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    Cleaning & Disinfection 101 – are all the basics covered?

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    Since the outbreak of COVID-19. It has heightened our need to have robust cleaning and disinfection processes in place across all sectors. Whether you’re doing the cleaning yourself or have a team of cleaners doing the cleaning for you, the pressure is on to ensure that surfaces and even buildings are being disinfected both effectively and efficiently.

    Do you know your cleaning from your sanitising?

    It’s pretty common to see people mix up cleaning with disinfecting or sanitising. While they are related (in that they make sure surfaces are clean) they shouldn’t be used to explain one process – they require different processes, tools and cleaning chemical to achieve different results. Learning and understanding the basics of each will help you or your team make the right decision when it comes to keeping your building and employees safe and healthy.

    Cleaning

    Often used as an umbrella term, it revolves around the aesthetic or look of something. The process doesn’t involve the killing or removing of pathogens from surfaces but involves the removal of dirt, dust, and oils off a surface (for example, dirt on a carpet or hard floor). This allows the surfaces to be primed and ready for disinfection.

    Sanitising

    This is often confused with both disinfecting and cleaning. Unlike disinfectants where it kills viruses such as the Coronavirus, sanitising removes or kills 99.9% of select bacteria on surfaces – normally on porous, soft surfaces including bedding, padding, carpets, and upholstery.

    Disinfecting

    Again, this is often confused with sanitising. However, disinfecting is the use of cleaning chemicals that are proven to kill or reduce viruses and bacteria by 99.9999% – reducing people’s exposure to harmful viruses and bacteria like the Coronavirus.

    Sterilising

    We often think of sterilising of healthcare equipment to prevent bacteria and viruses being transmitted into the human body (for example if a person is having an operation). And that’s what it does. It removes 100% of bacteria and viruses that are living on surfaces.

    Killing and removing bacteria and viruses.

    It’s extremely hard to see what viruses and bacteria are living on surfaces (unless you have a microscope) so it’s important that you know how to remove them effectively and efficiently from surfaces with cleaning chemicals.

    When using cleaning chemicals to clean surfaces, it’s important to know where the chemical is to be used and how long it should be left on surfaces (aka Dwell or contact time). This is the amount of time the product needs to remain wet on a surface to completely disinfect it.

    When working in a fast-paced environment like a hotel, it can be easy for cleaning staff to complete their tasks quickly to keep up. However, this can lead to exposing guests and employees to harmful bacteria and viruses that don’t get killed– due to cleaning staff not following proper instruction and the products dwell time. And this opens up to issues stemming from inadequate disinfection.

    However, killing a pathogen is only the first step when It comes to disinfecting surfaces. Once a pathogen dies, it’s body may be left behind and if these bodies or Bio-loads are left to accumulate, it develops and creates its own environment where other bacteria and viruses can thrive making disinfection more difficult. But physical or mechanical cleaning can help remove these bio-loads on surfaces.

    More Efficient Disinfection

    It’s important that when it comes to cleaning and disinfecting you should have an appropriate plan, outlining how to consistently disinfect high-touch areas and how to use chemicals correctly.

    When it comes to the amount of cleaning chemical, more doesn’t always mean better. So, it’s important that you use the appropriate amount of cleaning chemical with dilution to provide effective disinfection for surfaces alongside precleaning surfaces and adhering to the chemicals dwell times.

    Precleaning surfaces are extremely important as dust, dirt, oils, and other fluids can easily compromise a cleaning chemicals effectiveness. For a disinfectant cleaning chemical to kill bacteria and viruses from surfaces, they need to have full contact with the pathogens. Making the effort to pre-clean surfaces and follow dwell times will get the most out of your cleaning chemicals whilst keeping you, your staff and business safe.

    The COVID-19 pandemic has certainly heightened our awareness and needs to disinfect surfaces to keep ourselves and others safe. Disinfection will continue to be important and understanding the basics processes and implementing protocols will create a safe environment for everyone.

    A&R Cleaning Services has been providing effective infection control through the use of our virucidal products for over 10 years. If you would like to learn more about how we can keep you, your staff and your business safe get in touch with us here.

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