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I need to disinfect a public space like a store or school. What do I need to know?

Please see the Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfecting Public Spaces, Workplaces, Businesses, Schools and Homes, which is intended for all Americans—whether you own a business, run an institution such as a school, or want to ensure the cleanliness and safety of your home.

The aforementioned guidance (which is a joint effort of EPA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) will help you make a plan for which surfaces you’ll need to disinfect and which require routine cleaning. It also provides guidance on maintaining these efforts over time.

Professional Cleaning Services

None of the products on EPA’s List N are restricted use pesticides (RUPs), so there are no federal requirements for users to be trained or certified, nor does EPA license companies that provide cleaning services. However, state requirements for training, certification and licenses vary widely, so check with your state on any local requirements.

Commercial applicators, like individuals, should view EPA’s List N: Disinfectants for Use Against SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) and follow directions for use. When disinfecting public spaces, choose a product for use in institutional settings. Only products on EPA’s List N meet our criteria for use against SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

Unless the pesticide product label specifically includes disinfection directions for fogging, fumigation, or wide-area or electrostatic spraying, EPA does not recommend using these methods to apply disinfectants. EPA has not evaluated the product’s safety and efficacy for methods not addressed on the label. Read our Frequent Question about the use of fogging, fumigation or wide-area or electrostatic spraying. Please note that EPA is expediting applications to add directions for use with electrostatic sprayers to products intended to kill SARS-CoV-2.

Read our Frequent Question about the use of ozone generators, UV lights or air purifiers.

Read our infographic on how to use disinfectants safely and effectively.

Return to Frequent Questions about Disinfectants and Coronavirus (COVID-19).