Disinfecting and Sanitizing of Hands and Surfaces for Proper Hygiene

Prevention of an outbreak of destructive bacteria, virus or other pathogens depends on proper cleaning and disinfection practices being in place. High risk environments require clear procedures and the use of effective and appropriate products.

In a food manufacturing or medical facility, a cleaning program is implemented and improved over time and staff are trained regularly. Audits are done both in-house and externally by way of swab tests, laboratory tests and third party auditing. Processes and procedures can be carefully followed to ensure food safety compliance.

In contrast, in the event of a natural disaster or disease outbreak there is often limited time to put processes and protocols in place and getting the right products and equipment can be difficult. Please see our checklist below for items you may need. Conditions may be out of the ordinary but effective guidelines practices can still be utilised. It’s a good idea to start with the basics which all staff need to know.

Washing hands

Washing hands is the most important thing you can do. Having access to clean running water is first prize. Paper towels or air blowers to dry hands are best as reusing a towel can help spread germs. Liquid soap that is dispensed through a soap dispenser is best. It is critical to follow full washing washing procedure. This is the World Health Organisations (WHO) video on washing hands:

We also have stickers which can be placed near hand wash stations reminding people of the procedure of hand washing:

hand washing sticker

Points to keep in mind:

  • Do not touch your face
  • Wash your hands after going to the toilet
  • Wash your hands before and after eating
  • Wash your hands after touching someone
  • Wash your hands after coughing or sneezing into your hand
  • Once hands are clean and dry, use a quick drying hand sanitizer for disinfection

If there is limited access to clean running water, water for hand washing must be changed out frequently and air drying sanitizer must be used. In the event of no water being around make use of hand sanitizers only.

Follow the handwashing process with a hand sanitizer. Ensure your sanitizer meets the necessary standard for sanitation. There are many sub-standard sanitizers in the market. An official registration number will confirm compliance. Look for it on the labelling.

Disinfecting surfaces

Keep areas clear of paper products and medical products that may carry pathogens. Provide bins (including medical bins) that are regularly emptied for all waste products. Have cleaning products in ready to use state such as in spray bottles with paper towels can save time.

Firstly, clean visible dirt from all surfaces including equipment. Use a disinfectant detergent to clean and wipe down the surfaces. Ensure the product has a five minute contact time with the surface before rinsing thoroughly. Follow with a spray-on disinfectant. These can be sprayed on and wiped on the surface, no rinsing required. Be sure to follow manufacturer’s instructions to ensure best efficacy.

Sterilize all equipment regularly and thoroughly

Products Checklist

Surface cleaner

Surface disinfectant

Liquid hand soap

Alcohol Based Hand sanitizer

Equipment Checklist

Paper towels

Soap and hand sanitizer dispensers

Spray bottles for cleaning

Labels for Spray Bottles

Measuring vessels for dilution of chemicals and disinfectants

Bins (no touch)

Bin liners


,Please be sure to contact our offices for any of your hygiene needs. You can reach us on 086 111 6008 or email: enquiries@blendwell.co.za