Clean and Disinfect

Clean and Disinfect Surfaces

Evidence suggests that the COVID-19 virus can live on objects and surfaces from a few hours to days, or even weeks.1

In order to make data available for Canadians, people living in the United States, and the rest of the world, we included information from the Public Health Agency of Canada, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the World Health Organization. See below for information about cleaning and disinfecting surfaces from the Public Health Agency of Canada, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and World Health Organization.

Created by Ajantha Nadarajah

Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC)

To minimize the chance of spreading COVID-19 in shared spaces, clean and disinfect surfaces that regularly come into contact with your hands. Health Canada has issued a list of surface disinfectants that are likely effective against COVID-19. To avoid severe incidents, specific safety measures must be taken when using bleach to clean. 

Read more here: 

  1. Public Health Agency of Canada. Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Prevention and risks.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Cleaning decreases the number of germs on surfaces while disinfection kills germs. Read and follow the instructions on cleaning and disinfection products. 

Clean dirty surfaces with soap and water before you disinfect them. Regularly clean and sanitize surfaces that are used often. These surfaces include: 

  • Tables 
  • Doorknobs
  • Light switches 
  • Keyboards

Read more here: 

  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Protect Yourself.
World Health Organization (WHO)

Common household disinfectants are efficient in cleaning COVID-19 from surfaces.

High-touch surfaces should be prioritized for frequent disinfection. This includes surfaces such as: 

  • Door and window handles
  • Kitchen and food preparation areas
  • Countertops

Soap and water should be used first to remove any dirt from the surface before using disinfectants. It is recommended that disinfectants be applied through soaking a cloth or wipe, rather than spraying, specifically within indoor spaces. Start by disinfecting the cleanest area and then progressing to the dirtiest area to avoid soiling cleaner areas. 

Take appropriate precautions, such as proper ventilation and washing of hands after using disinfectants, to minimize your risk when using disinfectants. 

Read more here: 

  1. World Health Organization. Q&A on coronaviruses (COVID-19).
  2. World Health Organization. Q&A: Considerations for the cleaning and disinfection of environmental surfaces in the context of COVID-19 in non-health care settings.
  3. World Health Organization. Considerations for quarantine of individuals in the context of containment for coronavirus disease (COVID-19).


  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Science Brief: SARS-CoV-2 and Surface (Fomite) Transmission for Indoor Community Environments.

Disclaimer: The information regarding COVID-19 is changing constantly as more data become available. The information provided in this website is not meant to replace diabetes healthcare team or public health agencies recommendations, and is intended for information purposes only. Please check with your healthcare providers for any deviations from your care plans.

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