Cleaning & Disinfecting Your Space: The Do’s & Don’ts

As we enter a new year, so too do we begin new habits (or so we hope). Amongst some new habits that have changed significantly for many people during 2020 are cleaning & disinfection of our spaces, be it work, home, or the like. Many people have solutions and strategies that they swear by, but what are the real do’s and don’ts of cleaning & disinfecting our inhabited zones? The CDC (Centers for Disease Control & Protection) has done the research and the following are the basic rules we believe every person should follow.


  • Wear gloves while routinely cleaning or disinfecting (these may be reusable or disposable)
  • Soap & water are always the best first steps to cleaning surfaces, followed by disinfecting sprays
  • With regards to fabrics and wearables, wash them according to the manufacturer instructions to prevent damage but also ensure cleanliness
  • If living with someone who falls ill, allow that person to stay alone in a bedroom and occupy a bathroom that the remaining residents do not use during the infected persons’ contagious period (typically, people are non-contagious when they are not displaying any symptoms, but this depends on the case)
  • When washing your hands, do so with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds


  • When using any disinfecting product make sure:
    • It disinfects against viruses that are of concern, such as Sars & Covid-19 (this list details disinfectants matching this requirement
    • To keep surface wet with disinfectant for the period of time specified in the instructions
    • You are protected from direct contact with harsh disinfectant products via the use of gloves, masks, and eye protection as needed
    • The space is adequately ventilated consistently 
    • To not mix products that are not instructed to be used in that way
    • All diluted solutions are correctly labeled and dated 
    • The products are out of reach of children & pets
    • The products must never be ingested, and if this takes place, to contact the relevant medical professionals to receive immediate assistance
  • Bleach solutions are very effective in powerful disinfection, and should be used as instructed (diluted as needed and stored as required)
  • Alcohol solutions of 70% or more are good for disinfecting surfaces
  • Before using a disinfectant on your surfaces, test the disinfectant on an inconspicuous spot of the surface and allow a day to pass in order to monitor the effect on that surface (wood and other materials may experience damage from harsh disinfectants, so be conscious of this when disinfecting sensitive surfaces)

Soft Surfaces

The biggest question on many of our minds is how can soft surfaces be disinfected properly without damaging them. Some important things to consider when disinfecting soft surfaces are:

  • Look for disinfectants and cleaners designed for this specific surface, and utilize them according to their instructions when this option is available
  • Clean the surface with soap and water if this does not damage the surface
  • When possible, wash these surfaces in a laundry machine or by hand with detergent (test an area first to see the impact prior to washing the entire item)
  • Use disinfectants on the surface unless otherwise instructed
  • Vacuum and dispose of the vacuumed contents in a proper refuse container
  • If possible, use covers for any soft surfaces such as couches, tables, and bedding that can be laundered


Cleaning electronics can be tricky as liquid contact can result in permanent damage of your devices. In order to avoid this potential unfavorable outcome, you can follow these guidelines when disinfecting any devices.

  • Wipe down surfaces with disinfectant products that are created for that specific device
  • Defer to the manufacturer’s instructions on how to clean and disinfect the product before using any disinfectant


When considering how to launder fabrics, linens, and other textiles, the following should be taken into consideration:

  • Follow manufacturer instructions when washing any item
  • Do not come into physical contact with with these items if they were worn or used by someone sick
  • Handle these items with gloves to prevent contact
  • Clean and disinfect the hamper used to hold dirty laundry on a regular basis (weekly or bi-weekly if appropriate)
  • Wash hands after removing gloves immediately

Clean Hands

Wash your hands regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds to ensure you clean them effectively. The most important times to clean your hands are:

  • Before preparing food
  • After coming into contact with foreign surfaces (if not wearing gloves)
  • After contact with a sick person
  • After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
  • After contact with animals or pets
  • Before & after contact with a person requiring physical assistance

When soap and water are not readily available, use hand sanitizer until you are capable of washing your hands. 60% alcohol by volume is the minimum concentration the hand sanitizer you use should have.

These are just some of the important tips you should keep in mind when deciding how to clean and disinfect your space. Leave us a comment about your experience with cleaning and disinfecting your inhabited zones!

Thank you to the CDC for this valuable information on staying safe. 

Citation: Cleaning And Disinfecting Your Home | CDC

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