Best Practices for Cleaning and Disinfection in Manufacturing

Lavo Solutions helps our partners in manufacturing to define and implement cleaning and sanitization efforts for warehouse spaces. These efforts are designed to disinfect the workspace, keep employees safe, and keep businesses and warehouses operating.

Our recommendations are based on CDC guidelines related to COVID-19.

Dedicate a Shift for Cleaning and Sanitizing

Depending on the items processed or manufactured in a particular plant, many manufacturers are dedicating a shift for cleaning and sanitizing common areas while also training workers to clean and sanitize their shared workstations at the beginning and end of each shift.

Provide Professional Equipment

It is important to provide professional tools to clean and sanitize before, during, and after each shift in a warehouse.
– Obtain and use an EPA List N chemical that is approved for SARS-CoV-2. This is an important first step to ensure the chemical you are using will be effective.
– Use a professional dispenser to ensure chemical concentrates are diluted correctly.
– Dilute chemicals into color-coded spray bottles. Color-coded bottles can make sure employees are using the proper chemicals for the proper use.
– Use microfiber towels – and change them regularly! Each employee that is disinfecting should have many clean towels available for each shift.

Define and Educate About Dwell Time

Dwell time (or contact time) is one of the biggest issues and mistakes when disinfecting and sanitizing any space. Each List N chemical defines the dwell time needed for the chemical to effectively disinfect a surface. Many chemicals require a 3-5 minute contact time to be effective. Some require up to 10 minutes. This means for the chemical to be effective, it must appear wet on a surface for the instructed amount of time before wiped with microfiber.

It’s important that all employees understand this step.

Don’t Forget to Disinfect Tools

For tool-intensive operations, employers should ensure tools are regularly cleaned and disinfected, including at least as often as workers change workstations or move to a new set of tools. Refer to List N on the EPA website for EPA-registered disinfectants that have qualified under EPA’s emerging viral pathogens program for use against SARS-CoV-2.

Disinfecting and Sanitizing Common Spaces

Establish protocols and provide supplies to increase the frequency of sanitization in work and common spaces. Disinfect frequently touched surfaces in workspaces and break rooms (e.g., microwave and refrigerator handles, vending machine touchpads, knobs, levels, and sink handles) at least once per shift, if possible.

For example, wipe down tools or other equipment as often as workers change their workstations. Frequently clean push bars and handles on any doors that do not open automatically and handrails on stairs or along walkways. If physical barriers are being used, then these should be cleaned frequently too.


Manufacturers should consider wipeable covers on shared electronics such as: tablets, touch screens, keyboards, remote controls and more. These covers can be wiped with properly diluted disinfectant.

Industrial Spraying and Fogging for Large Spaces

Fogging and spraying are effective methods of applying disinfectant and allowing for the proper contact time. An industrial fogger effectively disinfects hard and soft surfaces, floors, walls, ventilation systems and more. A fogger atomizes the chemical to project up to 15 feet and penetrate hard-to-reach areas with disinfectant. This type of equipment and service can be great for warehouse racking, stacked boxes and more.

Measuring Cleaning and Disinfecting Procedures

Lavo believes in the power of data and the tools that exist to measure the effectiveness of clean. Lavo utilizes ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate) technology to test the surfaces before and after disinfection. ATP is an excellent indicator of overall microbiological content in fluids or deposits on a surface.

Have Proper PPE Available

Workers who perform cleaning and disinfection tasks may require additional PPE and other controls to protect them from chemical hazards posed by disinfectants. Note: Employers must ensure their written hazard communication program is up to date and training is up to date for all employees. (Also, see OSHA’s enforcement discretion memorandum on this topic.) Employers may need to adapt guidance from this section, the Environmental Services Workers and Employers section, and the Interim Guidance for Workers and Employers of Workers at Increased Risk of Occupational Exposure, to fully protect workers performing cleaning and disinfection activities in manufacturing workplaces.

Other controls

Provide alcohol-based hand sanitizers containing at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not immediately available.

Place hand sanitizers in multiple locations to encourage hand hygiene. If possible, choose hand sanitizer stations that are touch-free.

Workers should be educated to avoid touching their faces, including their eyes, noses, and mouths, particularly until after they have thoroughly washed their hands upon completing work and/or removing personal protective equipment (PPE).

If you, your warehouse manager or employees have questions or need professional equipment, contact Lavo Solutions for more information.