Laboratory Cleaning Guidelines


The University of Portland is taking measures to prevent the community spread of COVID-19 which includes undertaking enhanced cleaning and disinfection procedures across campus. Physical Plant custodial staff will focus on cleaning high touch areas on campus. The following guidance is for laboratories, shop spaces, and research facilities on campus which require additional cleaning and disinfection not completed by custodial staff.

The cleaning and disinfection of frequently touch surfaces in laboratory areas is the responsibility of department personnel. Each department should develop their own plans to ensure that CDC guidelines for disinfection and cleaning are met. Please reference the University approved protocol on COVID-19 Cleaning and Disinfection (hyperlink policy when approved) for information on how to clean and properly clean disinfect to prevent COVID-19. Below are some general guidelines to consider when developing cleaning and disinfection protocols:

High-touch locations and equipment:

The following are locations and equipment with high frequency of handling and contact. These surfaces represent a higher probability of viral loading in the work area and should be disinfected on a routine basis. These surfaces will not be cleaned by Physical Plant custodial staff and must be maintained by laboratory staff in each department.

  • Benchtops
  • Equipment handles and latches
  • Equipment controls and touchpads
  • Fume hood and biosafety cabinet sashes
  • Light switches, projector switches
  • Lab drawers and cabinet handles
  • Lab door handles, including locks
  • Bin and water incubator lids
  • Hand tools
  • Equipment panels/switches
  • Biosafety cabinets/fume hood sashes
  • Pipettors, Micropipettors and other shared tools
  • Faucet handles and sprayer grips
  • Baskets, bins, trays, biohazard containers
  • Outsides of shared bottles and caps
  • Chair backs and armrests
  • Pens, whiteboard markers, etc.

Cleaning Tips:

  • Be sure to have adequate ventilation when using any disinfectant.
  • Wear appropriate PPE when using cleaners and disinfectants. Consult the SDS for the product you are using to determine the appropriate PPE.
  • At a minimum, disinfect once a day at the end of each day.
  • Always wear disposable gloves when cleaning and disinfecting
  • Frequently clean and disinfect shared equipment

Approved Disinfectants: 

Use a disinfectant that is certified by the EPA to be effective against COVID-19. Be sure to follow the directions on the product label. Physical Plant has provided cleaner and disinfectant to laboratory spaces on campus, but products may be substituted by other approved products if preferred. See additional guidelines below:

  • Chlorox and Lysol products are effective against COVID-19.
  • Disinfectants can be made with 70% alcohol (ethanol or isopropanol). This is appropriate for electronics and other delicate surfaces.

(updated 7/28/2020)