Surfaces and tools should be clean and sanitized before use. Tools and working surfaces (e.g., potting benches) should be smooth and nonporous to facilitate cleaning and sanitation. Wood handles on tools should be sealed with a waterproof coating to make them easier to sanitize.
Before sanitizing, all soil and organic material (roots, sap, etc.) should be removed from the surface. If necessary, use a detergent solution and brush to scrub off surface contaminants.
The following materials can be used to sanitize tools or
surfaces that are clean and free of surface water. As noted above, if treated
surfaces are wet, the sanitizing solution will be diluted:
- 70-90% ethyl or isopropyl alcohol - spray to thoroughly wet and allow to air dry before use
- freshly diluted bleach solution (0.525% sodium hypochlorite, Table 1) for a minimum of 1 minute (due to corrosivity, not advised for steel or other materials damaged by bleach)
- quaternary ammonium disinfectant - use according to manufacturer recommendations - freshly made or tested to ensure target concentrations, discussion of quaternary ammonium compounds is here
- for hydrogen dioxide products, follow label instructions for treating greenhouse surfaces and equipment, allowing sufficient contact time for disinfecting.