How to Disinfect for Ringworm

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Things You'll Need

  • Antibacterial soap
  • Bleach
  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Vacuum bags
  • Steam cleaner
  • Electrostatic cloths
  • Laundry detergent
  • Furnace filter
  • Air-conditioner filter
  • Fan
A ringworm infection.
A ringworm infection. (Image: Elena Stepanova/iStock/Getty Images)

If you are having a bout with ringworm, your home requires proper disinfection. Because ringworm is technically a fungus and not a worm at all, it spreads by airborne spores, and it can be extremely difficult to get rid of. Not only that, but the fungus is extremely contagious; therefore, home disinfection should be an immediate concern if you are dealing with an outbreak in your family or with your pets.

Step 1

Wash all hard surfaces with antibacterial soap and water, including countertops, door handles and floor molding. Repeat this process one to three times, scrubbing vigorously each time.

Wash all hard surfaces with antibacterial soap and water.
Wash all hard surfaces with antibacterial soap and water. (Image: diego cervo/iStock/Getty Images)

Step 2

Disinfect countertops with a 1:10 diluted bleach solution. To create the 1:10 diluted bleach solution, mix 1 cup bleach with 10 cups water. Leave the solution on the surface for at least five minutes, and then rinse with warm water and allow it to air dry. Repeat this at process least three times per week until your stint with ringworm is over.

Disinfect with a bleach solution.
Disinfect with a bleach solution. (Image: glegorly/iStock/Getty Images)

Step 3

Vacuum carpeted floors, and throw away the bags afterward. Vacuuming is one of the most effective ways to get rid of the fungal spores in your home. Clean next to walls and in hard-to-reach spots where spores may have settled with vacuum attachments. You can also buy an inexpensive vacuum cleaner and then simply throw it away after the ringworm is fully eliminated from your home to ensure that you won't reinfect the area later.

Vacuum carpeted floors.
Vacuum carpeted floors. (Image: ambrozinio/iStock/Getty Images)

Step 4

Steam clean carpeted floors. Although steam itself is not hot enough or powerful enough to kill the ringworm fungus, steam cleaning helps remove the spores that settle in your carpet.

Steam clean carpeted floors.
Steam clean carpeted floors. (Image: Ernest Prim/Hemera/Getty Images)

Step 5

Dust surfaces with an electrostatic cloth. Dusting catches excess spores that you might have missed while vacuuming and steam cleaning; electrostatic cloths trap dust particles that carry the spores instead of just stirring dust around as many dusters do.

Dust.
Dust. (Image: Manuel-F-O/iStock/Getty Images)

Step 6

Wash clothes, bedding and curtains on hot cycle with detergent and bleach. It's best to use 1 1/4 cups bleach per load, but if that amount is too strong, add 3/4 cups bleach per load. Dry the laundry loads on a hot setting.

Wash all clothes bedding and curtains.
Wash all clothes bedding and curtains. (Image: Andrew Olney/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Step 7

Replace furnace and air-conditioner filters weekly until your house is fully decontaminated.

Replace air condition filters.
Replace air condition filters. (Image: clsgraphics/iStock/Getty Images)

Step 8

Place fans in front of open windows. Point them so they draw air out of the house. Fungal spores become airborne very easily, so fans help expel them from the house while you are cleaning.

Place fans in front of windows.
Place fans in front of windows. (Image: A_teen/iStock/Getty Images)

Step 9

Discard animal bedding, toys, blankets, collars and brushes to avoid the risk of reinfection.

Discard animal bedding.
Discard animal bedding. (Image: lovleah/iStock/Getty Images)

Step 10

Confine infected animals to one room. Keeping your pets in one room significantly decreases the spread of the ringworm spore, because the spores travel in the pets’ hair and fur.

Confine infected pets to one room.
Confine infected pets to one room. (Image: igorr1/iStock/Getty Images)

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Tips & Warnings

  • The fungus that causes ringworm can live in your carpet for up to a year and a half if not disinfected.

References

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