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6 Steps to safely clean and disinfect your surfaces

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We all know the importance of keeping our surfaces clean, but do you know the correct procedure?

There are so many ways and hundreds of products available to keep you, your surfaces and your belongings clean. However, do you truly know the correct process of how to clean and disinfect each surface?  

What surfaces should I disinfect?

You should clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces using an EPA-registered disinfectant on the EPA List N.

It is important to regularly clean frequently touched surfaces including doorknobs, faucets, light switches, handles, phones and keyboards. Most people will be cautious and clean surfaces like countertops or tables, but then they pick up their devices, which is the most frequently touched object for many people and not give it a second thought.

(Source: The Budd Group)

What is the EPA List N? Why is it important?   

The EPA List N is a comprehensive list that the EPA expects for all products on it to kill the Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) when used according to the label directions.1

So, knowing all of the above, what is the best procedure to keep surfaces clean?

 (Source: Business Business

According to the EPA there are 6 steps for safe and effective disinfectant use.2

Step One: Check that your product is EPA-approved.

  • Find the EPA registration number on the product. Them, check to see if it is on EPA’s list of approved disinfectants at:

Step Two: Read the Directions.

  • Follow the product’s directions. Check ‘use sites’ and ‘surface types’ to see where you can use the product. Read the ‘precautionary statements’.

Step Three: Pre-Clean the Surface.

  • Make sure to wash the surface with soap and water if the directions mention pre-cleaning or if the surface is visibly dirty.

Step Four: Follow the Contact Time.

  • You can find the contact time in the directions. The surface should remain wet the whole time to ensure the product is effective.

Step Five: Wear gloves and Wash your Hands.

  • For disposable gloves, discard them after each cleaning. For reusable gloves, dedicate a pair to disinfecting COVID-19. Wash your hands after removing the gloves.

Step Six: Lock it Up!

  • Keep lids tightly closed and store out of reach of children.

Can I use this six-step procedure when cleaning my electronic device?

Yes - when using a Catalyst Total Protection Waterproof case! Our cases allow you to follow the EPA recommended procedure by safely pre-cleaning your device with soap and water and then disinfecting it with an EPA-approved disinfectant.

Before disinfection always check to see if the surface is visibly dirty. If it is wash it first with soap and water. Then, follow with an EPA-approved disinfectant, paying attention to proper contact time – the surface should remain wet the whole time to ensure the disinfectant is effective2.

It’s the manufacturer’s responsibility to provide a recommended disinfection protocol, and as you can tell, we’ve done our homework to come up with a recommendation.

Catalyst Total Protection Waterproof Cases have been tested to sustain repeated disinfection with 70% isopropyl alcohol and 70% ethanol. These have proven to work against similar coronaviruses like SARS and MERS by a study by the Journal of Hospital Infection.3

According to the CDC, the best way to keep hard electronic devices clean is to use a wipeable cover or case designed to make it easier to clean and disinfect. It’s important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and recommendations for cleaning the electronic item.4

To see the cleaning and disinfection process of our Total Protection cases in action click here.

What about alternative methods for cleaning and disinfecting devices?

The CDC only recommends use of the EPA List N: Disinfectants for Coronavirus (COVID-19) against the virus that causes COVID-19.

In their guidelines for disinfection, the CDC does not recommend alternative disinfection methods, including UVC devices, because their efficacy is unknown against the virus that causes COVID-19 and the EPA does not routinely review the safety or efficacy of these devices.5

Where can I learn more about disinfection and cleaning surfaces?

There are a lot of details and considerations that go into picking the right disinfectant to use on a device or surface. To learn more about our recommended disinfection protocol, check out our full whitepaper ‘How can you safely Disinfect your Devices against the SARS-CoV-2-Coronavirus’ here.



  1. List N: Disinfectants for Coronavirus (COVID-19) USA Environmental Protection Agency (2020).
  1. 6 Steps for Safe & Effective Disinfectant Use. Protection Agency (2020).
  1. The Journal of Hospital Infection. Persistence of coronaviruses on inanimate surfaces and their inactivation with biocidal agents, Healthcare Infection Society (2020).
  1. Cleaning and Disinfection for Households. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (2020).
  1. Cleaning and Disinfecting your Facility. for Disease Control and Prevention (2020).
B2B Catalyst Case Catalyst Lifestyle disinfect disinfection EPA approved disinfectants EPA List N PPE Total Protection Case Waterproof phone case

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