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Guidance for Cleaning & Disinfecting the Workplace

Routine Cleaning

Determine What Needs to Be Cleaned

Consider the type of surface and how often the surface is touched. Generally, the more people who touch a surface, the higher the risk. Prioritize cleaning high-touch surfaces.

Determine How Often To Clean

  • High-touch surfaces should be cleaned at least once a day.
  • More frequent cleaning might be needed when the space is occupied by young children and others who may not consistently wear masks, wash hands, or cover coughs and sneezes.
  • If the space is a high traffic area, or if certain conditions apply, you may choose to clean more frequently.

Determine If Regular Disinfection Is Needed

In most situations, regular cleaning (at least once a day) is enough to sufficiently remove virus that may be on surfaces. However, if certain conditions apply, you may choose to disinfect after cleaning.

Consider the Resources and Equipment Needed

Keep in mind the availability of cleaning products and the personal protective equipment (PPE) appropriate for cleaners and disinfectants (if needed).

Clean High-Touch Surfaces

Clean high-touch surfaces at least once a day or as often as determined is necessary. Examples of high-touch surfaces include: pens, counters, shopping carts, tables, doorknobs, light switches, handles, stair rails, elevator buttons, desks, keyboards, phones, toilets, faucets, and sinks.

Protect Yourself and Other Cleaning Staff

  • Ensure cleaning staff are trained on proper use of cleaning (and disinfecting, if applicable) products.
  • Wear gloves for all tasks in the cleaning process.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds after cleaning. Be sure to wash your hands immediately after removing gloves.If hands are visibly dirty, always wash hands with soap and water.If soap and water are not available and hands are not visibly dirty, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol, and wash with soap and water as soon as you can.
  • Special considerations should be made for people with asthma. Some cleaning and disinfection products can trigger asthma. Learn more about reducing your chance of an asthma attack while disinfecting to prevent COVID-19.

Disinfect Safely When Needed

If you determine that regular disinfection may be needed

  • If your disinfectant product label does not specify that it can be used for both cleaning and disinfection, clean visibly dirty surfaces with soap or detergent before disinfection.
  • Use a disinfectant product from the EPA List Nexternal icon that is effective against COVID-19. Check that the EPA Registration numberexternal icon on the product matches the registration number in the List N search tool. See Tips on using the List N Toolexternal icon.If products on EPA List Nexternal icon: Disinfectants for Coronavirus (COVID-19) are not available, bleach solutions can be used if appropriate for the surface.
  • Always follow the directions on the label to ensure safe and effective use of the product. The label will include safety information and application instructions. Keep disinfectants out of the reach of children. Many products recommend keeping the surface wet with a disinfectant for a certain period (see product label).
  • Always take necessary safety precautions.Ensure adequate ventilation while using the product.Wear gloves. Gloves should be removed carefully to avoid contamination of the wearer and the surrounding area. Additional PPE, such as glasses or goggles, might be required depending on the cleaning/disinfectant products being used and whether there is a risk of splash.
  • Use chemical disinfectants safely! Always read and follow the directions on the label of cleaning and disinfection products to ensure safe and effective use.Wear gloves and consider glasses or goggles for potential splash hazards to eyes.Ensure adequate ventilation (for example, open windows).Use only the amount recommended on the label.If diluting with water is indicated for use, use water at room temperature (unless stated otherwise on the label).Label diluted cleaning or disinfectant solutions.Store and use chemicals out of the reach of children and pets.Do not mix products or chemicals.Do not eat, drink, breathe, or inject cleaning and disinfection products into your body or apply directly to your skin. They can cause serious harm.Do not wipe or bathe people or pets with any surface cleaning and disinfection products.
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