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1. Remove dry soils (dust) from surfaces using a microfiber cloth. All high-touch surfaces must be cleaned before disinfection takes place. Dust, debris, and soils will deactivate disinfectants.
2. Once dry soils and dust are removed, the surface must be thoroughly cleaned to remove any dirt, residues, caked-on food/spills, etc. Use a cleaning product approved for use on the surface being cleaned.
3. Once the surface has been cleaned, disinfection can be performed. We recommend that you use disinfectants found on the EPA's List N of Disinfectants for Use Against SARS-CoV-2. Follow instructions on the label for proper application procedures, PPE requirements, and dwell time.
What is a High-Touch Surface?
High-touch surfaces are surfaces that are handled frequently throughout the day, and by numerous people. These areas include doorknobs, light switches, phones, sink faucets, armchairs, fridge handles, etc. These surfaces can become contaminated by direct contact with bodily fluids or through indirect contact with other contaminated objects, such as inadequately cleaned rags and sponges or improperly washed hands. Pathogens can stay on surfaces if they are not properly disinfected.
For example, hepatitis A and Rotavirus can survive up to one month on hard, non-porous surfaces, while noroviruses can survive up to 42 days on the same type of surfaces. High-touch surfaces have been shown to play a role in the transmission of pathogens both directly (surface-to-mouth contact) and indirectly (contamination of hands, then subsequent hand-to-mouth contact).
Disinfection vs. Sanitization
When decontaminating surfaces, it is important to understand there are differences between disinfectants and sanitizers.
Disinfectants are used on hard inanimate surfaces and objects in order to destroy or irreversibly inactivate infectious fungi, bacteria, and viruses that are listed on the label.
Sanitizers are used to reduce, but not necessarily eliminate, bacteria and fungi from an inanimate surface to levels considered acceptable as determined by public health codes and regulations. Generally, sanitizers are used on food-contact surfaces and disinfectants on all other hard surfaces. Fabric and carpet can only be sanitized.