How should I clean my house after recovering from COVID?

If you are one of the millions of people who had COVID-19, you might be wondering how you should clean your home after coming out of isolation. 

Smart cleaning to reduce the risk of spreading the virus

There is a lot of good news to be found here. First, COVID-19 is not primarily spread through contact with contaminated surfaces. The risk of getting COVID through surfaces is much lower than sharing the air with a contagious person. That being said, the risk is probably not zero, and it’s helpful to disinfect surfaces that you came into contact with when you were sick.

A thorough cleaning with appropriate disinfectants will help protect those around you

The novel coronavirus dies pretty quickly on most surfaces. But after you’ve been sick, it’s still a good idea to clean surfaces and wash clothes and bedding. Here are some practical things you can do: 

  • Wear gloves and a mask when cleaning
  • Use an appropriate disinfectant; many popular cleaning products will work just fine
  • Disinfect “high touch” surfaces like doorknobs and faucets
  • Wash all clothes and bedding using the warmest appropriate water setting and dry items completely. (To minimize the possibility of dispersing the virus through the air, do not shake dirty laundry.)
  • Open windows when possible
  • Wash all dishes and flatware that you used while you were sick
  • Clean bathrooms and toilets 
  • Dispose of all garbage

See the CDC cleaning guidance for more information. Staying isolated when sick is the best way to reduce your risk of spreading COVID. Cleaning well once you recover can help too.

Last update: March 11, 2021, 12:00pm ET

Science review: HAY, JAB