Retail Cleaning for COVID-19: Sanitation + Disinfection Checklist

Angela Barlow


As the world continues to address the realities of the shopping experience with the COVID-19 pandemic’s status changing daily, it’s essential that retail stores safe experiences for their employees and customers. With the right precautions and a thorough safety checklist, retail stores can allow customers to shop being confident that they are safe. 

Not sure exactly where to start with your cleaning checklist? You’ve come to the right place. Outlined below is a list of all the top spots to clean before opening your doors each day. But before that, let’s discuss an important question about sanitation and disinfection. 

Sanitation vs. Disinfection: Is There a Difference? 

These words are often used interchangeably when cleaning a space, but they are actually quite different from another. Sanitation is essentially another word for cleaning and involves removing visible contamination and debris, as well as getting rid of bacteria and germs that cannot be seen. On the other hand, disinfection is specific to cleaning areas that have been touched by someone’s skin. 

Cleaning a touchscreen with soap and water is cleaning or sanitation, disinfection requires the use of antimicrobials, approved disinfectants, or new disinfecting technologies.

So, what types of disinfection and sanitation should you be doing to make your retail location safe during COVID? Here is our checklist: 

Make Sure You Know How to Properly Disinfect 

Before you or your employees even think about cleaning your store, ensure that everyone is aware of how to use disinfectant and other cleaning chemicals safely. 

  • Employees should use gloves to protect your hands from the chemicals and a mask to avoid breathing in any fumes
  • The store should be properly ventilated 
  • Never mix disinfectants or chemicals
  • Follow all other outline Safety and Cleaning Protocol
  • Adhere to the instructions for how to use the cleaning chemicals (Many cleaning agents require the surface or item being disinfected to remain “wet” for anywhere from 2-10 minutes. It is crucial that your employees know this and so that the store is actually being cleaned)

Identify and Clean “High Touch Surfaces” 

Special attention should always be paid to  “high touch surfaces.” This includes the doorknobs and handles, counter surfaces, sinks, and toilets, and of course shopping baskets and carts. In fact, these surfaces should be cleaned throughout the day and after the last customer leaves. 

Another high touch surface that must be cleaned regularly is POS machines and their subsequent credit card pin pads. This is, without a doubt one, of the most important areas of your retail store to disinfect. CDC guidelines suggest these should be cleaner between each use!

ENS is thrilled to offer UV-Clean Solutions from ENS. These devices attach directly to any POS system of choice and produce a UVC non-visible light that inactivates bacteria and viruses down to the cellular level. The result is 99.9% eradication of all bacteria, viruses, and mold on the surface. All of the solutions are motion sensored to be safe for human interaction. 

To learn more about how ENS can help keep your retail store safe for COVID-19 and beyond, reach out to us today

Create a Cleaning Plan With Your Staff

Working together with your employees, create a safety protocol. Creating clear expectations and designated roles is key to keeping your retail space safe and giving your employees and customers a level of trust.  

Clean Outdoor Areas Too

Don’t ignore outdoor areas that are next to your retail store as well. There are plenty of areas outside that can become infected with germs and bacteria if not cleaned properly. Railings, outdoor seating, and any signage you have outside or near your store should be cleaned with soap and water regularly (It is still unclear if using disinfectant outside works towards eradicating the coronavirus).

Consumers are still hesitant to come back to brick & mortar retail stores, however, by going through a checklist each day and being transparent with your customers about safety precautions, you can help them feel confident that you are serious about protecting them.