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Cleaning and Sanitization 

Woman cleans a toiletWhen groups of people gather, such as those in a child care center, germs can spread. Although the environment cannot be made germ-free, the harmful effects of germs can be lessened by keeping their numbers at low levels. Germs can most effectively be controlled by frequent, thorough:

  1. Hand washing
  2. Cleaning and disinfection of objects

In addition, proper handling and disposal of contaminated items are necessary to prevent the spread of infections.

Since germs cannot be seen, cleaning and disinfection of those items that do not look soiled or dirty might be overlooked. Similarly, people who do not show symptoms of illnesses may not be suspected of carrying or spreading germs, even though they may be as infectious as those who do have symptoms. Proper cleaning and disinfection practices must be followed routinely, not only when items appear to be soiled or when people appear to be ill.

Several diseases may be spread by contact with blood and body fluids. These fluids should always be treated as if they are infectious because disease-causing germs can be present even in the absence of illness.

Cleaning solutions should always be used according to the manufacturer's directions. Bleach solutions have been found to be very effective for killing germs when cleaning or sanitizing.

View information on cleaning and sanitizing using bleach.