Although the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says vaccination is the first line of defense against infectious diseases and influenza (flu), cleaning and disinfecting also play a pivital role. To educate custodial departments on proper cleaning techniques, the CDC outlined seven tips that will help slow the spread of flu.
1. Know the difference between cleaning, disinfecting, and sanitizing.
Cleaning removes germs, dirt and impurities from surfaces or objects. Disinfecting kills germs on surfaces or objects. Sanitizing lowers the number of germs on surfaces or objects to a safe level, as judged by public health standards or requirements.
2. Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that are touched often.
This means daily sanitizing of surfaces and objects that are touched often, such as desks, countertops, doorknobs, computer keyboards, hands-on learning items, faucet handles and phones.
3. Simply do routine cleaning and disinfecting.
It’s important to match your cleaning and disinfecting activities to the types of germs you want to remove or kill. Flu viruses are relatively fragile, so standard cleaning and disinfecting practices are sufficient to remove or kill them.
4. Clean and disinfect correctly.
Always follow label directions on cleaning products and disinfectants.
5. Simply do routine cleaning and disinfecting.
Ensure that the custodial staff who usees cleaners and disinfectants read and understand all instruction labels and understand safe and appropriate use. This might require that instructional materials and training be provided in other languages.
6. Handle waste properly.
Follow your school’s standard procedures for handling waste, which may include wearing gloves.
7. Learn more.
The CDC offers a number of resources for additional information.