Standard Operating Procedures and Guidelines for Cleaning Laboratory Workspace

Cleaning and disinfecting of surfaces may prevent transmission of COVID-19 and other viral respiratory illnesses.

In advance of and during the resumption of research activities, FP&M will perform enhanced cleaning of research facilities including high-touch surfaces per guidance from the CDC. Custodial staff will continue to clean and disinfect public and common areas, such as hallways and restrooms, with newly established SOPs for disinfection per guidance from the CDC and the WSU Office of Environmental Health and Safety (OEHS).

EPA-approved wipe disinfectants such as DisCide® Ultra Towelettes should be used for high-touch surfaces before and after use by each individual. OVPR intends to provide an initial source of these wipes as investigators come on site and individual labs should purchase the wipes for regular use as needed going forward (available from Fisher Scientific). If commercially produced EPA-approved disinfectant wipes are temporarily unavailable, you may use delicate, light-duty wipers (Kimwipes) moistened with Spartan Chemical BNC-15 (following the EPA's minimum contact time of  minutes) for high-touch surfaces until DisCide® Ultra Towlettes (or other EPA-approved wipe disinfectants are available.

Household cleaning sprays may not be appropriate to use in laboratory settings and may damage certain electronic equipment and specialized instrument surfaces, including instrument panel touch pads.

Cleaning/Disinfecting High-Touch Locations and Equipment in the Laboratory

Enhanced cleaning and disinfectant products will be provided by FP&M and support personnel on site for use by individual laboratories. It is important to adhere to the directions for use of each product, including the recommended contact time. 

Laboratory personnel should disinfect all laboratory and office surfaces daily with the provided spray cleaner (Spartan Chemical BNC-15, contact time, 5 min.) and disinfect delicate surfaces (keypads, touchpads etc.) using disinfectant wipes (DisCide Ultra Towelettes, contact time 30 sec.). The surfaces requiring daily cleaning are laboratory and activity specific but may include the following items. 

NOTE:  The guidance below is only a suggestion.  Please review the manufacturers recommendations for the equipment and materials in your lab and office and adapt the disinfection protocols accordingly.


  • Benchtops
  • Equipment handles and latches
  • Drawer and cabinet handles
  • Bin and water incubator lids
  • Doorknobs


  • Equipment controls and touchpads
  • Hand tools, Micro-pipettors
  • Faucet handles and sprayer grips
  • Chemical bottles and lids
  • Chair backs and arm rests
  • Pens, whiteboard markers
  • Develop a list of additional locations and equipment in the laboratory for addition to the daily cleaning list.


Wear safety glasses and chemical-compatible impervious gloves while cleaning.

Cleaning should be performed when workers first enter the lab and just prior to their leaving.

Used wipes and gloves must be disposed of in the hazardous waste bin. Gloves must be removed and disposed each time an individual leaves the laboratory space.  

Follow the proper use and removal of gloves for disposal.

General Principles

    1. Clean areas with soap and water to remove any spilled materials or areas that are visibly soiled prior to using a disinfectant.
    2. Ensure that the disinfectant will not negatively react with chemicals being worked with in the targeted areas. 
    3. Spartan Chemical BNC-15, an EPA-approved disinfectant (EPA Registration Number 6836-348-5741) cleaning product is used by the custodial staff as part of their standard procedure and this cleaning product will be provided at each research building for spray bottle use in individual laboratories.  Investigators may use other EPA-approved disinfectants
    4. Pay attention to disinfectant contact times, also listed on the EPA-approved list.  Do not assume that a disinfectant works on immediate contact. BNC-15's minimum contact time is 5 minutes.
    5. Standard household bleach (sodium hypochlorite) is broad acting, but once diluted only remains effective for up to 24 hours. 
    6. Do not mix bleach or other cleaning and disinfection products together.
    7. Reference the disinfectant product's Safety Data Sheet (SDS) for further information on PPE or any other hazard information (SDS for BNC-15). Contact WSU Environmental Health and Safety at any time with questions (313) 577-1200.
    8. Use care with delicate equipment to avoid damage.  Some cleaning sprays may not be appropriate to use or could damage certain electronic equipment.

Additional information on the selection and use of disinfectants can be found in the following WSU OEHS documents: