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HEALTHY HABITS

Getting into the habit of cleaning every day will not only reduce the spread of COVID-19, it's also more likely to reduce the spread of other germs — including the flu and food-borne illnesses.

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Cleaning with products containing soap or detergent reduces germs on surfaces by removing contaminants and decreases risk of infection from surfaces.

If no one with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 has been in a space cleaning once a day is usually enough to remove virus that may be on surfaces. This also helps maintain a healthy facility.

 

Disinfecting using U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s List N disinfectants external icon kills any remaining germs on surfaces, which further reduces any risk of spreading infection.

 

You may want to either clean more frequently or choose to disinfect in addition to cleaning in shared spaces if the space:

 

If a sick person or someone who tested positive for COVID-19 has been in your facility within the last 24 hours, you should clean AND disinfect the space.

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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 at least once a day. If the space is a high traffic area, or if certain conditions (listed above) apply, you may choose to clean more frequently or disinfect in addition to cleaning. Many cleaning products also include disinfectants. If you want to use cleaning products with disinfectants, choose those products listed on EPA List.

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 products.

  • Read the instructions on the product label to determine what safety precautions are necessary while using the product. This could include personal protective equipment (PPE), such as gloves, glasses, or goggles, additional ventilation, or other precautions.

  • 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.

 

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 that is effective against COVID-19. Check that the EPA Registration number on the product matches the registration number in the List N search tool. See Tips on using the List N Tool.

  • 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 “contact time” on the product label).

    • Check the product label to see what PPE (such as gloves, glasses, or goggles) is required based on potential hazards.

    • 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.