Cleaning & Disinfecting

A Guide for Cleaning and Disinfecting High-Touch Surfaces

Cleaning and Disinfecting High-Touch Surfaces

Viruses, germs, and bacteria can survive on high-touch surfaces. When you touch these areas, the microorganisms find their way into your nose, mouth, and ears. Consequently, disinfecting and cleaning are essential in workplaces, homes, and all common areas where people gather.

Homeowners can regularly clean or disinfect the most common high-touch areas in their houses. Similarly, there should be somebody at the workplace who can identify high-touch areas and disinfect them. This guide will explain high-touch surfaces and how you can clean and disinfect them regularly.

What Are High-Touch Surfaces That Need To Be Routinely Cleaned and Disinfected?

High-touch surfaces are places that are touched several times a day. This is any surface where people frequently use their hands to manipulate an object. There are high-touch surfaces in a wide array of environments, whether at the workplace, homes, schools, grocery stores, or gyms.

How would one go about identifying a high-touch surface wherever they may be? The identification depends on the environment. In a grocery store, the obvious high-touch surface would be cart handles. Other surfaces are the handles to open the refrigerated or freezer sections. In the gym, it may be weight machines, cardio equipment, and most things in a locker room.

Once these high-touch surfaces have been identified, how should they be addressed? First, every facility or establishment needs to do a risk assessment of their particular environment and identify all high-touch surfaces. They will then have to determine the appropriate time to clean the surfaces. For instance, some stores clean the keypads on the credit card machine between every customer.

The Difference Between Cleaning and Disinfecting

What is the difference between cleaning and disinfecting? Cleaning refers to removing impurities, dirt, and germs on surfaces. A cleaner does not kill germs but removes them. This lowers the number of germs on surfaces and reduces the risk of spreading infection. To clean, you can simply use soap and water. You can also enhance your surface cleaner for added aroma benefits and to easily find dirt particles and impurities.

On the other hand, disinfecting is the use of chemicals to kill germs. This process does not remove germs or clean dirty surfaces but destroys the germs’ cell membrane. In most cases, to fully disinfect, you need to leave the solution on the surface for at least 10 minutes before wiping it away.

So, which surface disinfectants work best? Hydrogen peroxide is touted as an environmentally-friendly disinfectant, but it can be harmful to the human skin. As a result, experts recommend disinfectants made from hypochlorous acid instead. For instance, Pathopure Cleaner and Pathonex Disinfectant make the perfect combination for cleaning and disinfecting high-touch surfaces.

pathopureGeneral Cleaning for High-Touch Surfaces

It’s always best to clean before disinfecting. Cleaning is the process of using soap and water to scrub a surface. This removes dirt and reduces the number of bacteria, viruses, or germs on the surface. The cleaning frequency depends on how often people touch the surface.

Before you can start the cleaning, you will need the following equipment or supplies:

  • Soap, detergent, or other cleaning agent
  • Scrubbing material, such as cloths, brushes, or paper towels
  • Water

Many people ask: how should you clean surfaces to reduce the risk of COVID-19? Here’s how.

First, read the instructions on your cleaner and ensure that you know how it works. Spray it on the surface and vigorously scrub the surface for a couple of minutes.

For foaming detergents, once the surface is covered in suds, pour running water to rinse the surface. Alternatively, you can use a paper towel to wipe the surface and remove the residue.   Keep in mind that not all cleaners require a water rinse after scrubbing.  After you are satisfied with the work, dispose of the scrubbing materials safely.

Disinfecting for High-Touch Surfaces

In some cases, it may be prudent to disinfect the surface after cleaning it. The first step is to read the product label to verify that you are indeed using a disinfectant.

When handling more hazardous disinfectant products, you may need to put on goggles, masks, and gloves. Similarly, you may need to leave the doors and windows open to ensure maximum ventilation. There are non-irritating alternatives such as hypochlorous acid that do not require extreme safety measures.

Spray the disinfectant on the surface and use a cloth to spread it evenly. In most cases, instructions would dictate to let the solution should rest for at least 10 minutes so that it can kill most or all microorganisms. Once the disinfectant has done its work, use running water to rinse the surface. As with cleaners, not all disinfectants require a water rinse after use so be sure to choose the disinfectant that best suits your needs. 

Bottom Line

The outbreak of COVID-19 has placed a greater emphasis on hygiene. High-touch surfaces are prone to viruses, bacteria, and germs. Therefore, it is essential to thoroughly clean and disinfect these surfaces on a regular basis. However, you must know how to clean or disinfect properly. 

Contact us for more information. In the meantime, you can check our resources page for more tips.