The University of Iowa

Laboratory Decontamination Guidance

Decontamination of Laboratory Surfaces

  • Decontamination of laboratory spaces and research equipment is critical to avoid harboring potential pathogens and cross-contamination between animals
  • All surfaces and equipment in laboratory areas should be cleaned with an appropriate disinfectant with documented activity against non-enveloped viruses
  • Spor-Klenz is the recommended disinfectant to be used for lab decontamination of viral agents
    • A spray bottle of Spor-Klenz can be obtained from your OAR Facility Supervisor for laboratory use
    • Spor-Klenz is effective for 7 days after mixing; return the spray bottle for a replacement at least every 7 days
    • NOTE: Spor-Klenz requires 10 minutes of WET CONTACT TIME to effectively disinfect; spraying and immediately wiping the surface will remove dirt but does NOT kill viral agents
  • Attention should be given to decontamination of shelves and materials stored above workspaces, in addition to the workspace itself

Decontamination of Equipment

  • Equipment which can be autoclaved or cold sterilized with chemical agents should be sterilized (surgical autoclave settings, or according to chemical sterilant instructions)
  • Items which can tolerate immersion should be cleaned with Spor-Klenz as described above, ensuring at least 10 minutes of wet contact time with the disinfectant 
  • Contact your facility veterinarian for guidance regarding decontamination of equipment which cannot be sterilized or wetted for 10 minutes

Equipment and Materials Used in the Animal Room

  • Laboratory personnel may enter the quarantined housing room(s) for necessary procedures which can be performed within the housing room
  • Bring only critical materials which can be thoroughly decontaminated (autoclaved or immersed in Spor-Klenz) into the quarantined room
  • Avoid bringing papers, pens, electronics, or other materials which cannot be decontaminated; if notes are required, enclose papers and writing utensils in plastic bags which can be decontaminated and will NOT be subsequently opened outside of the quarantined room
  • Disinfect all cart surfaces where you may manipulate animals/cages prior to use
  • After handling animals, disinfect all surfaces (including equipment and room carts) which may have had contact with the mice and/or their caging, using Spor-Klenz
  • Before leaving the quarantined room, disinfect all materials which will be removed (instruments, sample containers, plastic-enclosed notes), ensuring 10 minutes wet contact time as described above
  • After return to lab, autoclave instruments and use chemical sterilants for all materials which can tolerate sterilization
  • Label any frozen tissue samples to be stored clearly to indicate potential pathogen contamination; pre-printed labels may be obtained from your facility veterinarian on request