"How to Sanitize and Organize Your First Aid Kit" is the second in a three-part series showing you how to inspect, sanitize, and restock your first aid kit. In this article, we use a standard 4 shelf industrial first aid kit as an example but the principles can be applied to any first aid kit. See our "How To" section for more articles.
If you are following our "How-To", you should have already inspected the cabinet for damaged, partially used, or unsafe products and thrown those away. Any expired products would be discarded as well. Those steps are critical to properly maintaining a first aid cabinet. Once done, we can then sanitize our cabinet using a simple 3-step process.
1. Empty the cabinet 1 shelf at a time. Place the items you are removing temporarily on another shelf or top of the cabinet. This is a great opportunity to once again check for any scraps or items that do not belong there and discard them. Keep in mind that you may have missed some expired or unsafe products. It is common for first aid kits to have too many products on each shelf and items get overlooked during inspection because they are hidden behind other items. Keep track of where the items came from. A simple trick is to take the items on the top shelf and set them on the bottom shelf, keeping them in the same order.
2. Use a real sanitizing disinfectant spray to sanitize the shelf. We like a combination cleaner/disinfectant spray like Dispatch Disinfectant because it not only disinfects but also cleans. Take a look at our other cleaners and disinfectants here. We have several products that are perfect for this task. Notice how we have never used the word "Clean" to describe this step? Our goal isn't just to clean and tidy, but to sanitize. Think about it. People who are bleeding or sick open the cabinet and handle the supplies. We want to ensure that the cabinet is safe from any contamination. We want to reduce any potential cross-contamination.
Be sure to wear protective gloves made from vinyl, latex, or nitrile while you sanitize. Work one shelf at a time, spraying the cleaner, waiting a minute, and then using a paper towel to wipe it down. The foam cleaner will help remove dirt and debris while the disinfectant does the sanitizing.
It is important to remember that germs from the common cold or flu can be spread quickly and easily from doors, handles, and even first aid kits. Don't forget to sanitize the outside of the cabinet as well. Be sure to sanitize the latches, snaps, handles, front-facing door, and any other area including the shelves of your first aid cabinet to prevent the spreading of germs.
It might be necessary to use a good degreaser cleaner for the dirt as some of these germicidal sanitizing sprays are not designed to cut through grease.
3. After you have sanitized the cabinet, place the items back, organizing them in their correct places. Again, use this opportunity to look over the products for expired dates or other reasons why you should not put the product back in the cabinet. If you have a checklist, use it to help you place the items back in the correct order.
If this is your first time organizing your cabinet, consider grouping your supplies so similar items are together. Keep the gauze with the gauze, bandages with the bandages, and medicines grouped together as well. Ultimately, you will want to use a checklist to make this task fast and easy. MFASCO Health & Safety has checklists, refill supplies, and all of the sanitizing supplies you need to help sanitize and restock your first aid kit.
Your first aid kit is now ready to be restocked. Notice that there are empty spaces in the picture displayed here? Sometimes, empty cartons will be thrown away by others. When you visually inspect your cabinet, it may be difficult to remember what was in that empty spot. Your checklist will always help you keep your cabinet organized and in the same order each time you finish maintaining your first aid cabinet.
Sanitation Products & Accessories
Disinfectants & Cleaners
Sani-cloth Plus Surface Disinfecting Wipes
Sanizide Plus Germicidal Wipe
Additional Resources for Disinfecting & Sanitation
Cleaners, Sanitizers and Disinfectants - What's the difference?
Disinfecting Hard Surfaces for Workplace Health
How To Disinfect Safety Glasses