Elevators are notorious for spreading germs. The more frequently the elevator is used, the more germs that can be found on its surfaces. Here we provide your complete guide to elevator disinfecting to reduce the risk of spreading illness.
Disinfecting Wall Panels, Doors, and Handrails
Start by first cleaning your elevator surfaces using your preferred cleaning solution, following the manufacturer’s instructions. Be careful when going over the panel where the electrical components are contained. These areas are safest to clean using the tips provided below. The walls, doors and handrails require a material appropriate cleaner that won’t cause damage. For example, stainless steel requires a special cleaner that won’t leave unsightly smudges or stains. Once your walls are clear of dirt and grime, use the following disinfecting steps:
- Use non-abrasive, spray-on cleaners
- Wipe with either disposable paper towel or microfiber cloths instead of a sponge as the sponge can hold onto germs and bacteria and simply spread them around
- Avoid using too much cleaner or water that can drip down walls and into the elevator’s electronic components
- Avoid bleach-based solutions that can react with Polycarbonate fixtures. Instead, choose disinfectants that have a Drug Identification Number (DIN) given by Health Canada to confirm it is approved for use.
Although bleach is known to kill germs, generally you should avoid products containing bleach as they can interact with many surfaces commonly used in elevators.
Disinfecting Button Panels
When disinfecting the button panel, be sure to lock the elevator. As mentioned above use an antibacterial cleaning agent approved for use in Canada. However, this process requires some safety precautions to ensure the cleaner or water doesn’t seep inside the control panel. This can cause serious damage to internal components. Instead, follow these tips:
- First, use a microfiber cloth to clean the buttons and the panel
- Avoid using alcohol-based cleaners on the buttons, as the lacquered materials used in buttons can be damaged and become brittle or discoloured
- If the fixtures aren’t lacquered, you can use alcohol, but only at the lowest concentration that will still provide the disinfecting power needed to kill germs which tend to be about 70%
- Always spray the cleaning cloth with the cleaners instead of the surface to avoid drips into the components
These steps will ensure germs are killed, and your elevator components aren’t compromised.
Don’t skip steps by applying disinfectants to dirty surfaces as this defeats the purpose. Always be certain to read the instructions for the products you use, to ensure they are approved in Canada and are also safe for people to touch. Keep in mind you want the best disinfecting products, but need to avoid abrasive cleaners that might not be safe for use on many of the materials used in elevators.
Also, many disinfectants include instructions to wipe them off the surface after a certain amount of time. Be sure you understand safe use that a) ensures the product will kill germs and b) the product doesn’t present a risk for passengers.