Detailed Recommendations for Cleaning & Disinfecting
Do not used fragrance-emitting devices (FEDS), plug-ins, or sprays; urinal or toilet blocks; or other deodorizer/re-odorizer products.
To reduce odors, increase cleaning and ventilation and/or use baking soda or zeolite to absorb odors.
Do not use products containing paradichlorobenzene or naphthalene (commons ingredients in FEDS).
Avoid or limit the use of products containing chlorine, ammonia, quaternary ammonium, phenol, isopropyl and other alcohols, formaldehyde, and other petroleum distillates.
Discourage the use of alcohol-based hand washes.
Do not use products that contain or have a fragrance.
Do not use citrus- or pine-based products.
Use vegetable-based surfactants rather than petroleum-based ones. Do not use or citrus- or pine-based solvents.
Cleaning and disinfecting programs should be part of an overall Indoor Air & Environmental Quality (IAQ/IEQ) program.
Establish an audit of all cleaning chemicals currently in use. Develop a priority list and plan to establish alternatives for chemicals and cleaning methods.
Raise awareness among building maintenance staff and occupants that "green" and "environmentally friendly" products are not necessarily good for occupant health.
Minimize the number of cleaning and disinfecting products used.
Perform cleaning maintenance on an as needed basis—use spot or area cleaning rather than broad-based cleaning.
Clean stains while they are fresh to avoid need for aggressive cleaning later.
Choose cleaning products and disinfectants that emit the lowest levels of volatile fumes.
Dust with a dry lint-free cloth, or with water only. Avoid or minimize the use of polish dusting products.
Avoid perfumed and/or chemically-treated cleaning products and supplies, such as cleaning rags, vacuum bags, trash bags, tissue, toilet paper, and hand soaps.
Increase scrubbing and other mechanical methods of cleaning to reduce the need for chemicals.
Inspect areas to insure there has been proper cleaning using visual inspection, white cloth, or ultraviolet light.
Do not use cleaner/disinfectant combination products.
Hot water should be available for hand washing and cleaning.
Whenever possible, clean with hot water to reduce the amount of soap, detergent, and disinfectant that must be used.
Spray cleaning products on to cloths rather than on to surfaces or into the air.
If carpets must be cleaned, use steam or least-toxic all-purpose cleaner or carpet cleaner that does not contain petroleum solvents. Spot clean whenever possible.
Adopt fast-drying methods for carpet cleaning, 4 hours maximum. Steam cleaning + highest extraction + higher dry air flow = fast drying.
Dry all washed surfaces and floors with a dry cloth or mop to minimize chemical residues and reduce the chance of mold growth.
Use vacuums with HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Attenuation) filters and strong suction. Vacuum frequently and thoroughly.
Minimize the use of floor waxes and buffing, and if done, notify employees and the public.
Order cleaning products for use with pumps rather than spray or aerosol dispensers to minimize chemical contamination of the air and HVAC system.
Take control of your own dispensing to ensure proper measurements. Establish minimal dosing for applications. When chemical has multiple uses, dispense separately for each use. A good dispensing program can save 25% to 40% in chemical consumption and costs.
Educate staff that mixing cleaning chemicals is dangerous because it can create new compounds that are more toxic than the original products.
Initiate protocol to authorize, supervise, and provide safe areas to mix authorized chemicals.
Store cleaning chemicals securely, separated from paper, cloth, or other absorbent materials.
Post signs during cleaning activities. Make cleaning schedule available to employees or others upon request.
Schedule heavy cleaning, repairs and maintenance during low or no-occupancy periods whenever possible.
Maintain strict protocol for training employees who use hazardous products or materials. Maintain an active list of those authorized to perform those duties.
Restrict cleaning to authorized personnel only.
Prohibit occupant usage of cleaning chemicals except as authorized. Establish a list of least toxic, low-VOC cleaning products (and/or provide them to employees) which they can use to clean computers, erase felt pen writing on white board, and perform other similar activities.
Use micro vacuums for cleaning electronic equipment. Do not use solvent cleaners.
Increase air intake to a building to dilute cleaning products present in indoor air, especially during major cleaning activities such as cleaning of carpet, walls, etc.
Provide a well-ventilated room with exhaust fans in which to service computers and other portable equipment whenever toxic chemicals are involved in the repair process.
Develop protocol to dispose of cleaning solutions safely.
Reduce tracked-in dirt by using mats and grills in entryways. Where appropriate, exhaust air between separated doorway entrances.
Replace wet entrance mats and dry wet floors and carpeting as soon as possible.
Utilize only those floor mats that do not emit odors/fumes or particles.
Reasonable accommodation to programs, services, and employment needs to be readily available to people whose disabilities require that they avoid exposures to cleaning, disinfecting, and maintenance chemicals.
Waterless urinals should be maintained using products containing bacterial enzymes that biodegrade urea.
Eliminate combined cleaner/disinfectant products.
Use disinfectants only when and where necessary. This includes:
Limit or avoid the use of disinfectant or cleaning products containing chlorine, quaternary ammonium, phenol, and isopropyl and other alcohols.
Hydrogen peroxide-based disinfectants are preferred, but should be used judiciously with caution and care.
Use disinfectants only in areas and at strengths (i.e., levels of disinfection) required by law. Check with local health department to obtain details of all legal requirements.
Restrict or eliminate the use of alcohol-based hand washes.
Do not use hand soaps containing triclosan or other disinfectants.
See Addendum B for more information on Cleaning