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Cleaning and Disinfecting Tips from the YWCA Hotel Housekeeping Team


As society is gradually opening back up and our daily interactions increase, proper cleaning and disinfection at home is a good layer of defence to keep your family healthy during this time. It’s important to disinfect high touch surfaces in your household every day, especially if someone in your home is sick.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention believes that COVID-19 is spread primarily through personal contact with respiratory droplets from a COVID-19-positive individual, but they haven’t ruled out the possibility that someone could get the virus from touching something that’s been contaminated, and then touching their own mouth, nose or eyes. 

Our housekeeping staff at the YWCA Hotel are expert cleaners, and they want to share a few recommendations with you. But before we begin, it’s important to understand the difference between cleaning and disinfecting. 

Are you cleaning or disinfecting?  

  • Cleaning: removing contaminants from a surface. You can do this with just soap and water 

  • Disinfecting: killing pathogens. This process does not necessarily clean dirty surfaces  

Our expert cleaners recommend disinfecting high touch surfaces at least once daily to keep us healthy. These are surfaces that people touch often, such as doorknobs, light switches, handles, toilets, tables, counters, phones, television remotes etc.  

How do you disinfect surfaces? 

Remember to wear gloves, masks and other personal protective equipment before you begin. Good ventilation is also extremely important when using these products.  

  • Clean the area or item with soap and water or another detergent if it is dirty 

  • Then, use a disinfectant that is not expired and is appropriate for the surface, following the instructions on the label to ensure safe and effective use of the product 

  • Use a rag to disinfect and replace the rag with a new one once it has been used. Spraying chemical on the rag and not the actual surface 

  • Most products recommend keeping the product on for a period (see product label) 

  • Dry surfaces thoroughly to avoid pooling of liquids 

Which disinfectants should you use? 

  • Use Health Canada’s approved hard surface disinfectants for most surfaces 

  • You can also use diluted bleach if appropriate (our housekeeping team recommends ½ cup per gallon of water for a 1:10 ratio) 

  • For high-touch electronic devices that can withstand the use of liquids, use alcohol-based wipes or sprays containing at least 70% alcohol (e.g. keyboards, tablets, smartboards) 

Please remember that there’s a much greater risk of viral and bacterial transmissions from person to person via surfaces. It is best to disinfect high touch surfaces at least once daily. 

In terms of fabrics, it is still unknown how long this virus can survive on clothes, towels or other fabrics. However, it’s still a good idea to change and wash your clothes regularly. The CDC recommends using the warmest appropriate water setting for your clothes with detergent and drying them completely. 

We hope these tips will be put to good use.  


This piece is authored by the team at YWCA Hotel Vancouver 

During this pandemic, our hotel urges everyone to stay safe and #exploreBClater. Our efforts to keep everyone safe is affecting our ability to generate revenue to support YWCA Metro Vancouver’s programs and services. Please consider recommending YWCA Hotel Vancouver to your family and friends who are visiting Vancouver in the near future. 


YWCA Hotel Vancouver is a social enterprise by YWCA Metro Vancouver. 


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