The best way to clean equipment to prevent infection is to clean thoroughly! Start by researching the type of product you wish to use. When purchasing disinfectants, read all labels for usage instructions and specific information on what infection causing agents can be killed with that cleaner. Not all disinfectants are the same. Many have to soak visibly wet on a surface for a minute or more to be 100% effective. Make sure that the substance you will use to clean your equipment is appropriate for the type of equipment being used. Some cleaners are not appropriate for contact with skin, while others can deteriorate the equipment with repeated use. After removing any precious jewelry and changing out of any clothing you don’t want to soil or have contact with the cleaner, begin by washing your hands and putting on any necessary protective clothing (gloves, long sleeves, etc). Then use a clean cloth to clean any dust, dirt, solid waste, or debris from the surface of the equipment. Most cleaners must contact the surface directly to be effective. Apply the cleaner and clean according to manufacturer’s directions using a second clean cloth. All soaps, detergents, sprays, wipes, and cleaners work differently. It is important to read and follow all manufacturer directions.
(This answer provided for NATA by Anna M. August, MS, ATC, CSCS.)