The coronavirus can survive on any surface, and as people work from home or self-isolate, more people are asking for house cleaning tips to protect themselves from the virus.

House Call Doctor Clinical Director Dr Ryan Harvey said viruses are common in the home and environment. 

“The majority of viruses that exist are benign and do not cause any illness or disease when they come in contact with people. They may exist on surfaces or exist on other animals or organisms,“ Dr Harvey said. 

“How long a virus can survive on a surface absent of a human host also depends on environmental factors such as temperature, humidity and weather. In general, this could vary from a couple of hours to a couple of days depending on the type of virus and the external environment.” 

So, as we try to keep our homes clear of coronavirus, what measures should we take to clean them properly? 

Disinfect surfaces

According to Dr Harvey, best practice is to regularly clean your home surfaces, especially those of the kitchen and bathroom.  

Think about what surfaces and household objects around your house are touched the most. These may include: 

  • TV remote control 
  • Phone and computer keyboard 
  • Table surfaces 
  • Children’s toys 
  • Sheets, towels and blankets  
  • Doorknobs  
  • Pet dishes and toys.

Use household cleaners

Clean surfaces with household cleaners and disinfectants and use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfecting. Make sure the room is well ventilated when using strong disinfectants. 

Read instructions

Make sure you read the instructions on how to use disinfectants and household cleaners. All products require a certain amount of time on surfaces to be most effective. Give extra attention to surfaces like phones, door handles and light switches which are commonly touched. 

Protect yourself

Wear disposable gloves when cleaning your house and make sure to discard them after each clean. When using cloths and mops, make sure you clean them before using on a different surface. 

Wash your laundry at the highest possible heat

Use the warmest setting on your washing machine when cleaning clothes and let them air dry completely afterward.   

Practise good hand hygiene

The best way to lower your risk of contracting coronavirus is through practising good hand hygiene. Scrubbing your hands with soap and warm water is essential in stopping the spread of this virus. It’s important to wash your hands for at least 20 seconds and always remember to keep hand sanitiser on you.  


If you have a family member in your house who is sick, take extra care by cleaning towels, clothes, bed sheets and surfaces regularly. Isolate that person in one room in the house to limit interaction with others.