Maintaining proper cleaning and disinfection standards is quite important for any organization to reduce the spread of infections and diseases. Such diseases and infections often result in a high number of sick leaves by employees and also hampers productivity.
So, let us look at what steps cleaning professionals can take to prevent cross contamination while they clean a facility.
Clean to Prevent Contamination – Steps to Take
Cross contamination refers to a situation where soil and other type of contamination seeps into previously unaffected locations. For instance, if cleaning is performed around a toilet and then the same cloth is used for cleaning countertops in restrooms then it can result in cross contamination.
Let us look at how cross contamination can be prevented during different types of cleaning such as wall cleaning Montreal, commercial window cleaning Montreal, and stripping and waxing floors Montreal.
How to prevent contamination during cleaning?
Microfiber Based Tools
A synthetic fiber based material, microfiber is able to attract bacteria, dirt, as well as other types of pathogens in similar fashion to a magnet. The good thing about microfiber is that it is capable of attracting and capturing as much as 99% of bacteria, dirt, and similar other pathogens.
On the contrary, cotton fibers are capable of attracting only about 33% of pathogens and merely move dirt and pathogens from one surface to another. Microfiber tools attract and hold onto bacteria, allergens, and dirt, resulting in improved cleaning. As such, by using microfiber based mops, cloths, and other tools you will be able to better clean surfaces and ensure there is less risk of cross contamination.
A few of the common microfiber based tools that you can use include:
- Dust wands
- Dry mops
- Wet mops
Color Coding Technique
If there is a team of cleaning professionals then it can become difficult to figure out which microfiber tool is being utilized for cleaning the restrooms and the ones that are utilized for cleaning lunch rooms.
The best option to avoid a mix up from arising is to use a system of color coding. This way everyone will be aware of the tools which are used for a specific location.
Proper training is essential to prevent chances of cross contamination. The correct training will ensure that everyone in the team is aware of the cleaning system that is in place (like the color coding system).
In addition, supervisors need to keep a close eye on everyone to make sure the procedures are followed in the right manner.
Separation of Cleaning Tools
It is also important to store cleaning equipment, tools, and chemicals in the right manner as to prevent contamination. You need to make sure the janitor’s closet remains well-organized as well as clean. As such, it will be necessary to ensure that the kitchen mop should not be lined up next to the bathroom mop.
Additionally, there are specific chemicals that must not be mixed and used in application for which they are not suitable.
Remove Outdated Tools
New technology proves to be quite effective and provides better results compared to outdated tools and systems. Let us look at some of the outdated systems that every commercial window cleaning Montreal agency should replace.
- Replace cotton mops and use microfiber based ones instead.
- Change regular vacuums and start using vacuums with HEPA filters. These filters are able to capture more than 99% of particulate material through its filtration at multiple levels.
- Avoid the utilization of hazardous chemicals that do not provide better cleaning compared to green products. This step is important since green products are good for the environment as well as for our health.
- Reduce usage of mop buckets which hold onto dirty water while cleaning is being performed since it increases the chances of contamination. Instead, you should make use of flat mops that have a tank built in and offer more effective cleaning.
Right Cleaning Procedures
To prevent cross contamination it is also important to select the right sanitizers and disinfectants. It is worth mentioning here that disinfectants usually have greater antimicrobial efficacy compared to sanitizers.
It is also necessary to check the strength of any particular type of disinfectant. The strength or kill claim refers to the type of pathogens and bacteria the disinfectant is capable of killing. There are disinfectants of broad spectrum and these are useful for generic cleaning tasks.
However, if there is a need to kill a specific category of bacteria or germs then the label of the product should mention that the product is capable to killing those particular pathogens.
Here, it is also important to keep note of the fact that every disinfectant is not of the same strength. The potency of any disinfectant is measured through PPM which stands for parts per million and indicates the active ingredients present in the disinfectant.
If the PPM level is higher (such as 300 ppm or more) then it indicates that the disinfectant is powerful and will prove to be effective when it is adequately diluted and used in right manner.
Lastly, cleaning firms need to keep note of the dwell time of each cleaning products they have. Usually, the dwell time is between five and ten minutes to achieve effective cleaning and prevent chances of cross contamination from one location to another.
Many times, it is also necessary to follow a two step procedure where the surface is cleaned first and then it is disinfected. In case, cleaning is not performed before disinfectant is used then it will make the disinfectant ineffective.
Focus on High Touch Sections
Cleaning professionals need to focus on high touch locations of a building which often result in cross contamination. These high touch locations include:
- Counters and door knobs
- Shared telephones
- Doors having push plates
- Elevator controls
- Railings present in steps and walls
- Backs of office chairs
In addition to these locations, in different facilities floors are also a location where bacteria and germs breed. Thus, apart from focusing on high touch points, it is also necessary to pay proper attention to cleaning and disinfection of floors.