Today, we are facing a new set of challenges to our workplace environment.  It’s important to make sure that the best possible cleaning and maintenance procedures are being used to protect employees and customers.  Here is some general information to help you better understand how to maintain a healthy workplace:
  • HOW DOES DISINFECTING PROVIDE FOR A HEALTHIER ENVIRONMENT?  Viruses and bacteria (also known as microbes) are constantly collecting on all types of surfaces in our workplace.  These are surfaces we touch and walk on every day.  Disinfectants work by breaking down the cell wall of microbes and interfering with their metabolism.  As a result, these microbes are neutralized which significantly reduces exposure through human contact.
  • WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO CLEAN FIRST, THEN DISINFECT?  Use a good general cleaner to remove dirt and other foreign soils from a surface before disinfecting.  Viruses and bacteria can hide underneath dirt and soils and can reduce the kill strength of disinfectants.  Cleaning first helps to reduce the risk of spreading any infection.  Although this takes an extra step, it will help to optimize the benefits of disinfecting and improve the safety and health of employees and customers.
  • WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN DISINFECTING, SANITIZING AND CLEANING?  Cleaning is the removal of visual soils from objects and surfaces.  Sanitizing reduces the amount of germs and bacteria on a surface.  Disinfecting kills a broad number of viruses and bacteria on a surface.
Every facility must develop a program approach to disinfection to cover a cross section of surfaces.  The more transparent this program is, the more confident employees and customers will be in your commitment to their health and well- being.  In developing this program, there are three key areas to address as follows:
  • Know the different types of touchable surfaces to be disinfected i.e. doorknobs, tables, chairs, desks, phones, water fountains, countertops, sinks, faucets, toilet bowls, urinals, floors, etc.
  • Know the types of viruses/bacteria you’re looking to remove.  Strong viruses like the Coronavirus will require an EPA hospital grade disinfectant approved for this application.
  • Make sure you’re purchasing an EPA registered product with the registration number on the front label.  If a product does not contain an EPA registered number, it is not a disinfectant effective against a broad spectrum of viruses and bacteria.
  • Read the product label for specific information on the type of surfaces to be cleaned, virus and bacteria kill claims, contact time (dwell time), dilutions, temperature and types of water.  Make sure the kill claims on the label are relevant to the health concerns in you facility.
  • Understand product stability and any storage issues.
  • Make sure the required application process and contact time fit your facility maintenance protocol.
  • Know all safety precautions needed when using this product.
  • Be aware of any environmental impact issues associated with the product.
Once you’ve chosen the “right” disinfectant for your facility, the next step is making sure to have a defined plan for cleaning and disinfecting.  This involves a focus on the following key points:
  • Manpower resources- in-house personnel or outside contractors
  • Available equipment- mops, buckets, spray bottles, gloves, floor machines, etc.
  • A facility guideline for all touchable surfaces.
  • A timeline for cleaning and disinfecting these surfaces- What areas require daily maintenance and what areas require weekly maintenance?
  • Optimize your company resources to achieve the best balance between a high level of cleaning/disinfecting and budgetary demands.
  • Make the program transparent for employees and customers- Let people know your commitment to a healthier workplace environment.
Now that you have a defined maintenance program in place, follow these simple steps for daily cleaning and disinfecting:
  • Clean all touchable surfaces with a good quality all purpose cleaner to remove dirt and other soils.
  • Focus on surfaces highlighted in section #1 above.
  • Make sure to wear gloves
  • Provide adequate ventilation
  • Apply disinfectant to each surface area and allow the required dwell time as specified on the label.
  • After the allotted dwell time, wipe each surface with a clean cloth.
  • Repeat as needed based on your facility’s requirements.
Please feel free to contact Mike Greene at  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  for further information.
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