There is a lot of information available regarding what to do to prepare your office or business for the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. The preventative measures, including social distancing and rigorous hand washing, can certainly help, but if the virus enters your building, how do you properly clean and reduce the risk of it? Here are some tips to help your coronavirus cleaning efforts.
The CDC recommends deep cleaning and sanitizing surfaces throughout the building, but what does that mean? Each EPA-registered disinfectant is tested on a pre-cleaned surface in a lab, so to replicate the results of the lab tests, all surfaces must be clean and free of dirt and grease. Deep cleaning generally involves wiping down all walls, molding, windows and sills, baseboards, doors, handles, hinges, light switches, hard-surface furniture (desks, chairs, tables, lamps, computer screens, etc), counter-tops, sinks, toilets, pictures and frames, etc. The more dirt and grime you can remove from these surfaces, the more likely the disinfectant is to work properly.
After the deep cleaning is complete, the CDC recommends sanitizing the surfaces that have been cleaned. If you read the back of most bottles of disinfectants, there are instructions on how to properly sanitize and how to properly disinfect. Sanitizing is the application of a disinfectant to a surface with the intent of reducing the amount of pathogens. Disinfecting is the application of a disinfectant to a surface with the intent of eliminating the pathogens it has been proven to destroy (the back label generally lists all of the pathogens it has been proven to kill in lab settings). Sanitizing generally requires leaving the surface wet for 10 seconds before wiping it off, while disinfecting can require up to 20 minutes of dwell time. For disinfectants with longer dwell time, you may want to purchase a different applicator, such as a foamer. After observing the dwell time, simply dry the surface.
Make sure you wear the recommended personal protective equipment (PPE) when cleaning any environment, but especially in these environments. These cleaning procedures will greatly reduce the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in your place of business.