High-Touch Hotspots

A Cleaning Checklist For Your Home’s Touchiest Surfaces

The advent of the COVID-19 pandemic has created a need for us to take pause and revisit – among many things – our cleaning practices. The cleaning and disinfecting of high touch surfaces – think handles, knobs, switches and faucets – is a critical measure in the prevention of illness – not just coronavirus – but numerous very common and unpleasant illnesses from common cold or flu, to the nastiest of stomach bugs! 

As for what’s current, it’s not fully known exactly how long the novel coronavirus can live on surfaces or how often surface contamination is the cause of transmission.  But what research we do have available to us suggests the COVID-19 virus can live anywhere from several hours to several days on surface contact hotspots. And while many of us are already aware that germs regularly congregate on these high-touch surfaces – doorknobs, faucets, TV remotes and light switches – now more than ever practicing vigilance in so many aspects of our lives, and especially cleaning, is critical as we hope to move past this difficult time. 

High Touch Hotspots How-To

Routines and Regimens: As with so many things in life, it helps to set a routine. The CDC recommends cleaning and disinfecting all “high-touch” surfaces every day.

The Obvious: Maybe it goes without saying (but just saying), be certain to clean and disinfect any areas that may have any bodily fluids on them.

Seek Approval: Choose a disinfecting agent that has been pre-approved  and listed by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for use during the COVID-19 outbreak; you can find a link on the CDC website. 

Clean Smarter, Not Harder. Target household high-touch/traffic areas and plan to clean these areas routinely as scheduled. 

The Pre-Game: Before disinfecting, you need to physically remove and wash away any visible dirt and grime in order to allow the disinfectant to do its job. 

Don’t Spray And Swipe. Allow your disinfecting product to sit on the surface for the recommended amount of time (check the label) or wait for the area to dry to be sure you are killing the germs on the surface.

Disinfect and Check!

  • All horizontal surfaces such as counters and tabletops, as well as any common area surfaces.
  •  Doorknobs, and sliding door grips.
  •  Bathroom fixtures and toilets.
  •  Phones, keyboards, tablets and other devices.
  •  Kitchen faucets and sink basins.
  • Refrigerator/freezer handle. 
  • Hard-backed chairs.
  • Eyeglasses.
  •  Toothbrush holders and soap dishes.
  •  Vehicle steering wheels.
  •  Laundry baskets and hampers.
  •  Purses, backpacks or other bags. 
  • Mailbox handles.
  • TV remotes and other handheld controllers.
  • Ceiling fans, heating ducts or radiators. 
  • Children’s toys and stuffed animals.

“The Right Way to Clean” published in The Washington Post online: