How to Clean a House of E. Coli

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Things You'll Need

  • Towels

  • Bucket

  • Liquid soap

  • Sponges or cloths

  • Toilet disinfectant

  • Toilet brush

  • Bleach

  • Spray bottle

E. coli are germs present on surfaces and in our systems.

We all carry the harmless bacteria E. coli in our digestive system, but a few strains — usually spread from contaminated meat — can cause more serious illness. Symptoms range from diarrhea, fever and abdominal pain to more serious kidney or anemia problems, requiring hospitalization. During the infectious period — when you can pass the disease from one person to another — it's critical to keep your house clean of the bacteria to avoid spreading it. This infectious period may last up to two weeks, especially in young children.

Step 1

Give each person her own towel to use for hand washing and bathing to avoid spreading the E. coli.

Step 2

Wash all the soiled towels, clothes and bedding in the washing machine on the hottest cycle. Keep all soiled articles separate from clean items.

Step 3

Fill a bucket with hot water and a few squirts of soap. Dip a clean sponge or cloth into the solution, and wipe down toilet seats, toilet handles and sink faucet handles. Dispose of the sponges or cloths after use, or wash them in the hottest water possible in the washing machine. Clean toilets and faucets frequently.

Step 4

Apply a toilet disinfectant to the inside of the toilet bowl. Scrub the toilet bowl with a toilet brush.

Step 5

Mix 1 tsp. of bleach with 3 cups of water in a spray bottle. Spray all utensils and countertops with the solution after each use. Allow the sanitizer to sit on the surface for a few minutes. Rinse the area or utensil with clean water, and allow it to air-dry.


Keep raw meat away from other foods.

Wash fruits and vegetables thoroughly before eating. Use a scrub brush to clean produce with a hard exterior.

Use separate cutting boards for raw meats.

Wash your hands with soap and water after handling raw meat, when preparing food, after using the bathroom, after changing diapers and after having contact with animals.


Wear latex or rubber gloves when cleaning up E. coli to avoid contamination. Don't reuse the gloves for other purposes.

Avoid preparing food if you have the symptoms of E. coli.


Sommer Leigh

Sommer Leigh has produced home, garden, family and health content since 1997 for such nationally known publications as "Better Homes and Gardens," "Ladies' Home Journal," "Midwest Living," "Healthy Kids" and "American Baby." Leigh also owns a Web-consulting business and writes for several Internet publications. She has a Bachelor of Science in information technology and Web management from the University of Phoenix.