Standardized Process

If you clean surfaces in the wrong order or if you don't follow the recommended practices for the use of cleaning equipment, you may spread pathogens in the environment. Therefore, you need to develop a standardized process to ensure that you are cleaning and disinfecting surfaces appropriately. 


Lapses that can result in the spread of pathogens in the environment include:

  • Failure to clean and disinfect all surfaces.
  • Cleaning and disinfecting surfaces in the wrong order.
  • Failure to follow recommended practices for use of cleaning equipment.


Your facility should have a standardized process with a recommended order for cleaning/disinfecting surfaces.


The process may include the following principles: 


  • Always work from the cleanest surfaces to the dirtiest surfaces. For example, when cleaning a resident room, the bathroom should generally be cleaned last. 


  • Work from top to bottom. This builds on the principle of working from clean to dirty. Higher, harder-to-reach surfaces are less likely to be contaminated. Also, if any debris falls from the higher surfaces, you will have a second chance to clean it when you move to the lower surfaces. 


  • Consider establishing a consistent process or pattern for cleaning and disinfecting surfaces in the room. This helps ensure that surfaces won't be skipped. 


  • Wipe surfaces in a manner to prevent recontamination. For example, don't wipe clean surfaces with a used cloth. This way you won't risk recontaminating a surface that you've already disinfected.