Cleaning and Disinfection Recommendations

Cleaning and Disinfection Recommendations

Each healthcare facility should have written procedures to guide regular general cleaning and to ensure that the environment is maintained to a satisfactory standard. Cleaning staff should adhere to agreed procedures and have the necessary equipment and resources to complete the task. COSHH regulations must be followed and all staff should wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE).


Warm water and detergent are a good way to clean visible dirt and contamination. In most cases, they can also be used to decontaminate equipment.

In certain cases, such as when there is an increased incidence of infection or an outbreak, surfaces and equipment may need to be cleaned. Equipment and surfaces must be cleaned and disinfected in certain situations, such as an outbreak or increased infection rate.


Disinfection is a process to reduce the amount of microorganisms in a place that does not pose a risk to clients or patients. Disinfection is only effective when thoroughly cleaned equipment and surfaces with detergent and water before use. Use warm water and detergent to clean hard surfaces. Then, disinfection with 1000ppm (0.1%) chlorine releasing agent/hypochlorite or chlorine dioxide solution should be applied (diluted and with a contact period according to manufacturer’s instructions). The specific disinfectant will be specified in the local cleaning/disinfection policy or procedure. Hypochlorite and chlorine dioxide solutions will kill bacteria and viruses if used according to the manufacturer’s instructions. The hypochlorite solution can cause corrosion so it is important to rinse off any commodes or mattresses with warm water after the process is completed. Some solutions of chlorine dioxide do not require to be rinsed.

Cleaning and disinfection

Routine General Cleansing?

Routine cleaning should be done at least once a day. Using water and neutral detergent is a common method of thorough cleaning. If there is blood or bodily fluids, you should clean the area thoroughly with water and neutral detergent. Then use a disinfectant cleaner such as a chlorine releasing agent/sodium chlorite or a solution to reduce the chlorine dioxide. The hypochlorite solution should be rinsed off and the area should be dried. However, this is not necessary with other chlorine dioxide solutions. Make sure surfaces are compatible with the disinfectant being used.

Enhanced cleaning?

It is recommended to do more routine house cleaning in yorba linda if there is a risk of an infection spreading or a sudden increase in the incidence of an organism. This will entail cleaning/disinfecting the environment including frequently touched surfaces such as bed tables, bed rails, the arms of chairs, sinks, call bells, door handles and push plates, and any area/piece of equipment that may potentially be contaminated. Some areas may require more frequent cleaning depending on the outbreak’s severity. During an outbreak of gastrointestinal infections, sanitary areas should be kept clean.

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Terminal Cleaning

Terminal cleaning is the thorough cleaning/disinfection of all surfaces including floors and re-useable equipment either within the whole healthcare facility or within an individual ward/department/unit. In the following situations, this may be necessary:

  • After an epidemic or higher incidence of infection
  • After a patient has been discharged, the transfer or death can be done
  • After isolation/contact precaution nursing a patient

After discussion with the Infection Prevention & Control Team, the nurse/manager in charge of the ward/unit/facility will recommend a terminal clean. The terminal clean cannot begin after the appropriate room/area is completely vacated, the terminal clean cannot begin.

Notice: The cleaning schedule should clearly state who is responsible for cleaning the different parts of the room or areas to be cleaned in the terminal clean.

Note: In addition to the above, some facilities/organisations employ other technologies such as steam or vaporised hydrogen peroxide when doing terminal cleans. This is an additional step in the cleaning process but should not replace the physical decontamination of the environment/equipment with detergent & water and disinfectant.

Terminal cleaning:
  • All equipment necessary to clean the terminal at the point of use (e.g. Mop bucket, mop and disposable colour-coded cloths. Disposable roll, yellow clinical waste bags tags & tags. Wet floor sign. Vacuum cleaner fitted with HEPA filter.
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): Disposable gloves and apron. Before entering the room, dispose of all disposables (e.g. Hand towels, magazines and bottles, as well as toilet rolls, are prohibited. All materials should be disposed off as medical waste.
  • Prepare cleaning/disinfecting solutions in a container (dilution as per manufacturer’s instruction). Use only the cleaning products provided by your employer.
  • Ventilation of the area/room being cleaned must be adequate; if there is no window, the door should be left open when applying hypochlorite/chlorine dioxide solutions.
  • Use disinfectant solutions according to the manufacturer’s instructions. This includes the contact time. Chemical disinfectants must also be used in accordance with the Control of Substances Hazardous To Health (COSHH), regulations.
  • Rinse with water after cleaning. If necessary, rinse again before drying. It is especially important to clean stainless steel surfaces with chlorine-containing solutions to prevent corrosion.
  • For cleaning the terminal clean, use disposable cloths/paper rolls. Disposable mop heads can be used if they are available. These should be disposed of in a bag for clinical waste after use.
  • Make sure that your PPE is properly changed before moving from one area to another. Then, dispose of the waste in a bag.
  • After removing or disposing of any PPE, always wash your hands.
  • Do not leave the area and do not re-enter it until the terminal cleaning is complete.