Step by step

How to clean a space if someone has MPX

For non-healthcare settings during and after isolation for monkeypox (MPX).

MPX spreads through close, physical contact between individuals. It can also spread if someone with MPX coughs or sneezes near you.

It’s important to clean anything that comes into contact with someone who may have MPX. Disinfectants can get rid of MPX virus on surfaces.

See CDC's cleaning considerations.

This guidance was adapted, with thanks, from the 07/25/2022 guidance of NY State DPH.

Follow the steps below to clean and prevent the spread of MPX.


Wear personal protective equipment (PPE)

The person with MPX should do all the cleaning if they are able. If they can’t, then the person cleaning should wear clothing that covers their skin, disposable gloves, and a respirator or well-fitting mask. 

After cleaning, these materials must be properly handled as described in Step 5.

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Do laundry

Collect all clothing, bedding, towels, and surface coverings into a plastic garbage bag or washable fabric bag before cleaning and disinfecting the room.

  • Do not shake the clothing or linens as this can spread the virus.
  • Do not mix laundry with items belonging to other individuals.
  • Wash and dry with the warmest temperatures recommended on the fabric label. Follow detergent label instructions.
  • Throw away the plastic garbage bags used to collect soiled laundry.
  • Wash hands using soap and water or hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol after handling dirty laundry.
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Clean non-porous surfaces

Non-porous surfaces and objects such as tables, countertops, door handles, toilet flush handles, faucets, light switches, and sex toys should be cleaned and disinfected.

  • Do not dust or sweep surfaces to avoid spreading the virus. Clean surfaces using water and soap or detergent before disinfecting.
  • Household disinfectants such as Clorox and Lysol can kill MPX. See EPA’s list of disinfectants for their suggested products to use safely.
  • Follow all instructions on the label of the disinfectant you are using:
    • Use a disinfectant labeled for the type of surface you are cleaning. 
    • Follow manufacturer instructions for cleaning and disinfecting personal sex toys before and after use.
    • Leave the disinfectant on for the amount of time shown on the label.
    • The label may describe how much water to add to dilute.
    • Use products in well aired areas.
    • Do not mix disinfecting products because it may create toxic fumes.
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Clean porous (soft) surfaces

Carpets, fabrics, mattresses, and upholstered furniture are hard to wash. A removable cover that can be washed or discarded should be used if possible.

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Throw away trash

  • Collect and keep all trash (e.g., bandages, paper towels, etc.) in a sealed bag. 
  • The person with MPX should use their own lined trash can and not a shared bin.
  • After cleaning, place all used PPE and other disposable items in a sealed bag before throwing it out with other waste.
  • Wear disposable gloves when handling waste. 
  • Professional cleaning services must follow all federal, state, and local laws and regulations.
  • Immediately wash all clothing worn during cleaning.
  • Wash hands with soap and water after throwing out waste and removing PPE.
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Last updated September 2, 2022