Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS) has many different topic areas and strives to improve the lives and well-being of individuals, families, and communities. Montana State University Extension offers and provides educational resources in the areas of community health resources, family economics, family and human development, food and nutrition and, housing and environmental health.


Current Events and Things to Know

COVID-19: Clean and Disinfect from the CDC

Soapy hands over a white sinkCOVID-19 is consuming our world, it is important that you understand what role you play in the limitation of disease spread. This disease is spread by resiratory droplets which come from us coughing, sneezing, touching our nose or mouth and landing on surfaces we frequently touch. One of the bet ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19, or any harmful bacteria or virus is to properly clean and disinfect! The CDC has great recommendations on how to safely and properly do this. Below are some tips:

Purpose of Clean and Disinfect

  • Cleaning refers to the removal of germs, dirt, and impurities from surfaces. Cleaning does not kill germs, but by removing them, it lowers their numbers and the risk of spreading infection.
  • Disinfecting refers to using chemicals to kill germs on surfaces. This process does not necessarily clean dirty surfaces or remove germs, but by killing germs on a surface after cleaning, it can further lower the risk of spreading infection.

General Recommendations to Clean and Disinfect

  • red disinfecting spray bottle in the back ground and an orange disinfecting bottle in the right foreground.Community members can practice routine cleaning of frequently touched surfaces (for example: tables, doorknobs, light switches, handles, desks, toilets, faucets, sinks) with household cleaners and EPA-registered disinfectants that are appropriate for the surface, following label instructions. Labels contain instructions for safe and effective use of the cleaning product including precautions you should take when applying the product, such as wearing gloves and making sure you have good ventilation during use of the product.

General Recommendation for a Household of Someone with COVID-19

Clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces daily in household common areas (e.g. tables, hard-backed chairs, doorknobs, light switches, remotes, handles, desks, toilets, sinks)

  • In the bedroom/bathroom dedicated for an ill person: consider reducing cleaning frequency to as-needed (e.g., soiled items and surfaces) to avoid unnecessary contact with the ill person.
    • As much as possible, an ill person should stay in a specific room and away from other people in their home, following home care guidance.

How to Properly Clean and Disinfect

  • Wear disposable gloves and discard after use
  • If surface is dirty, it should be cleaned before being disinfected
  • For disinfection, diluted household bleach solutions, alcohol solutions with at least 70% alcohol, and most common EPA-registered household disinfectants should be effective.
    • Diluted household bleach solutions can be used if appropriate for the surface. Follow manufacturer’s instructions for application and proper ventilation. Check to ensure the product is not past its expiration date. Never mix household bleach with ammonia or any other cleanser. Unexpired household bleach will be effective against coronaviruses when properly diluted.
      • Prepare a bleach solution by mixing:
        • 5 tablespoons (1/3rd cup) bleach per gallon of water or
        • 4 teaspoons bleach per quart of water

Hand Hygiene

Household members should clean hands often, including immediately after removing gloves and after contact with an ill person, by washing hands with soap and water for 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available and hands are not visibly dirty, an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol may be used. However, if hands are visibly dirty, always wash hands with soap and water. You can learn more about hand hygiene at the CDC website.


You can read the complete COVID-19 Cleaning and Disinfect article on the CDC website.

Want to request a program?

Katrin Finch serves as the Family and Consumer Science faculty member at the MSU Extension Office in Cascade County. She is available to teach by request for groups by contacting her at 406-454-6980 or by email.


The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Montana State University and Montana State University Extension prohibit discrimination in all of their programs and activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, and marital and family status. Issued in furtherance of cooperative extension work in agriculture and home economics, acts of May 8 and June 30, 1914, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Cody Stone, Director of Extension, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT 59717.