Using Cleaning and Disinfecting Together Against COVID-19

Cleaning and disinfecting work together to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. These activities should be used as part of a layered approach to control the virus in the workplace.

Get more information about cleaning and disinfecting.

Using Cleaning and Disinfecting Together Against COVID-19 Infographic and its text description

Infographic: Using Cleaning and Disinfecting Together Against COVID-19

Description: Using Cleaning and Disinfecting Together Against COVID-19

Cleaning and disinfecting work together to reduce the amount of virus on frequently touched surfaces and objects.

Important: Clean dirty surfaces and objects before disinfecting them.

Dirt can block disinfectants from reaching the virus and may contain materials that make disinfectants less effective.

Cleaning

  • removes debris and residues from dirty surfaces and objects
  • does not necessarily destroy the virus, but can remove some
  • prepares surfaces and objects for disinfecting

There are many ways to clean:

  • water (wetting, soaking, jet spray, agitation, flushing)
  • cleaning products (detergents, liquids, soaps, gels, powders)
  • scrubbing or wiping (damp cloths, sponges, paper towels)
  • dry collection (dusting, sweeping)
  • air (vacuuming, high-pressure air stream)
  • vibration (ultrasonic cavitation bath)

Disinfecting

  • recommended for frequently touched surfaces and shared objects
  • destroys most of the virus
  • more effective after cleaning
  • follow the instructions on the label for safely using and storing the disinfectant, including dilution and contact time

Disinfection methods and tools include:

  • chemical disinfectants (liquid, spray, soak, wipes)
  • diluted bleach solution
  • boiling in water (100°C for at least 3 minutes)

Also Consider

  • how COVID-19 spreads
  • which workplace surfaces and objects are touched and used often
  • cleaning and disinfecting procedures and training
  • selecting effective disinfectants approved by Health Canada for COVID-19
  • how to safely dispose of used (contaminated) cleaning materials
For further information on COVID-19, refer to the Public Health Agency of Canada.

Document last updated on: 2021-10-08