A virus expert reveals how to clean the bathroom to prevent coronavirus spreading in a household

All you need is soap and bleach

Last night experts Dr Javid Abdelmoneim and Dr Lisa Cross gave the nation a crash course in how to keep your home safe from coronavirus, including how to clean the bathroom.

Related: Research reveals 1 in 10 are forgetting to clean this essential part of the bathroom

The A&E doctor and virus expert teamed up on the Channel 4 coronavirus special of 'How Clean is Your House?' Entering two families homes, they exposed hotspots for transmission of coronavirus in the home.

While the coronavirus will not magically appear in your home, it can be brought in on hard non-porous surfaces, or if someone in the house has already caught it.

wooden wall with white basin with soap and hand wash liquid

(Image credit: Future PLC/William Goddard)

Dr Abdelmoneim and Dr Cross explained that the best course of action is to behave as if the virus is already in the house. This will develop good practice and avoid any spread to the rest of the family.

The pair identified the bathroom as a hotspot for transmission of COVID-19 as one of the most used rooms in the house. So how should you be cleaning the bathroom?

How to clean the bathroom to stop the spread of COVID - 19

Focusing on disinfecting the toilet first, Dr Lisa Cross explained: 'What I would be using to clean the toilet is just your bog-standard bleach. I'm going to be putting this neat down the toilet.'

attach toilet with bathroom with white flooring and white wall

(Image credit: Future PLC/David Parmiter)

She goes on to explain that it is best to clean all the surrounding toilet areas with just soap and water. You can use diluted bleach, but hot soap and water are enough to get rid of the virus.

'Just a little aside note on shutting the lid of the toilet when flushing it,' Dr Cross continued. 'This is to prevent any particles from coming out. Although we know that the Novo coronavirus is only spread by the respiratory root, from cough and sneezes, some evidence has been seen that in the Sars epidemic previously there was what is called faecal-oral transmission.'

'We're not saying that the virus has mutated to have this mode of transmission at the moment,' she added. 'But it might do, and it's just good practice. '

bathroom with white paint and grey tiles and shower area

(Image credit: Future PLC/Jamie Mason)

When it comes to cleaning the rest of the bathroom Dr Abdelmoneim reminded the viewer to disinfect all high traffic areas that can easily be forgotten.

'Remember all the areas that can quickly get contaminated,' he said. 'The floor, the handle of the toilet brush, the light switch, the shower screen and the towel rail for example. That can all be wiped down with soapy hot water.'

Finally, Dr Cross recommended everyone in the house having their own towel on the towel rail. Sharing a hand towel was identified as an easy way for coronavirus to be passed from one member of the family to another.

Related: Are you guilty of this bad bathroom habit that’s putting an end to romance?

These measures might seem extreme, but if they can keep your family safe then they are worth it.

Rebecca Knight
Deputy Editor, Digital

Rebecca Knight has been the Deputy Editor on the Ideal Home Website since 2022. She graduated with a Masters degree in magazine journalism from City, University of London in 2018, before starting her journalism career as a staff writer on women's weekly magazines. She fell into the world of homes and interiors after joining the Ideal Home website team in 2019 as a Digital Writer. In 2020 she moved into position of Homes News Editor working across Homes & Gardens, LivingEtc, Real Homes, Gardeningetc and Ideal Home covering everything from the latest viral cleaning hack to the next big interior trend.