How to Properly Disinfect High-Touch Surfaces

In our homes, there are certain areas that we come into contact with more than others. These high-touch surfaces can be hotspots for germs and bacteria, making regular disinfection crucial to prevent the spread of illness. Understanding how to properly disinfect these areas helps keep your household safe and healthy. Here’s a step-by-step guide to effectively targeting these germ-ridden spots.


Identifying High-Touch Surfaces

First, identify the high-touch surfaces in your home. These typically include:

  • Door handles and knobs
  • Light switches
  • Countertops and tables
  • Faucets and sinks
  • Toilets, including the flush handle
  • Remote controls and game controllers
  • Mobile phones and tablets
  • Keyboards and mice

Choosing the Right Disinfectant

Not all cleaning agents are effective at killing germs and viruses. For proper disinfection, use:

  • EPA-registered disinfectants: Ensure the product is approved for killing bacteria and viruses. Follow the instructions on the label for maximum effectiveness.
  • A bleach solution: If commercial disinfectants are unavailable, you can make a solution of 4 teaspoons of bleach per quart of water. Note: Never mix bleach with other cleaning products.
  • 70% alcohol solutions: Alcohol solutions with at least 70% alcohol are also effective for disinfection.

The Disinfection Process

1. Clean First

  • Remove any dirt or grime on the surface with soap and water. This allows the disinfectant to contact the surface directly for more effective germ killing.

2. Apply Disinfectant

  • Follow the product’s instructions for application. This might involve spraying the surface and leaving the disinfectant to sit for a specific amount of time.

3. Wait and Wipe

  • Allow the disinfectant to dry naturally or remain on the surface for the time specified by the manufacturer to ensure it kills as many germs as possible.
  • If necessary, wipe off excess product with a clean cloth to avoid residue, especially on surfaces that come into contact with food.

4. Safety Measures

  • When using chemicals, wear gloves to protect your skin, and ensure the room is well-ventilated.
  • Keep disinfectants out of reach of children and pets.

5. Regular Disinfection

  • High-touch surfaces should be disinfected daily or more frequently if someone in your household is sick.

Additional Tips

  • Mobile Phones and Electronics: Use alcohol-based wipes or sprays containing at least 70% alcohol. Dry surfaces thoroughly.
  • Soft Surfaces: For items like couches or drapes, use soap and water or appropriate cleaners, and launder items on the warmest appropriate setting.



Properly disinfecting high-touch surfaces is a key component of maintaining a healthy home, especially during times when illness is more prevalent. By following these steps, you can reduce the risk of germ transmission and keep your loved ones safe. Remember, the best defense is a good offense when it comes to hygiene practices.


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