As an established cleaning company, business owners near and far have reached out to our staff in recent months for help with their COVID-19 cleaning strategy. We’ve encountered questions of all kinds, and we’ve also encountered misinformation of all kinds.
Prestige Janitorial Services is here to set the record straight on disinfection. In this blog, you’ll find out what it is, what it’s not, and some useful tips on how to disinfect your workplace solo.
Let’s dig in!
Disinfection: What It Is and What It’s not
Starting from the baseline, disinfection and cleaning are two entirely different things and their distinction is crucial to understand. Many business owners are ramping up their cleaning regimens during this pandemic, and that’s a good thing, undoubtedly. However, cleaning alone is not as effective as a coronavirus control strategy.
Cleaning is the act of removing germs, dirt, and other impurities. Disinfection is the act of killing micro-organisms, such as bacteria and viruses. Ideally, both cleaning and disinfecting (in that order) should be used together to counter the spread of COVID-19.
Distinguishing between cleaning and disinfecting is critical to understand and be conscious of when shopping for a service provider. Many cleaning companies offer both cleaning and disinfection services (like us!). Other companies are exclusively cleaners. If you are looking to outsource your commercial disinfection tasks as you re-open your business, be wary of any professionals who advertise COVID-19 cleaning without specifically mentioning how they provide disinfection services. Otherwise, you may be paying full price for a half service.
Basic Guidelines for Office Disinfection
The Items You’ll Need to Disinfect on Your Own
Many smaller workplaces choose to clean and disinfect their space without third-party companies, and that’s perfectly okay—provided you have the right products, equipment, and knowledge to do it. Our seasoned pros have compiled a fantastic list of must-haves and must-dos if this is your disinfecting debut.
You Must Have: An Effective Household Disinfectant
You might think that a disinfectant would go without saying as a must-have item for disinfection, but you’d be surprised at the number of ineffective disinfectants out there. Thankfully, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is a fantastic resource of information in the US. For the best results, we highly recommend using an EPA-approved disinfectant. While alternative natural disinfectant recipes are abundant online, these are probably not tested or proven to eliminate the COVID-19 virus. If your product has the EPA stamp of approval, you can get to work in confidence, knowing the chemicals will do their job.
Rest assured, there are plenty of natural, EPA-approved products out there. Prestige Janitorial Services is a strong advocate of green cleaning. We love using products with high efficacy and low environmental impact.
Just as important as the disinfectant itself is following the product’s label. The disinfectant you purchase will come with instructions for use. Make sure you dilute the liquid properly and allow adequate surface contact time for the product to work its virus-destroying magic.
You Must Have: Adequate Skin and Eye Protection
Disinfector beware—handling chemicals is no funny business. You can buy most disinfectants over the counter, but they are still potent liquids that can burn your skin or eyes with direct contact.
At our company, all our cleaning staff are state-certified and extensively trained to abide by the rules of our industry’s governing regulatory bodies. We always put the safety of our personnel first, and to that end, our team performs disinfection services dressed in full PPE. We encourage everyone to consider their personal safety first and take precautions with adequate skin and eye protection.
At a minimum, we suggest that if you’re tackling disinfection duties on your own, you wear:
- A mask
- Eye goggles
- Protective clothing (that you don’t mind potentially getting stained).
In addition to wearing a mask, we highly suggest cracking open the windows and doors while you work. Breathing in chemical fumes is hard on your respiratory system. Increased airflow will keep suspended particles moving as you clean.
You Must: Treat Electronics with Care
We’ve seen our fair share of commercial buildings. We provide cleaning and disinfecting services for businesses spanning all industries, from health care to food service. On a weekly basis, our cleaning crews visit offices, warehouses, hotels, and every other type of building you can imagine.
The one thing all these places have in common is: they use technology. Most likely, your business relies on technology, too. And we’re guessing your office houses an assortment of essential and valuable electronics.
As you can imagine, electronics are susceptible to the coronavirus just like any other surface. Actually, many tech-related items are also high-touch surfaces and may be more vulnerable to contamination. Items such as keyboards, touch screens, printers, and remotes are all havens for bacteria and viruses. You should disinfect them—and you should disinfect them with care.
In general, we recommend using disinfectants with no more than 70% alcohol content for use on your electronics. Much more than that, and the risk of damage rises. Much less than that, and the chance for viral survival increases.
To disinfect your electronics safely:
- Unplug all electronics before you begin.
- Use a lint-free or microfiber cloth.
- Use minimal, gentle wiping action.
- Ensure sufficient contact time is given.
- Avoid getting moisture into openings.
No scrubbing or scouring is required for electronics. The right contact time and a light touch will do the trick.
A Cleaner Community Is a Safer Community
At Prestige Janitorial Services, we understand the toll this pandemic has taken on business owners. We understand their struggle to re-open safely and their ongoing struggle to reduce the threat of contamination. We applaud you for your efforts in making our community a safer place to live and work, and we hope this run-down on disinfection will help you in that noble endeavor.
If you require assistance with your commercial cleaning and disinfecting program, we invite you to drop us a line. We customize our disinfecting services to all kinds of businesses, small and large. We’d be delighted to create a disinfecting plan of action tailor-made for you.