Best Practices for Terminal Cleaning


Terminal cleaning is the process for daily cleaning and disinfecting for in-patient and out-patient areas of healthcare facilities, for both surgical and non-surgical areas.  The following are the key steps when performing terminal cleaning:

Practice Hand Hygiene and use Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

When entering a terminal room, terminal cleaning staff should first perform hand hygiene per the health care facility’s hand hygiene policy, then put on the mandated gloves, gowns, and masks prior to entering the room.

Dust the Room

Recommendations for terminal cleaning dusting include damp dusting ceilings, AC returns/vents, fire sprinklers, ceilings, anesthesia plugs and gas outlets; the overhead lights, spotlights, damp dusting the TV (if there is one in the room), TV stand, wheels & casters, bed frame, mattress covers, pillows, blood pressure cuffs, finally removing unused linens and related items.

Clean High-Touch Surfaces

Terminal cleaning staff should use an EPA-registered sporicidal disinfectant.  Areas considered to be high-touch surfaces include surgical sinks, OR exam tables, carts & unicels, door handles, knobs, light switches, call buttons, tray tables, x-ray view boxes, bedrails, and phones.  Kick buckets and receptables should be cleaned and red bag liners replaced.

Clean the Bathroom

As all patient bathrooms are potentially high risk areas frequently exposed to potential infectious materials, careful cleaning and disinfection of the bathrooms with an EPA-registered sporicidal disinfectant should be considered mandatory.  Necessary terminal cleaning items include disinfecting bathroom surfaces such as doorknobs, handrails, mirrors, tubs, showers, faucets, sinks, and all areas of the toilets.

Clean the Floors

After the bathroom surfaces are taken care of, the floor should be cleaned by dust mopping, then wet-mopping.  Trash, mops, and soiled curtains and linens should be removed.  All trash and biohazardous waste should be removed and disposed of properly.

Preparing for the Next Patient

After the terminal cleaning is done, and the terminal cleaning staff washes hands thoroughly with soap and water, the staff should re-enter the room to remake the beds with clean linens, replace the pillows, mattresses, pillow covers, and mattress covers as is appropriate.

Recommended Terminal Cleaning Products

Virex II256, Hepacide Quat II, Clorox Healthcare Bleach Germicidal Wipes

If you need a full turn-key terminal cleaning contractor for your medical facility, please get in touch with Shades of Green Building Services!

View the Shades of Green
PDF brochure

Click here