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Creating a clean and healthy environment is a frequent topic these days. Two main elements to maintaining a clean and healthy work environment are cleaning and disinfecting.
It is important to remove dust, dirt, and debris, but are you removing pathogens when you do that? Most of the time no! You may have cleaned away the visible to make it look better, but below the surface are pathogens waiting.
Applying EPA registered disinfectant will kill those pathogens up bto 99.99999% of the time. Disinfectants also eliminate the risk of cross contamination that occurs in the cleaning process.
Frequency of cleaning should be based on use of occupants in each space. The CDC recommends surfaces that are considered “high-touch” to be disinfected on a regular basis. This still can vary as the volume of people touching surfaces daily. Determine what is the maximum volume of traffic per day in each major area of your business and that will help you to set the frequency in cleaning and disinfecting.
Knowing that pathogens can reside on surfaces and multiple easily often leads to the assumption that more disinfectant is required to kill the pathogens. Though that is true, that cleaning and disinfecting can reduce the pathogens count on a surface, be careful how much of each chemical you are using. Cleaning and disinfecting an area is again based on 1) who or what has come into contact 2) how often has that area been touched 3) what are your potential hazards will determine what disinfectant to use and how much.
The CDC “Centers For Disease Control” recommend when it comes to surfaces that high-touch areas are thoroughly cleaned and disinfected. Other areas that are not high traffic or high-touch should be cleaned less frequently.
Contact is important in determining the disinfectant. When disinfecting areas that food is prepared on or consumed on, the product label for your disinfectant should be strictly adhered to. Although many disinfectants require a dwell time on the surface to kill all pathogens, it is a good idea to use potable water to rinse the surface once the proper dwell time has been achieved. You don’t want to leave a chemical residue on the surface where food is prepared or eaten.
Not all cleaning chemicals are created equal. Many vary greatly in their chemistry and application. Harsher disinfectants like bleach or peroxide can cause damage to the human body, as well as the surfaces where you apply them. It is highly important to know what type of disinfectant is being used and the hazards associated with that disinfectant. This is where OSHA training on the cleaning chemicals that you use daily are very important for safe use and application.
A clean and healthy work environment has never been more important than this year with COVID-19. Helping your staff and customers feel safe with proper disinfection protocols is important. If you or your staff don’t have those in place, call us at Upper Valley Cleaning. We can and are ready to help!