Health Advice



Does washing clothes eliminate monkeypox? What to know about disinfecting for the virus

Megan Cardona, The Charlotte Observer on

Published in Health & Fitness

The monkeypox virus remains a global health emergency.

The 2022 monkeypox outbreak started after the first case was reported on May 17 in Portugal.

The monkeypox virus is rarely fatal, with over 99% of infected people likely to survive.

Monkeypox can spread when a person comes into contact with the virus from an infected animal, infected person, or materials contaminated with the virus, per the CDC.

The virus can survive on linens, clothing and other surfaces, according to the CDC. In one study, health officials found live virus 15 days after a patient’s home was left unoccupied.

Here’s what to know about disinfecting for monkeypox in your home.


What cleaners are best to fight monkeypox?

The CDC recommends using a disinfectant registered with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. This can be checked with a number on the the bottle or canister.

Disinfectants are different from household cleaners or sanitizers because they generally kill more microbes on a surface or object while cleaners remove germs and sanitizers reduce germs. The CDC advises cleaning surfaces before disinfecting for best results.

The surface should remain wet with the EPA registered disinfectant for the amount of time indicated on the canister to ensure the product is effective.


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