Knowledge and Practices Regarding Safe Cleaning and Disinfection for COVID-19 Prevention

Sep 18 , 2021

Knowledge and Practices Regarding Safe Cleaning and Disinfection for COVID-19 Prevention

Knowledge and Practices Regarding Safe Cleaning and Disinfection for COVID-19 Prevention

The COVID-19 outbreak has wreaked havoc across the globe. It has taken away the lives of more than 4 million people. This outbreak has reminded us about the importance of a cleaner environment around us. Cleaning and disinfecting certain areas has become more important nowadays because of COVID. There are some methods to ensure safe cleaning and disinfection around our surroundings. So let's have a look at that.

Cleaning with a household cleaner that contains soap or detergent reduces the amount of germs on surfaces and decreases risk of infection from surfaces. In most situations, cleaning alone removes most virus particles on surfaces. Disinfection to reduce transmission of COVID-19 at home is likely not needed unless someone in your home is sick or if someone who is positive for COVID-19 has been in your home within the last 24 hours but cleaning and disinfection becomes equally important at your workplaces. Thorough and proper cleaning and disinfection of surfaces in work places (for example, offices, stores, and publicly accessible areas) is important for preventing the spread of viruses. Below you will find a set of guidelines, which can be followed and adopted into existing cleaning practices.

Cleaning versus disinfection

The terms cleaning and disinfection are 2 terms that are often mixed up and interpreted to mean the same thing. However, they are actually separate and describe 2 important steps in sanitation.


Cleaning is the act of removing dirt, soil, and other impurities from all types of surfaces: For example, wiping spilled food off a counter with detergent (soap) and water.


Disinfection is the act of destroying harmful microorganisms, such as bacteria and viruses. For example, wiping the counter with bleach. Cleaning alone will not be effective for the control of the virus that causes COVID-19.

Disinfection must also be done and, since dirt and soil interfere with disinfectants (for example, bleach), cleaning must be done before you disinfect. However, if surfaces are not soiled, disinfection alone may be satisfactory. Use your good judgement as to when cleaning is and is not necessary. In addition, many products available today combine a cleaner with a disinfectant. Read the label carefully to ensure it contains a recognized disinfectant in a sufficient quantity. Be sure to take appropriate precautions when using chemicals for cleaning and disinfecting.


High-touch surfaces to clean and disinfect:

Most common high-touch surfaces include: Door handles, tables, chairs, handrails, kitchen and bathroom surfaces, taps, toilets, light switches, mobile phones, computers, tablets, keyboards, remote controls etc.



● Methods for cleaning and disinfecting:

Common touch surfaces in public gathering and accessible areas require daily cleaning and disinfection. Use a clean cloth, and a detergent and water solution to remove dirt and soil from surfaces and objects that are touched by lots of different people. Following the instructions provided by the manufacturer, wipe common touch surfaces with a disinfectant solution ensuring disinfectant contact time, which is the time that a surface must remain wet for a disinfectant to be effective. Surfaces in areas that are not commonly used or accessible should be cleaned on a routine basis, and can be disinfected at the same time. Many products combine a cleaner (detergent) with a disinfectant. Therefore, instead of being a 2-step process, cleaning and disinfection can be accomplished in one.





What to use to clean and disinfect:

If a surface is dirty, first clean it with soap or detergent and water. Then use a disinfectant product containing alcohol (of around 70 per cent) or bleach. Vinegar and other natural products are not recommended. In many places it can be difficult to find disinfectant sprays and wipes. In such cases, continue to clean with soap and water. Diluted household bleach solutions may also be used on some surfaces.