The American Cleaning Institute (ACI)

Cleaning Child Care Facilities

Choose and properly use the right products to help prevent illness every day!

Keeping your child care facility clean is vital for the health, safety and well-being of children and you. One of the most important steps you can take to reduce the spread of germs (i.e. bacteria, viruses and fungi) is keeping your environment clean throughout the day.

Daily Practices That Matter…

  1. Wash your hands often
  2. Understand the difference between cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting
  3. Choose the right product(s) for the job
  4. Read, understand and follow instructions for time between using and rinsing products
  5. Never mix products unless the label indicates that it is safe to do so
  6. Store products in a locked location that children cannot access
  7. Call the Poison help line at (800) 222-1222 if an accidental exposure occurs

Always look for the EPA registration number on the product label to verify you are using a product that sanitizes or disinfects.

What are the differences between cleaning and disinfecting or sanitizing?

Cleaning: This involves removing unwanted contaminants, such as soil, dirt and grease, from a surface, material, or your hands. It’s usually what you’re doing when washing with soap and water. Cleaning along with rinsing and using a cloth or paper towel may remove some germs as well when they’re washed or wiped away.

Sanitizing: When sanitizing, you’re reducing (but not necessarily eliminating) the number of germs on the surface to levels considered safe as determined by public health codes or regulations.

Disinfecting: When disinfecting, on surfaces and objects you’re irreversibly inactivating pathogens (microorganisms that cause infections and disease) including bacteria, viruses, and fungi.

Click here to see the EPA definitions of cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting. 


    C is for Clean Logo
    C is for Clean Toolkit

    The C Is for Clean: Building Blocks of Health Child Care toolkit is designed to serve all members of the child care community, from providers and employees to children and parents/caregivers, echoing public health guidelines for disinfecting, cleaning and reinforcing hand hygiene.

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