag should then be placed in a second bin bag and tied.

3.   This should then be placed in a suitable/ secure place (kept away from children for example), and marked for storage until the individual’s test results are known.

You should not put your waste in communal waste areas until negative test results are known or the waste has been stored for at least 72 hours.