Custodial professionals need to recognize the need to really clean touch points with the goal of killing off pathogens that can kill and maim if not controlled. They also need to allow the right disinfectant dwell or contact time (usually five to ten minutes) and then wiping with a clean, quality microfiber cloth or possibly flushing the surface area. 

Consider the following exercise to identify key touch points using a clean damp wipes that can show soils:

1. Using a note pad, identify all the touch points in a building that could possibly harbor pathogenic bacteria and viruses that are there, yet invisible to the naked eye.

2. Start with the front door handles and look for smudges that could indicate food, body perspiration, dirt or other substances that could harbor the pathogen.

3. Although floors and walls are important for appearance sake, ignore these for the time being and focus on door knobs, light switches using a clean, damp cloth to wipe the surface while looking for the smallest amount of soil residue.

4. Check out the break room and wipe down the microwave buttons, refrigerator handles, soda machine buttons, dollar changer and yes, if provided, the ice scoop handle.

5. While in the break room damp wipe the chair handles, tops, coffee pot handle, sink faucet handle, table surfaces and last but not least, the salt and pepper dispensers.

6. Check out the exit doors to the stairwells, the rails and inside door handles.

7. Check out the rest room including front push plates, soap dispenser latch, faucet handles, counter surfaces, flush handles, toilet tissue holders, assist rails and finally the inside latch which is often overlooked in most cleaning procedures.

Once these touch points have been identified, give the touch points time to become re-soiled and then follow your worker to observe how many of these areas they actually clean during a regular shift. How often do they give the disinfectant sufficient dwell or contact time to do its job? 

After they are through go back with your damp wipes so see what comes off onto a clean surface. From this informal study, reconsider current training and initiate cleaning touch points with the goal of disinfection rather than spray and wipe.  

I hope to hear from you soon. Until then, keep it clean...


Mickey Crowe has been involved in the industry for over 35 years. He is a trainer, speaker and consultant. You can reach Mickey at 678.314.2171 or