Cleaning and Disinfection

Germs including coronavirus can survive on environmental surfaces for varied periods of time. To minimise the spread of infection, the environment must be kept as clean and dry as possible.

Your usual cleaning products should be effective for dealing with coronavirus.

Routine cleaning

Cleaning is a simple and easy method using friction (such as wiping or scrubbing) with warm water and detergent to physically remove germs. This alone will not inactivate germs but it will reduce their numbers.

To effectively clean an object or surface, follow the 3 step process below:

  1. Use a general-purpose detergent and hand-hot water (prepared according to the manufacturer’s instructions) to remove visible contamination and dirt
  2. Rinse the object/ surface either under running water (preferably hot) or wipe with cloth and clean water
  3. Dry the object/surface thoroughly

Note: Disinfectants should not be used as part of your routine cleaning (with the exception of toilets and food preparation areas)


Disinfection

Disinfection is a process that uses chemical agents or heat to reduce the number of germs. It does not kill all germs but can be used to reduce numbers to safe levels.

  • Disinfection is usually used for objects and surfaces that may be contaminated with blood or body fluids including toilets and the toilet environment
  • Disinfection may also be required during an outbreak of infection such as coronavirus

There are 2 methods for chemical disinfection:

One stage process – using a combined detergent and disinfectant

Two stage process:

  1. Thoroughly clean using detergent and warm water to remove visible contamination and dirt
    (organic debris can inactivate disinfectants)
  2. Then use a hypochlorite based disinfectant. Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for dilution required