Cleaning for Health

At DCS we believe that a Cleaning for Health© Program is an important part in the control of disease and a tool in decreasing the spread of influenza. We use ATP testing to verify that cleaning staff are cleaning contact points and other transmission surfaces properly. When readings are below the level required for adequate sanitization, a retraining of the staff member is required along with an evaluation of the tools and disinfectants being used.

  • Reduces absenteeism, increase productivity
  • Reduces bacteria, viruses, fungus and organic material on contact point
  • Swab testing of surfaces yields results, results are tabulated, trends are established, training is provided to cleaning staff and supervisors on proper protocols
  • Retesting is done after 3-5 weeks to confirm standards are being followed

Cleaning for Health Overview

The DCS Cleaning for Health program is broken down into 2 main components Equipment and Process. The focus of the program is to reduce the amount of bacteria within the building and provide a “real” clean instead of a visual clean. By breaking the chain of bacteria on surfaces on a regular frequency, the levels of bacteria found on the surfaces within the building get reduced. The program can be executed with the current labour as all surfaces are listed in the cleaning specification; just the type of cleaning is adjusted.

Equipment and Chemicals

The Cleaning for Health program uses microfiber cloths in conjunction with a properly diluted disinfectant product. The cloths will need to be colour coded to prevent cross contamination within the building. A cloth used in the office space is not to be used in the washroom and vice versa. The disinfectant product will need to be properly diluted to ensure maximum efficiency in both cost and effectiveness. Many of the chemical supply companies carry “green” disinfecting products to complement a “green cleaning” program.


The main focus of the Cleaning for Health program is touch point cleaning. The areas which the program is concerned with can be divided into 2 parts: tenant spaces and common areas. Tenant areas include the following surfaces: door handles, telephone handsets, desktops, tabletops, counters, sink taps, washroom sink taps, toilet seats and handles, washroom partition doors, elevator buttons, and water fountains. Common areas include the following surfaces: tabletops, security telephones, countertops, public washroom toilet seats and handles, public washroom partition doors, public washroom sink taps, elevator buttons, hand rails, benches, and chair backs and seats.


Daily: The following surfaces will need to be cleaned on a daily basis to provide effective sanitization: door handles, reception telephone handsets, boardroom tables, coffee station counters, sink taps, fridge door handles, elevator buttons, toilet seats and handles, washroom sink taps, washroom partition doors, water fountains, security telephones, public washroom toilet seats and handles, public washroom partition doors, hand rails, tabletops, countertops.

Weekly:  The following surfaces will need to be done on a weekly basis to provide effective sanitization: office telephone handsets, desktops (when clear), benches, chair backs and seats.

Cleaning for Health Testing Program Info

The Cleaning for Health testing program has a few key processes which must be followed to ensure the accurate and correct testing is done to show any specific improvement of the cleanliness of a surface. When testing a new area, you are free to choose the surfaces in which to test, making sure to correctly identify them on the testing sheet provided. This is most important because when the second series of tests is done, the same number of the same types of surfaces must be tested. It does not have to be the exact same place tested from the first time to the second, merely the same type. For example, if testing was done on a phone, desk and door handle in an office the first time, the same office would not have to be tested during the second test time but rather the same types of surfaces in other offices in the same area.

Clean for Health Testing Process

The labour needed to effectively test a project should be no less than 2 people at a time. Up to 3 people per testing team may be utilized, but 2 is the preferred number. For office and retail projects, testing is done by a series approach which covers specific areas of tenant spaces as well as common areas. For each series done on a floor, the following areas must be tested at least once.

  • 1 telephone test
  • 4 washroom tests
  • 1 elevator lobby test
  • 2 coffee station tests
  • 1 office test
  • 1 corridor test
  • 10 swabs per series

The main lobby common area must also be tested, to include the following areas:

  • 3 entrance tests
  • 1 security desk test
  • 3 elevator/escalator tests
  • 3 furniture/bench tests
  • 10 swabs for main lobby area

For office projects, Cleaning for Health testing utilizes a metric based on square footage. This metric is flexible based on the size of the building. It can be broken down as follows

  • 50,000 – 150,000sq.ft. = 25,000 divisor
  • 150,000 – 300,000 sq.ft. = 30,000 divisor
  • 300,000 – 500,000 sq.ft. = 35,000 divisor
  • 500,000+ sq.ft. = 40,000 divisor

Once you get the divisor, you use that against the square footage to determine the number of series needed for the building plus 1 more for the common area.

  • For example: a 338,000 sq.ft. building falls into the 35,000 divisor range. So 338,000 / 35,000 = 9.657 or 10 series, plus 1 series for common area or 11series in total. 11 series = 110 swabs
  • For example: 29,831 sq.ft. retail area / 10,000 =2.983 or 3 series of 10. The series will still consist of 10 swabs, but the areas tested may or may not be the same. Areas which must be addressed should include: washrooms, elevators/escalators, furniture/seating in corridors, food courts, entrances, child play areas etc. Again, the types of surfaces must be documented properly to ensure an accurate second series test.

Surface Sanitization Testing (ATP Testing)

atp-testingAdenosine triphosphate (ATP) is a molecule found in all living cells. If you can imagine a firefly, the sac of light it has is ATP reacting with an enzyme and that produces light.

Science has found a way of determining the amount of ATP on a surface by measuring the light that a swab of the surface gives off. The higher the reading the more ATP in the sample and therefore more organic matter on the surface.

Another tool in the Cleaning for Health© Program!


Click here to download a sample Clean for Health Report

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