Algoma Public Health

Cleaning & Disinfecting

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Regular cleaning and disinfecting of surfaces is important to reduce the risk of disease transmission.


Without proper cleaning, disinfection will not be effective.


Download: Proper Cleaning and Disinfection Practice

Step 1: Cleaning


  • Cleaning must always be the first step to remove dirt and debris from a surface and is necessary for a disinfectant to be effective
  • Clean with a detergent, water and friction and clean from least contaminated to most contaminated areas

Step 2: Disinfecting


  • Disinfectants are applied to a clean surface in order to kill disease-causing germs
  • Disinfectants must have a drug identification number (DIN) if approved for use in Canada (common household bleach is the only exception)
  • Always follow manufacturer’s instructions for use (MIFU). Read label for direction on: dilution and mixing, personal protective equipment (PPE) needed (e.g., gloves, goggles), surfaces appropriate for use, contact time, efficacy on specific organisms, and rinsing requirements
  • There are a variety of disinfectants in the market. Choose a disinfectant that is compatible with your surfaces and with contact times that fit your needs
  • Check the expiry date. If a product has expired, do not use. Discard expired product safely or return to manufacturer
  • Ensure the concentration of disinfectant is correct before use (i.e. use test strips)
  • Toys that will be mouthed should be rinsed thoroughly with water following disinfection
  • Do not use antiseptic wipes and other products intended for skin (i.e. alcohol-based hand rubs) on surfaces



Date of Creation: March 12, 2020

Last Modified: