How to Clean and Disinfect Your Facility

It’s no secret that COVID-19 has increased the need for effective cleaning and disinfecting. But, how can facility managers be sure that it’s done correctly to properly maintain building health? The answer is with a two-step cleaning and disinfecting process. Cleaning surfaces before disinfecting is critical to effectively eliminating harmful pathogens and microorganisms that can cause the spread of illness.

Follow these two steps to learn how to effectively clean and disinfect facilities:

Step 1: Cleaning

Before disinfecting, clean surfaces to remove dirt and debris. For disinfectants to work as intended, they must come in direct contact with surfaces to effectively eliminate bacteria. Surface dirt and debris block disinfectants from reaching pathogens and reduce the disinfectant’s effectiveness. Cleaning works to remove dirt, debris and potential pathogens from surfaces through wiping or scrubbing.

Cleaning before disinfecting also prevents long-term cleaning challenges from occurring, like biofilm formation. Biofilms are collections of microorganisms that can form on solid surfaces. These films are difficult to remove and can prevent disinfectants from coming in contact with the pathogens underneath. Frequently cleaning surfaces can prevent biofilms from forming, ensuring surfaces can be properly disinfected.

Step 2: Disinfecting

Once dirt and debris have been removed from the surface, it’s time to begin disinfecting! It’s important to select a disinfectant that has an appropriate kill claim and dwell time for your facility.

Kill claim refers to the bacteria the disinfectant is designed to eliminate. If certain bacteria are more of a concern in your facility, be sure to check the disinfectant’s kill claim to ensure it will be effective in your facility.

Dwell time refers to the length of time the disinfectant needs to stay wet on the surface to eliminate bacteria.

Always read and follow the manufacturer’s label before using a disinfectant for instructions on safe use and to help maximize its effectiveness.

Contact our Cleaning & Hygiene experts for help choosing the right cleaning and disinfecting products for your facility

Limiting the Spread of Bacteria

Proper cleaning and disinfecting are critical to helping eliminate bacteria and limit the spread of illness. Following a two-step cleaning and disinfecting process will help maximize the disinfectant’s effectiveness to help maintain building health and hygiene.

Download Rubbermaid’s white paper on cleaning before disinfecting* to learn more.


*Please contact us if you require a more accessible version of this document and we would be happy to provide it.

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