closeup of someone carrying a bucket full of cleaning equipment

This Version Posted: February 11, 2021

Cleaning and disinfecting public spaces is essential to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and protect people in the community.

The following information provides guidance on cleaning and disinfection of public spaces and workplaces in Ontario.

On This Page:

What you should know
Icon image of a tub of cleaning supplies
Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces twice per day
  • In addition to routine cleaning and disinfecting, high-touch surfaces should be cleaned and disinfected twice per day and when visibly dirty.
  • High-touch surfaces include, but are not limited to: doorknobs, elevator buttons, light switches, toilet handles, counters, hand rails, touch screen surfaces and keypads.
  • In addition to routine cleaning and disinfecting, check with your organization for any specific protocols for cleaning and disinfecting for COVID-19.
Select products
  • Break down grease and remove organic material from the surface.
  • If used separately, always use cleaner to clean the surface area before applying disinfectants.
  • Can be purchased with cleaner and disinfectant combined in a single product. These products are called ‘cleaner disinfectants.’
Icon of a sponge filled with bubbles
Icon of a spray bottle of disinfectant
Disinfectant Wipes
  • Have combined cleaners and disinfectants in the same wipe.
  • May become dry due to fast drying properties. They should not be used if they become dry.
  • Ensure surfaces are saturated with cleaner disinfectant while using wipes.
  • Not recommended for heavily soiled surfaces.
Prepare products for use
  • Where possible, use pre-mixed solution.
  • Read and follow manufacturer’s instructions to:
    • properly prepare solution
    • allow adequate contact time for disinfectant to kill germs (see product label for specific contact time)
    • wear gloves when handling cleaning or disinfecting products (including wipes)
    • wear any other personal protective equipment recommended by the manufacturer.
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This information is based on the Public Health Ontario fact sheet: Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Cleaning and Disinfection for Public Settings

How to Clean/Disinfect a Carpet to Eliminate COVID-19

The best option is to cover the carpet with vinyl or other material that can be easily cleaned and disinfected. If that’s not possible, do the following:

  • For regular cleaning and disinfecting, use a steam cleaner (the temperature is high enough to eliminate COVID)
  • For situations involving a biological spill, follow these steps:
    • Gather disposable towels, cleaners, disinfectants and other supplies you need to deal with the spill.
    • Don’t allow access to area until the spill is cleaned, disinfected and completely dry.
    • Put on gloves and facial protection (such as mask and eye protection, or face shield). If there is a possibility of splashing, wear a gown too.
    • Mop up as much of the spill as possible with disposable towels
    • Disinfect the entire spill area with a Health Canada approved disinfectant, allowing it to stand for the length of time of time recommended by the manufacturer. Do not use spray for this step.
    • In a waste receptacle, safely dispose of the gloves, disposable towels, and other materials used to wipe up the spill.
    • Remove gloves and thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water.
    • Steam clean the carpet.
Additional Resources:

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