Infection prevention and control guidelines

9. Cleaning, laundry and waste management

Cleaning tools

      1. Cleaning tools

Last revised: 17 Jun 2024

Cleaning tools


Mops and buckets must be thoroughly dry before reuse. Only use a clean, dry mop, as wet mops can develop unacceptable levels of contaminating bacteria. The practice may need more than one mop or detachable mop head to ensure a clean, dry mop is always available.

If buckets used, they must be cleaned after use and allowed to dry upside-down to dry.

Single-use mop heads are available, but increase landfill waste and may increase cost to the practice.

Detachable, reusable mop heads or pads could be laundered in accordance with the current relevant standard.

Cleaning cloths

Disposable cleaning cloths or paper towel may be more convenient and less contaminating than reusable cloths.

If reusable cleaning cloths are used, they must be laundered in accordance with the current relevant standard after each use.

Avoid using sponges because they do not dry easily and therefore promote microbial growth.


Brooms must not be used in any healthcare area as they disperse dust and microorganisms into the air.

Vacuum cleaners

Filters, including high-efficiency particulate-air (HEPA) filters, require regular replacement.

If the practice uses an external contract cleaning service, they should use a vacuum cleaner that is used only for that practice and remains on site, to avoid cross-contamination with other premises.