How to Change Your Cleaning Routine for COVID-19

A regular cleaning routine is essential to any business. With high-touch areas needing more care than usual due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, updating your cleaning structures accordingly is critical to ensuring your safety as well as the safety of your employees and patrons.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends routinely cleaning your business with soap and water and disinfecting areas with EPA-approved disinfectants to help combat COVID-19. The following tips can help optimize your coronavirus cleaning efforts.

General Cleaning Tips

Now more than ever, it is crucial that your building is cleaned as consistently as possible, as routine surface cleaning is proven to reduce the spread of COVID-19. When cleaning, there are several important tips to keep in mind:

  • All surfaces should be cleaned with soap and water.
  • Areas that receive the most frequent use should be cleaned most frequently.
  • Any surfaces or objects available to the public, such as shopping baskets and carts, should be cleaned before each use.
  • Special attention should be paid to high-touch surfaces like doorknobs, light switches, tabletops, desks, keyboards and faucets.
  • Consider regular HVAC cleaning to help purify the air in your building.

Disinfecting Tips

After an area has been cleaned, it should then be disinfected using an EPA-approved product, if available. These disinfectants are proven to help eliminate coronavirus from surfaces when properly applied. If an EPA-approved disinfectant is not available, you can use an alternative disinfectant such as a water and alcohol solution.

Although it is not recommended to mix bleach or other cleaning products together, you can use a diluted bleach solution if it is appropriate for the surface. Bleach solutions should be left on the surface for at least a minute before being wiped away, and they are effective for up to 24 hours.

Other disinfecting tips include:

  • Follow the instructions on the label to ensure the safe use of the product.
  • Make sure the area is properly ventilated while being disinfected.
  • Label all solutions and store them out of reach of children and animals.

Tips for Cleaning Soft Surfaces

Soft materials like rugs, drapes and couches are generally more difficult to clean and disinfect than non-porous surfaces. To effectively clean soft surfaces, it’s essential to:

  • Clean with soap and water or cleaners specifically designed for these surfaces.
  • Launder items by following manufacturer instructions. Use the warmest water setting and ensure items are dried completely.
  • Disinfect with an EPA-approved disinfectant.
  • Vacuum as you normally would.

Tips for Cleaning Electronics

Electronics are some of the most high-touch items, which means they should be cleaned regularly and even between uses if possible. For cleaning computers, keyboards, tablets and other frequently used electronics, you should:

  • Follow manufacturer cleaning and disinfecting instructions. If there are none, use wipes or sprays that contain at least 70% alcohol, and then thoroughly dry the surface.
  • Consider equipping your business’s electronic devices with wipeable covers for enhanced cleanliness and efficiency.

Tips for Cleaning Outdoor Areas

If your business has outdoor areas, these surfaces should be cleaned but generally do not need to be disinfected. Playgrounds, for example, should not be sprayed with disinfectants, as it is not proven to reduce the risk of contracting COVID-19. Other specific tips include:

  • Pay extra attention to high-touch plastic and metal surfaces such as railings and grab bars when cleaning.
  • Keep in mind that the CDC does not recommend cleaning wood structures or ground covers like sand and mulch.
  • Sidewalks and roads do not need to be disinfected, as it is not effective and COVID-19 transmission via these surfaces is very low.

What to Do If an Employee Gets Sick

If an employee becomes sick with COVID-19, there are several steps you should take to effectively clean and disinfect the area:

  1. Close off the area that was used by the sick employee. If you can isolate the area, you may not need to halt operations.
  2. Open windows and doors to circulate air in the area.
  3. Wait 24 hours before cleaning and disinfecting the area, or as long as you can.
  4. After 24 hours, clean and disinfect all areas used by the sick employee, including office spaces, bathrooms and electronics.
  5. Vacuum the space if necessary. Make sure you use a vacuum that has a HEPA filter and wait until the room is empty before vacuuming. You should also turn off any air recirculation devices to prevent HVAC units from becoming contaminated.

Once these steps have been performed, whatever was closed can be reopened, and you can continue with regular cleaning and disinfecting methods.

Additional Tips for Your Business’s Cleaning Routine

As an employer, there are numerous factors to consider when evaluating and updating your business’s cleaning routine to properly address COVID-19 risks.

One important consideration is who performs the cleaning and disinfecting. By hiring an external cleaning company, you can help reduce your employees’ exposure to COVID-19. If you do employ your own cleaning staff, make sure they have personal protective equipment (PPE) and are trained in using it properly. They should also be trained in OSHA standards to maintain compliance.

Once you develop a revised cleaning routine, the new processes should be shared with employees and remain accessible to them so everyone is on the same page when it comes to COVID-19 cleaning protocols for your business.

You can also implement new behavioral practices for employees that will help reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19, such as social distancing by staying at least six feet apart, wearing masks, frequently washing hands and encouraging employees to stay home if they feel ill.

Contact URI Today

At URI, we specialize in emergency restoration services. Whether you need debris removal, mold remediation or emergency stabilization, we can provide rapid service when and where you need it.

We also offer other restoration and emergency prevention services, such as HVAC cleaning and disaster planning. During these trying pandemic times, you can rely on URI to help keep your business safe with our advanced tools, skills and experience.

Contact us today to find out more about how we can help your business.


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