Bus Disinfecting Best Practices

Keeping children safe has always been the number one priority for student transportation professionals. Beyond keeping your passengers safe on the road ahead, these bus disinfecting best practices offer additional ways to protect them while keeping your bus interior and components safe from damage.

The CDC recommends that routine cleaning and disinfection procedures (e.g. using cleaners and water to pre-clean surfaces prior to applying an EPA-registered disinfectant to frequently touched surfaces as indicated on the product’s label) are appropriate to minimize the spread and cross-contamination of common bacterial and viral pathogens.

There are other EPA approved cleaners, beyond what is shown below, that can be used to disinfect as well. Always make sure to read the label on what surfaces these cleaners can be applied to, dilution instructions and more.

When disinfecting, be sure to:

  • Always review and follow safe handling and safety instructions that are on the label or inserts of the cleaner/chemicals being used, and do not mix chemicals unless proper documentation advises otherwise
  • Use gloves, eye protection and other necessary personal protection equipment to prevent direct contact with chemicals
  • If you use towels to clean, always ensure they are clean and free of oils, dirt, debris and/or residue from other chemicals
  • Ensure you have proper ventilation in the area you are working with chemicals per guidelines that are on the label or insert of the chemicals being used

Before cleaning a surface, ensure that:

  • Surfaces are wiped down to remove dirt and debris with a dry, standard paper towel or cloth, prior to disinfecting
  • See if your cleaner is Ready To Use (RTU) – an RTU cleaner can be directly applied to a surface, while those that do not indicate this should be applied to a new paper towel or clean towel and not directly on the surface
  • Never soak or saturate towels with chemicals, or leave puddles of chemicals behind
  • Always check a small, unnoticeable area before proceeding to ensure no discoloration occurs

To Avoid Damage, DO NOT Use

To avoid damage to vinyl, fabrics, and plastics, DO NOT use any of the following Products and/or Chemical Combinations:

  • Pure Bleach on vinyl, fabric, or plastics
  • Pure Hydrogen Peroxide on vinyl, fabric, or plastics
  • Diluted Bleach on fabric (e.g. seat belts)
  • Ammonia-Based Products on plastic, vinyl or touch screens

Cleaning Metal Surfaces

All Cleaners listed are Ready To Use and require no dilution with water

  • Isopropyl Alcohol: 70% Isopropyl Alcohol (Rubbing Alcohol)
  • Hydrogen Peroxide: 0.5% Hydrogen Peroxide
  • De-Natured Alcohol: This is the next best option to Rubbing Alcohol, and is sold in paint aisles at Hardware stores in quarts and gallons

Cleaning Seating Surfaces and Plastics

All Cleaners listed are Ready To Use and require no dilution with water

  • Fantastik Antibacterial All-Purpose Cleaner
  • 409 Antibacterial All-Purpose Cleaner
  • Lysol Foaming Disinfectant Cleaner
  • Virox 5
  • Oxivir TB Wipes

Specific Cleaners for Seating Surfaces

  • Mediclean: Please follow guidelines as listed on the product for dilution instructions
  • Common Bleach: Dilute in a water to bleach ratio of 10:1; surfaces

CDC Website for Coronavirus COVID-19 Information ( https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/index.html )
The Journal of Hospital Infection ( https://www.journalofhospitalinfection.com/article/S0195-6701(20)30046-3/fulltext )
CDC’s FAQ page ( https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/faq.html )