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Hospital Cleaning: a Guide for Effective Disinfection & Infection Control in Hospital Rooms

By: Institutional Cleaning | June 30, 2023 | Reading time: 5 minutes

Learn how to clean hospital rooms and why it's important for stopping nosocomial infections. Hospital cleaning guide and cleaning chemicals for hospitals.

The desire to care, protect and sustain extends to all public settings, including hospital rooms. Following an update to the UK Care Quality Commission's (CQC) Health and Social Care Act in 2022, cleaning hospital rooms requires more focus than before.

Diversey products cover all areas of cleaning, disinfection and infection control, which makes them ideal for hospital rooms. However, without the necessary knowledge, cleaning chemicals for hospitals can fall short. With this in mind, here's how to clean hospitals in accordance with the latest NHS National Standards of Healthcare Cleanliness 2021.

What is hospital cleaning?

Hospital cleaning and disinfecting is important where patients who are ill/or injured are treated/accommodated. Cleaning in hospitals is different from cleaning the home. It's a commercial venture which means every cleaning process and product must comply with the latest regulations.
In the UK, hospital cleaning falls under the remit of the NHS National Standards of Healthcare Cleanliness 2021. Therefore, when you're overseeing the cleaning of hospital rooms, from floors and surfaces to equipment, every process needs to comply with the local laws. What's more, staff under your watch need to know the right ways to clean hospital rooms.

The importance of cleaning and disinfecting in hospital rooms

Cleaning hospital rooms is a matter of disease prevention and infection control. People in hospital rooms are either ill or about to undergo/have been through surgery. This makes them more vulnerable than the average person. What's more, with people coming in from outside, there's an increased risk of infection.

When a patient becomes ill with something other than what they arrived at hospital for, it's called a nosocomial infection. Data from the Department of Health shows that hospital-acquired (nosocomial) infections cost the NHS £2.7 billion each year. In 2018/2019, nosocomial infections accounted for 83,000 cases of E. coli, Klebsiella spp., P. aeruginosa, MRSA and MSSA bacteraemia, and clostridium difficile (C.diff). These infections led to 12,700 patient deaths.

These facts demonstrate the importance of hospital cleaning and using the right products. Essentially, cleaning in hospitals is crucial for the health and well-being of patients, as well as the NHS as an institution.

Steps to cleaning a patient's room

Every cleaning routine starts with an understanding of the task at hand. Anyone involved in the process of cleaning in hospitals, including nursing and facilities/housekeeping teams, should be aware of health authority guidelines., should be aware of health authority guidelines.
This may require setting time aside for specific training so that staff can learn NHS guidelines and how to follow them. Once all concerned parties are versed in the nuances of NHS guidelines, the following steps ensure the highest levels of cleaning and disinfection aligned with infection control.

Cleaning supplies

The right cleaning chemicals for hospitals are essential. You need to break the chain of infection. This is only possible with floor-to-ceiling professional-grade cleaning products. The healthcare range from Diversey is specifically formulated to clean every part of a hospital room. What's more, each product has been developed in line with evidence-based prevention programs to ensure threats are targeted in a systematic way.

In general terms, our hospital cleaning products are split into these categories: infection prevention, acute care, long-term care and alternative care areas such as laundry. Every product can either clean/disinfect specific areas without posing a risk to patients. Oxivir™ in particular is tough on pathogens but safe for the end-user and immediate surroundings.

Protecting yourself and others

One of the main threats in hospital rooms is nosocomial infection. This means cleaning staff must wear protection at all times. The use of gloves, facemasks, aprons and specialist cleaning equipment not only keeps cleaners safe but protects patients from nosocomial infection.

Cleaning hospital room surfaces

Hospital room surfaces you need to focus on include overbed tables, bedside cabinets, bed rails, call buttons, light switches, patient chairs and door handles as examples. The cleaning process of hospital room surfaces starts with dusting and removal of debris.

Once this step has been completed, applying a suitable combined cleaner disinfectant or disinfectant is necessary. Suitable products for chemical cleaning in hospitals are included the Oxivir range, such as the Oxivir Excel cleaner and disinfectant.

You also need to clean floors. Cleaning floors requires similar steps to other surfaces, but you will need to use a different chemical solution. Consider using fragrance-free cleaning products such as Jontec 300 so as not to overwhelm patients with pungent odours.

Cleaning hospital room equipment

Hospital room equipment includes any removable objects, such as bedsheets, medical instruments, bedpans, audio/visual items and chairs. As it is with surfaces, these items should be given an initial clean to remove debris.

Depending on the type of equipment, you then need to disinfect or sterilise each item. The technique used will depend on the item. For example, if you're cleaning laundry (bed sheets etc), washing at suitably high temperatures will reduce bacteria to a safe level.

For hardwearing objects, steam cleaners can break down microorganisms in a safe way. You can then wipe the surfaces with Oxivir Excel RTU wipes as a secondary method of disinfection.


The cleaning and disinfecting of hospital rooms is all about infection prevention and control. It's hugely important and not something you can afford to take lightly. As well as legal requirements, people's lives are at risk if proper cleaning protocols aren't maintained.

This is why an understanding of the possible threats, healthcare guidelines and cleaning products is essential. This guide gives you an overview of how to clean hospital rooms and the products you can use. However, it's important that you couple this information with official guidelines.

You can't devise an effective cleaning program without ensuring the processes comply with local laws. Therefore, as well as making use of high-quality hospital cleaning products from Diversey, make sure you consult with local healthcare authorities before you embark on any business venture or implement workplace policies.

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