Recommendations for Cleaning and Disinfecting
Use fragrance-free, low-VOC cleaning products. Do not use fragrance-emitting devices (FEDS), plug-ins, or sprays; urinal or toilet blocks; or other deodorizer/re-odorizer products. Reduce odors by increasing cleaning and ventilation and/or using baking soda or zeolite to absorb odors. Do not use products containing paradichlorobenzene (21) or naphthalene, which are common ingredients in FEDS.
Do not use cleaner/disinfectant combination products. Avoid or limit the use of products containing chlorine, ammonia, quaternary ammonium, phenol, isopropyl and other alcohols, formaldehyde, and other petroleum distillates. Do not use citrus- or pine-based products. Hydrogen peroxide-based products are the preferred disinfectants, but still should be used with caution and care. Use hot water for cleaning to reduce the need for soaps, detergents, and disinfectants.
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. Clean surfaces thoroughly before disinfecting. Leave disinfectants in place for the correct amount of time before wiping surfaces clean.
Audit cleaning chemicals currently in use and develop a plan to replace with safer alternatives.
Vacuum frequently and thoroughly using vacuums with HEPA filters and strong suction. 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. Clean stains while they are fresh to avoid the need for aggressive cleaning later. Dust hard surfaces with a lint-free cloth, or with water only.
Spray cleaning products on to cloths rather than on to surfaces or into the air. Dry all washed surfaces with a dry cloth or mop to reduce chemical residue and chance of mold growth. Minimize the use of floor waxes and buffing.
Ventilate well when using cleaning products. Post signs during cleaning. Make cleaning schedule available to employees or others upon request.
Schedule heavy cleaning, repairs and maintenance during low or no-occupancy periods whenever possible.
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.
In decorative building fountains, use the minimum amount of chlorine necessary for disinfection, avoid the use of bromine, use closed ozone water treatment systems to the maximum extent possible, and make use of newer, less-toxic disinfecting technologies as they become available.
Avoid the use of wall-mounted devices, similar to fragrance-emitting devices (FEDS), that operate automatically or by pushing a button to dispense deodorizers, disinfectants, and pesticides.