With the recent relaxation surrounding lock-down, many businesses like yourselves would have put strategic cleaning plans in place to prevent cross-contamination of viruses within your building and business.
Throughout lockdown, it has been highlighted by professionals the importance of maintaining a clean environment and how it is the first line of defence for infection control – with cleaners being tasked to ensure that all spaces are properly cleaned, disinfected and sanitised.
However, for cleaners to be successful in preventing cross-contamination and maintaining good infection control against viruses like the Coronavirus, they should integrate some of the practises highlighted in this blog.
Control infections by cleaning
Before grabbing the disinfectant sprays or wipes, the first step you need to take is to clean surfaces of any debris such as dirt, dust, oils, and greases. This is a critical step as not removing these can make disinfectant and sanitising products less effective at killing pathogens. (think of it as step 1.)
When cleaning it is important for your cleaning staff to identify high touch areas (aka Hotspots) these are areas that are frequently touched by staff hands. These include door handles, handrails, light switches, desks, and computer equipment. Without regular cleaning of these areas, they become hotbeds for bacteria and viruses so grow and spread – leading to staff and even customers to become seriously ill.
To clean these areas, use equipment that is effective at trapping dust, dirt, and other debris from surfaces (such as Microfibre cloths) opposed to products that simply move and re-distribute them around. Once surfaces are free of debris, the next step your cleaners should take is to mop the floors to remove any dirt, debris, and oils.
To give your building an added level of protection against cross-contamination, we recommend that your cleaners use a colour coding system. This means that any equipment that is colour coded (for example red is to only be used in toilets) are less likely to be used in other areas of your building, minimising the risk of harmful pathogens being spread within your building.
Destroy Pathogens by disinfecting
Although removing dirt and debris from surfaces with a cloth, mop and soap is a crucial step in infection control and preventing cross-contamination, it is simply not enough to combat harmful germs and bacteria like the coronavirus.
So, what does disinfecting do?
Disinfecting involves the use of chemicals on surfaces and objects to kill harmful bacteria and viruses that cause infections. So, when it comes to infection control, it is important to use the right cleaning products that can kill harmful bacteria and viruses – it’s also important to know what surfaces it can be used on, how long it needs to sit on surfaces and objects and the type of bacteria it can kill.
(We recommend that you use several different products to clean instead of one-does-all products)
The disinfecting of high touch areas such as light switches, handrails, desks and countertops should be part of your cleaning team’s regular routine to reduce cross-contamination. However, there is one area that is often overlooked as a high touch area. The floor. Throughout the day, floors within businesses see constant contact from staff and visitors’ shoes, other objects, spills and residual airborne bacteria. Staff are the biggest contributors to the spread of germs and bacteria within a building. When they place their handbag or other personal items on the floors and then move them to a different area such as their desks, they are spreading germs and bacteria without really realising.
Compared to disinfecting where you use chemicals to kill germs and bacteria from surfaces, sanitising uses heat or antibacterial products that reduce germs, bacteria and other pathogens on pre-cleaned surfaces or objects. Since we cannot see germs and bacteria that live in our surfaces, it is important to sanitise all touchable, nonporous surfaces like floors and desks, and textile furnishings regularly to reduce the risk of viruses spreading.
Right now, the goal for many businesses like yourselves is to keep both your staff and your customers safe from the Coronavirus and other deadly viruses by preventing cross-contamination of surfaces through cleaning, disinfecting and sanitising. Infection control and preventing cross-contamination doesn’t have to be intimidating – especially if you are in the planning stages of re-opening your building or business.
So just follow these simple steps:
- Clean debris off of surfaces with colour coded cloth, mops and buckets
- Disinfect with products that are proven to kill bacteria and viruses (remember not one-does-all products)
- Sanitise high touch surfaces to reduce further spread of viral infections within your building.
If this has got you thinking about your current cleaning arrangements and you would like to find out more about our cleaning services and how we can help you take a look at our website or give us a call on 01656 713950