One of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is to clean and disinfect surfaces around you.

There is a difference between cleaning and disinfecting. Cleaning refers to the removal of dirt and impurities, including germs, from surfaces. Cleaning alone, however, does not kill germs.

Disinfecting works by using chemicals to kill germs on surfaces. This process does not necessarily clean dirty surfaces or remove germs. But killing germs remaining on a surface after cleaning further reduces any risk of spreading infection.

(If surfaces are dirty, they should be cleaned using a detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.)

To make a disinfecting bleach solution, use 4 teaspoons of bleach to 1 quart of water or 1/3 cup of bleach to 1 gallon of water. Mix a fresh batch every twenty-four hours to maintain potency.

When using a bleach solution to disinfect, ensure the surface stays wet for at least one minute. If using commercial cleaners, go to www.epa.gov/coronavirus to see a list of cleaners most likely effective against the virus causing COVID-19.

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