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Disinfecting With Wipes

This guide will help you properly disinfect surfaces with wipes.

August 3, 2020

Here’s what you need to know:

  • Disinfection and sanitation is a shared responsibility
  • COVID-19 can live on surfaces
  • HSU will provide EPA-approved disinfecting wipes in common areas
  • Proper use of disinfecting wipes is crucial to preventing the spread of infection

About Disinfection and Sanitation

Disinfection and sanitation throughout campus is a shared responsibility. Efforts to reduce the spread of disease on campus through frequently touched surfaces include:

  • Enhanced and periodic cleaning following CDC guidelines using EPA-approved disinfectants of touched surfaces
  • Using state-of-the-art cleaning equipment for bathrooms and other communal spaces
  • Providing EPA-approved wipes in areas of frequently shared equipment such as computer labs, and in lobbies and foyers where frequently touched surfaces are located 

If the sanitization is performed by the individual who is using or touching the shared object or common surface, it should be performed before and after use. This shared responsibility can significantly reduce the risk of transmission for everyone in the campus community. If individuals do not sanitize the surfaces they touch, they are increasing the chance of infection to themselves, and possibly increasing the risk to others who come after. 

Surfaces have been shown to carry live COVID-19 for the following times:

  • Air: 3 hours
  • Copper: 4 hours
  • Cardboard: 24 hours
  • Plastic and Stainless Steel: 2-3 days

Proper Use of Sanitizing Wipes

If a surface is visibly dirty, you must clean off any dirt or debris first and then sanitize, as COVID-19 can hide in the dirt.

To ensure sanitation, each wipe has its own “minimum wet time”. If the surface dries out faster than that minimum time, you must use another wipe until the minimum wet time is achieved.

  • Alcohol based wipes: 30 seconds
  • Clorox and Lysol wipes (or other “quaternary ammonium chloride compounds” types): 4 minutes
  • Diluted bleach: 5 minutes
  • 3% hydrogen peroxide: 8 minutes

Wipe in one direction only. Imagine you are plowing snow. Using swirls or circles can spread the virus around the surface.