Cleaning Industry Research Institute Issues Guidance for COVID-19 Decontamination in Built Environments

Technical document outlines best practices for cleaning, disinfection, worker safety and post cleaning measurement

GRANVILLE, OH— [May 29, 2020] — The Cleaning Industry Research Institute (CIRI), a 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to the development and dissemination of unbiased, peer-reviewed research for the professional cleaning and disaster restoration industries, today issued its official Guidance document for the cleaning and decontamination of hard surfaces in non-healthcare environments from SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19).  

Developed by CIRI’s Science Advisory Committee members, “Guidance for Decontamination of the Built Environment: Cleaning, Disinfection, Worker Protection, and Post Cleaning and Remediation Assessment,” provides an overview of what’s known about COVID-19, including its biology, epidemiology, pathology and current modes of transmission. Using this framework, the authors use peer-reviewed research to outline recommendations around health-based cleaning and disinfection practices. 

“In the absence of a governing standard to direct cleaning protocols, this Guidance is designed to provide cleaning professionals with easily identifiable best practices for cleaning and disinfection during the pandemic,” said John Downey, Executive Director, CIRI. “It is our hope that organizations throughout the cleaning and disaster restoration industries use this heavily sourced, science-based Guidance to inform their cleaning and disinfection protocols.” 

Within the guidance, cleaning and restoration professionals will find best practices and resources around the following areas of their custodial or remediation operation:

* Worker Protection

  • Decontamination
  • Cleaning
  • Disinfection 
  • Post-Cleaning Assessments and Measurement

Of specific note, the Guidance advises against the use of fogging or misting machines as an effective means of disinfection. Researchers cite a 2013 letter written by Steven Bradbury, PhD, Director of the U.S. EPA’s Office of Pesticide Programs. The letter highlights issues with the efficacy of the application method. 

“With so many claims being made around certain cleaning products and practices, it’s more important than ever that we start with sound, documented science as a basis for our cleaning programs,” added Downey. “From gyms to hotels, schools to retail shops, people want to know that it’s safe to visit indoor spaces as communities begin to reopen. Using science to inform our cleaning protocols will help us ensure this.”

“Guidance for Decontamination of the Built Environment: Cleaning, Disinfection, Worker Protection, and Post Cleaning and Remediation Assessment” is available free of charge on the CIRI website at