Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Laboratory Disinfection when Returning to Research during the COVID-19 Pandemic

1.   Where do we get disinfection wipes to disinfect the lab?

We understand that sourcing pre-moistened disinfection wipes via Emory Express is difficult due to current supply chain constraints.

Following the Disinfection Guidance for Laboratories and Workspaces posted on EHSO’s website (, lab personnel can use their normal disinfection products – 70% alcohol (ethanol or isopropanol) solutions and/or 10% bleach. 70% alcohol solutions and 10% bleach are just as effective against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, as commercially available pre-moistened wipes. At this time, the only change laboratories should notice is frequency and potentially the physical method in which they disinfect.

Frequency – Disinfect high touch surfaces several times during your work shift. High touch surfaces include benches, equipment handles and doors, pipetman and pipettors, computer keyboards and mice, etc.

Physical Method – Do not spray surfaces directly as this could cause aerosolization of surface contaminants. Instead, spray a paper towel or cloth until it is moistened, then wipe surface. You will essentially be creating your own “wipes.”

To facilitate frequent disinfection of surfaces, we recommend that workstations and benches be tidy and organized. Remove and/or relocate items not needed for your experimental tasks.

2.   Should chuck pads / bench paper / absorbent pads that are taped down on the lab bench be used at this time?

To facilitate frequent surface disinfection efforts, chuck pads / bench paper / absorbent pads are discouraged from being left on benches. Their use should be restricted to per-procedure/experiment needs and then promptly disposed of when that procedure/experiment has completed.

3.   Is it ok that surfaces are changing in appearance due to the disinfection products?

Yes – Discoloration and/or other changes in appearance to surfaces is expected due to increased frequency of disinfection.

4.   Where do I get hand sanitizer for my lab?

Hand sanitizer is not being distributed on a per lab basis. Hand sanitizer stations are being placed in multiple locations within campus buildings by facilities/Campus Services following guidance from school leadership. Washing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds is the most effective way to keep hands clean and prevent the spread disease. 


  • Wear a face covering at all times when on campus or in Emory buildings.
  • Maintain physical distancing – keep 6ft between you and others.
  • Wash your hands often – wash with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Stay home if you are sick.

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