Cleaning & Disinfection
During a Pandemic
- Cleaning MUST precede disinfection (some products can clean and disinfect - see
- The flu virus is inactivated by a number of disinfectants, including:
- Phenolic disinfectants
- Quaternary ammonia compounds
- Peroxygen compounds
- Sodium hypoclorite (house bleach)
- Other germicides with a tuberculocidal claim on the label
- Look on the label for assurance of effectiveness against flu/avian flu.
- Follow the manufacturers’ recommendations for the use/dilution, contact time,
and handling of disinfectants.
- Patient rooms/areas should be cleaned at least daily and upon discharge. In
addition to cleaning of floors and other surfaces, special attention should be
given to frequently touched surfaces (e.g., television controls, doorknobs,
- To avoid possible aerosolization of virus, damp, rather than dry dusting or
sweeping should be performed whenever possible. Dust horizontal surfaces by
moistening a cloth with a small amount of disinfectant.
- During wet cleaning, cleaning solutions and equipment become contaminated; clean
less contaminated areas first and change cleaning solutions, cleaning cloths,
and mop heads frequently.
- It is recommended to use one bucket for cleaning solution, one for rinsing
(double bucket method).
- Equipment used for cleaning and disinfecting must be cleaned and dried after
each use. Mop heads should be laundered daily and dried thoroughly before
storage or reuse.
- If carpeted areas are used, use a vacuum cleaner with high-efficiency
particulate air (HEPA) filtration.
- Keep areas around patient free of unnecessary supplies and equipment.
- Do not spray rooms with disinfectant. This is potentially dangerous and has no
proven disease control benefit.
For additional information:
WHO Interim Infection Control Guideline for Health Care Facilities
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