Hygiene advice for people living in residential buildingsCleaning surfaces at home to help stop
the spread of COVID-19
Studies suggest that coronaviruses (which includes the COVID-19 virus) may be able to survive on surfaces for a few hours or up to several days. This can vary depending on the temperature, humidity and type of surface.
Coronaviruses on surfaces can be killed through cleaning and disinfection. As well as regular handwashing, cleaning and disinfecting surfaces in your home can help stop the spread of COVID-19.
Regularly clean these surfaces with a household detergent, followed by disinfectant. Alternatively, you can use detergent/disinfectant wipes as long as you scrub the surface hard:
For general surfaces, using a household detergent solution/wipes for cleaning is adequate:
Detergents help remove germs, dirt, and impurities from surfaces. By removing them it lowers their numbers and the risk of spreading infection.
Disinfectants are chemical solutions that are designed to ‘kill’, but not remove, viruses and bacteria. Disinfectants do not necessarily clean dirty surfaces or remove germs, but by killing germs on a surface after cleaning, it can further lower the risk of spreading infection.
For hard, non-porous surfaces, a diluted household bleach solution can be used in a ratio of four teaspoons of bleach per one litre of water.
Importantly, never mix household bleach with ammonia or any other cleaner. You need to check the product is not past its expiration date, which makes it ineffective. You must also ensure good ventilation of the area during and after application.
People living in residential buildings should take care when moving through common areas to reduce the risk of COVID-19:
In addition to cleaning your home, good personal hygiene can help stop the spread of COVID-19:
Remember, when washing your hands all you need is water and a detergent (surfactant) such as a bar of soap, body wash or shampoo. It doesn’t need to be expensive, or ‘antibacterial’. The key to handwashing is to wash often and wash well, for at least 20 seconds.
Alcohol-based hand sanitiser is dangerous if ingested, particularly for children.
Safety tips for parents include:
If you have been asked to self-isolate for 14 days, follow the guidance on how to self-isolate. This includes information on hygiene, cleaning and remaining separated from people living in your home.