COVID-19, commonly known as “coronavirus” has taken the world by storm. Spreading quickly and efficiently, it has shut down trade, commerce, transportation, and leisure. As cleaning contractors, our job is more important than ever. The ability to quickly sanitize large areas is a beneficial service for hospitals, shopping areas, and playgrounds. The CDC has outlined the proper method for cleaning and sanitizing areas.
From the CDC website:
- If surfaces are dirty, they should be cleaned using a detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.
- For disinfection, diluted household bleach solutions, alcohol solutions with at least 70% alcohol, and most common EPA-registered household disinfectants should be effective.
- Diluted household bleach solutions can be used if appropriate for the surface. Follow manufacturer’s instructions for application and proper ventilation. Check to ensure the product is not past its expiration date. Never mix household bleach with ammonia or any other cleanser. Unexpired household bleach will be effective against coronaviruses when properly diluted.
- Prepare a bleach solution by mixing:
- 5 tablespoons (1/3rd cup) bleach per gallon of water or
- 4 teaspoons bleach per quart of water
- Products with EPA-approved emerging viral pathogens claimsexternal icon are expected to be effective against COVID-19 based on data for harder to kill viruses. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for all cleaning and disinfection products (e.g., concentration, application method and contact time, etc.).
- For soft (porous) surfaces such as carpeted floor, rugs, and drapes, remove visible contamination if present and clean with appropriate cleaners indicated for use on these surfaces. After cleaning:
- If the items can be laundered, launder items in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions using the warmest appropriate water setting for the items and then dry items completely.
- Otherwise, use products with the EPA-approved emerging viral pathogens claims (examples at this linkpdf iconexternal icon) that are suitable for porous surfaces
As the CDC states, bleach (sodium hypochlorite) works to sanitize and kill coronavirus, as does various sanitizers and quats.
For cleaning, we use Agent Blue degreaser. It is an alkaline degreaser and cleaner, and works to remove dirt, grime, grease, oil, and pollution. For sanitizing, we recommend San-Q, a food-safe, EPA-registered quat that is confirmed effective against COVID-19. For sanitizing, we recommend using a quat over standard sodium hypochlorite. While bleach does work, it presents other issues to think about:
- Bleach (sodium hypochlorite) is not food safe.
- Bleach requires neutralization and rinsing.
- Bleach is generally more expensive.
- Bleach is harder on equipment.
Alternatively, a quat like San-Q requires no rinse, is food-safe, and only uses 5 oz per 10 gallons of water. San-Q only uses 5 oz per 10 gallons of water.
To check the list on the CDC, use the link and EPA number below. The product will come up as Maquat 710-M by Mason Chemical. San-Q is a white labeled product; the EPA number and product are identical.
San-Q EPA #: 10324-117