A combination of cleaning and disinfectionwill be most effective in removing the COVID-19 virus.
Cleaning And Disinfection
Cleaning and disinfecting are two different processes:
Cleaning means physically removing germs, dirt and organic matter from surfaces.
Disinfecting means using chemicals to kill germs on surfaces. It’s important to clean before disinfecting because organic matter and dirt can reduce the ability of disinfectants to kill germs.Cleaningreduces the soil load on the surface, allowing the disinfectant to work and kill the COVID-19 virus. Disinfectant may not kill the virus if the surface has not been cleaned with a detergent first.
Workplaces should clean surfaces at least daily. Special attention should be given to frequently touched surfaces (e.g. tabletops, door handles, light switches, desks, toilets, taps, TV remotes, kitchen surfaces and cupboard handles). Ideally, once clean, surfaces should also be disinfected regularly. Alternatively, you may be able to do a 2-in-1 clean and disinfection by using a combined detergent and disinfectant.
Surfaces and fittings should be cleaned more frequently when:
- visibly soiled
- used repeatedly by a number of people (e.g. trolleys, checkouts, EFTPOS machines), and
- after any spillage.
For routine cleaning, disinfectants are usually only necessary if a surface has been contaminated with potentially infectious material. For this reason, when and how often a workplace should undertake disinfection as part of routine cleaning will depend on the likelihood of contaminated material being present at the workplace. For example, in a busy retail environment with many customers and others entering a workplace each day, more frequent disinfection is recommended to prevent the spread of COVID-19. By contrast, for a small work crew operating the same item of plant each day with little interaction with other people, routine disinfection in addition to daily cleaning may not be reasonably practicable.
How Do I Clean?
Use the following steps to clean an environment:
1. Wear gloves when cleaning. Gloves should be discarded after each clean. If it is necessary to use reusable gloves, gloves should only be used for COVID-19 related cleaning and should not be used for other purposes or shared between workers. Wash reusable gloves with detergent and water after use and leave to dry. Clean hands immediately after removing gloves using soap and water or hand sanitiser.
2. Thoroughly clean surfaces using detergent and water. Always clean from the cleanest surfaces to the dirtiest surfaces. This stops the transfer of germs to cleaner surfaces and allows you to physically remove and dispose of the largest possible amount of germs.
3. If you need to use a disinfectant, clean the surface first using detergent then applya disinfectant or use a combined detergent and disinfectant (see next section). A disinfectant will not kill germs if the surface has not been cleaned first. Apply disinfectant to surfaces using disposable paper towel or a disposable cloth. If non-disposable cloths are used, ensure they are laundered and dried before reusing.
4. Allow the disinfectant to remain on the surfacefor the period of time required to kill the virus (contact time) as specified by the manufacturer. If no time is specified, leave for 10 minutes.
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