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COVID-19 Cleaning Best Practices

February 11, 2021

As a result of the challenges the COVID-19 pandemic brings, businesses must review their internal protocols to ensure they are doing all they can to protect their workforce and manage their operations. This is particularly true as it relates to cleaning and sanitation best practices, especially given how precise these procedures need to be, based on guidelines from the Public Health Agency of Canada and other health officials.

Here, we will provide an overview of cleaning recommendations from the Public Health Agency of Canada and provide a sample cleaning log that businesses can use during their cleaning and sanitization procedures.

Covid-19 Cleaning and Disinfecting Best Practices


  • Ensure those responsible for cleaning are given the appropriate protective equipment. Cleaning should be completed using Health Canada-recommended products, including: Health Canada-approved household disinfectants, alcohol solutions with at least 60 percent alcohol, diluted household bleach solutions (if appropriate for the surface)
  • Wear disposable gloves when cleaning and disinfecting
  • Clean surfaces using soap and water, then use an approved disinfectant
  • Use the appropriate cleaning chemicals in food preparation and contact areas.
  • Ensure trash is collected from the workplace regularly. Those collecting trash should be instructed to wear nitrile, latex or vinyl gloves
  • Clean and disinfect HVAC air filters regularly
  • Practise routine cleaning of frequently touched surfaces. High-touch surfaces include tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, taps and sinks. It should be noted that more frequent cleaning and disinfection may be required based on the level of use. Additionally, surfaces and objects in public places, such as shopping carts and point-of-sale keypads should be cleaned and disinfected before each use


  • Use Health Canada-approved household disinfectants.
  • Follow the instructions on the label of the disinfectant to ensure the safe and effective use of the product.

Many products recommend:

  1. Keep the surface wet for a while, take precautions, such as wearing gloves and making sure you have good ventilation during the use of the product, and use room temperature water for dilution (unless stated otherwise on the label).
  2. Avoid mixing chemical products.
  3. Label diluted cleaning solutions.
  4. Store chemicals in safe locations and per the original manufacturer’s instructions.
  5. Take special considerations to account for people with asthma. These individuals should not be present when cleaning and disinfecting is happening, as this can trigger asthma exacerbations.
  • Never eat, drink, breathe or inject disinfectants into your body or apply directly to your skin, as they can cause serious harm.
  • Ensure your staff never uses disinfecting wipes to clean more than one surface. Use one wipe per item or area, and discard them after each use or when they are visibly soiled.
  • Consider using diluted household bleach solutions if they’re appropriate for the surface. If you use diluted household bleach, keep in mind the following:
  1. Check the label to see if your bleach is intended for disinfection and has a sodium hypochlorite concentration of 5-6 percent. Ensure the product is not past its expiration date. Some bleaches, such as those designed for safe use on coloured clothing or for whitening, may not be suitable for disinfection.
  2. Check the expiration date. Unexpired household bleach will be effective against coronaviruses when properly diluted.
  3. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for application and proper ventilation. Never mix household bleach with ammonia or any other cleanser.
  4. Leave the solution on the surface for at least one minute when cleaning

Soft Surfaces

  • Clean the surface using soap and water, or with cleaners appropriate for use on these surfaces.
  • Launder items according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Use the warmest appropriate water setting and dry items completely.
  • Consider disinfecting the surface with a Health Canada-approved household disinfectant if you are unable to launder the item.


  • Consider putting a wipeable cover on electronics.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning and disinfecting. If no guidance is included on the label, use alcohol-based wipes or sprays containing at least 70 percent alcohol. Dry the surface thoroughly after cleaning.


  • Launder items according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Use the warmest appropriate water setting and dry items completely.
  • Wear disposable gloves when handling dirty laundry from a person who is sick. Dirty laundry from a person who is sick can be washed with other people’s items.
  • Do not shake dirty laundry.
  • Clean and disinfect clothes hampers after laundering items.

Download Our COVID-19 Cleaning Log

We have created a sample cleaning log to help keep record of when and by whom common items in your business are cleaned and/or sanitized. Click below to download the COVID-19 Cleaning Log for free.

COVID-19 Cleaning Log