A how-to guide for cleaning “high-touch” items and surfaces at home

Washing your hands often, covering your coughs and sneezes, and social distancing are all key ways to stay healthy and prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other illnesses like influenza. But it’s also important to keep other “high touch” items clean.

Here are some steps you can take at home or work: 

Cell phones

Our phones are used constantly throughout the day, meaning that keeping them clean is especially important. Make sure to carefully follow the guidelines of your cell phone manufacturer to avoid damage. 

Two major cell phone manufacturers provided the following guidance about cleaning devices:

Apple products

“Using a 70 percent isopropyl alcohol wipe or Clorox Disinfecting Wipes, you may gently wipe the hard, nonporous surfaces of your Apple product, such as the display, keyboard, or other exterior surfaces. Don’t use bleach. Avoid getting moisture in any opening, and don’t submerge your Apple product in any cleaning agents. Don’t use on fabric or leather surfaces.” 

Samsung products

“You can also use a disinfectant, such as a hypochlorous acid-based solution (containing 50-80ppm) or an alcohol-based solution (containing more than 70% ethanol or isopropyl alcohol). Do not apply these liquid solutions directly to your phone; they should be carefully applied to a microfiber cloth instead.”

Keys

Some keys may be gently cleaned by using disinfectant wipes, or washed with soap and water.

Note: You should use caution and be sure that liquids will not damage key fobs.

Badges or ID cards

Many badges or ID cards can be cleaned gently by using soap and water. Talk with your employer or manager about specific recommendations for your workplace.

Clothing

When laundering your clothes at home, follow these general guidelines:

  • For clothes you wear to work outside the home, consider bringing a change of clothes to wear at the end of your shift and a washable or disposable bag to place them into after changing
  • When laundering, consider washing your work clothes separately from other clothes
  • Handle laundry with minimal agitation, clean your hands after loading the washer
  • Use the warmest water setting on your washer
  • Use the required amount of detergent for your washer
  • Ensure items are dried completely afterwards using a dryer on the highest heat setting that clothes will tolerate
Last reviewed: 
March 2020

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