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COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Deep Cleaning

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Deep Cleaning

In 1993, Dr. Michael Berry published a groundbreaking textbook entitled “Protecting the Built Environment – Cleaning for Health.” Dr. Berry laid out clearly the importance of cleaning on overall environmental quality – indoors and outdoors.

For the last almost 40 years, Dr. Berry as a Research Scientist, and many in the field like him have been preaching the doctrine of cleaning for health first and appearance second.

With the present pandemic crisis related to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus), the world is having to pay more attention to the concept of cleaning for health.

The first step in the prevention of the spread of the virus is more effective deep cleaning procedures.

The second recommendation of the health and environmental authorities in the prevention of the spread of the coronavirus is the application of a chemical disinfectant and/or sanitizer.

The US EPA has a list of disinfectants they believe are effective:


But before we all jump to applying disinfectants everywhere, let’s take a step back and remind ourselves and our customers of the importance of cleaning in the prevention process.

Cleaning as a process is the removal and extraction of unwanted substances from all indoor surfaces.

In an article in the Journal of Cleaning, Restoration, & Inspection published in 2017, entitled Characteristics of High-Performance Carpet Cleaning, Dr. Berry expounded up on his thoughts specific to floor cleaning.

“Effective cleaning is the process of extracting and removing unwanted matter to the optimum extent to reduce exposure to unwanted matter. Most people clean carpets when they look dirty. Rarely does anyone recognize that their carpet needs to be cleaned for health protection.

Yet every time pollutants are extracted from the carpeting; the quality of the indoor environment is enhanced by reducing exposures. A high-performance carpet cleaning process focuses on nine steps using a wet, high temperature, high flow, high extraction system.”


In any application of sanitization and disinfection, the first step must first be deep, restorative cleaning, extraction, and removal of unwanted substances. For surfaces that can be treated with chemical sanitizers and disinfectants, removal and extraction of as much of the harmful contamination prior to the application of those disinfectants is extremely important.

Industry instructor and consultant, Rachel Adams-Beja has written;

“Regardless of what chemicals may be able to destroy the Novel Coronavirus, most efficacy tests are done in clinical environments and not tested ‘in field’ meaning that the real-world application and efficacy may not achieve the same results.

As such, it is critical to remember that most antimicrobial products (disinfectants) are not going to achieve the desired results when applied to soiled surfaces, soft furnishings, etc. Even surfaces that appear visibly clean must be cleaned thoroughly prior to application of chemicals.

The fact is that proper cleaning of surfaces is much like washing of hands and offers more protection than application of hand sanitizer as it removes the contamination rather than trying to ‘kill’ or destroy it.”

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