Guide to Cleaning Power Tools - To help control the spread of COVID-19

Should a tool, battery or charger need to be cleaned to help control the spread of COVID-19, care should be taken to ensure that it is carefully performed to increase effectiveness and prevent damage to the product. This guidance is provided to assist in the safe cleaning of a product.

When cleaning a product, there are a few important things to remember:

  • Always unplug any devices and remove batteries prior to cleaning.

  • There are different recommendations for batteries compared to tools and chargers. Be sure to follow the correct advice for the product you are cleaning.

  • Products should be cleaned in accordance with the cleaning instructions provided in the operator's manual for the product and then left to rest for 72 hours. This is based on CDC advice that the virus may live on plastic surfaces for up to 72 hours, which suggests that the virus would no longer be harmful after the resting period.

  • For tools and chargers only, if the user cannot wait for 72 hours to use the tool or charger, it can first be cleaned in accordance with the cleaning instructions provided in the operator's manual and then cleaned with a cloth or sponge dampened with a diluted bleach solution* and allowed to air dry. This method is consistent with CDC advice. It is important to adhere to the warnings below:

    • Do not use bleach to clean batteries.
      Observe the necessary precautions when cleaning with bleach.

    • Do not use the tool or charger if you detect degradation of the housing, cord or other plastic or rubber parts of the tool or charger after cleaning with the diluted bleach solution.

    • The diluted bleach solution should never be mixed with ammonia or any other cleanser.

  • When cleaning, dampen a clean cloth or sponge with the cleaning material and ensure the cloth or sponge is not dripping wet.

  • Gently wipe each handle, grasping surface, or outer surface with the cloth or sponge, using care to ensure liquids do not flow into the product.

  • Electrical terminals of products and the prongs and connectors of power cords or other cables must be avoided. When wiping batteries, be sure to avoid the terminal area where contact is made between the battery and the product.

  • Allow the product to air dry completely before reapplying power or reattaching the battery.

  • People cleaning products should avoid touching their face with unwashed hands and immediately wash their hands or use a proper hand sanitizer before and after cleaning to help prevent contamination.

*A properly diluted bleach solution can be made by mixing:

  • 5 tablespoons (1/3rd cup) bleach per gallon of water; or

  • 4 teaspoons bleach per quart of water

Please note: This guidance does not apply for cleaning products where there is a risk of other health hazards, such as blood, other blood borne pathogens or asbestos.

Please note: This guidance is for information only and is further subject to the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control ("CDC"), OSHA, and those of State and Local health departments. Please follow applicable guidelines of these agencies.


Power Tool Institute (2020). Power Tool Institute Guidance on Cleaning of Tools to Help
Control the Spread of COVID-19. Text retrieved from
Link to document and disclaimer.

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