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Clean To Prevent Contamination
In our working and living environments, we do not always realize that we can serve as vectors for the transmission of germs to our co-workers and even to visitors. Here are some tips to limit the spread of germs.
Cross-contamination is the process by which microorganisms involuntarily transfer from one surface or object to another, with harmful effects. Unfortunately, cross-contamination can occur even with the most common cleaning procedures.
This can happen by using a cotton cloth. The cotton cloth is effective in removing dust and particles containing bacteria but inefficient to retain them. Some bacteria will be released into the air while others will be deposited on other surfaces where the cloth will be used. Contamination also occurs when dirty cloths and mops are handled with bare hands. The germs are then transmitted to the hands that transmit them to the objects and surfaces with which they come into contact.
Cross-contamination is particularly harmful in environments such as restaurants, health care facilities and schools. The people involved in the preparation of the food can be infected by germs that they will then transmit to food and possibly trigger food poisoning.
Fortunately, there are alternatives to traditional rags and mops. Microfiber is an excellent choice for removing dust from surfaces. It is made up of fibers one-sixteenth the size of a hair, allowing it to enter small crevasses that could not have been cleaned by conventional fibers. In addition, being positively charged, they naturally attract dust (negatively charged) which allows it to retain the soil. Microfiber is 99% effective at removing and retaining bacteria compared to 30% for traditional cotton cloths.
A ready-to-use system is another example of an effective tool to limit cross-contamination. This system makes it possible to prepare wipes and microfiber mop heads by soaking them in a cleaning solution or disinfectant and thus, avoiding handling them by hand (soiled) during their use.
Another option is the use of a double bucket. This system prevents the mop heads from coming into contact with the cleaning solution contained in the bucket. The soiled mop heads are replaced by clean heads which are soaked in the mixture before their usage.
Beware of frequently touched surfaces
It is difficult to clean frequently touched surfaces such as switches, door handles, faucets and keypads that come into contact with germs and soiled objects carried by the hands of people moving in different environments.
It is important to remind people working in the same area of basic instructions for hand washing and sneezing. It’s better to use the crook of your elbow than to sneeze into your hands. And if inadvertently you use your hands, you must quickly go wash them with soap. Also, the
presence and availability of facial tissue and hand sanitizer will help prevent contamination.
New techniques are gradually appearing and helping to disinfect frequently touched surfaces and other objects. Electrostatic sprays filled with disinfectant solution can cover 100% of soiled surfaces, while reaching high and difficult to disinfect surfaces.
Reduce the use of cleaning products
As they say, too much is like not enough. Too many products can be inhaled, come in contact with skin, eyes and cause health problems. Consider allergic reactions, rashes, respiratory and eye problems. It is preferable to limit the use of toxic cleaning solutions, corrosive or not environmentally sustainable ones. The industry offers large spectrum of cleaning solutions that are eco-friendly and act as effectively as traditional chemistry.
When we talk about fighting contamination, we also talk about disinfection. However, some bacteria react to these products by developing a resistance that is transmitted to new generations of germ, which creates a vicious circle: more germs = more products, more products = more resistance. It is better to limit the use of disinfection to where and when it is needed. By combining eco-responsible solutions with microfiber cloths, it is possible to reduce the use of cleaning products by as much as 95%.
It is also possible to focus on the use of concentrated products, which have an impact on the costs of transport and consequently on the environment. These solutions, when mixed according to the instructions of the manufacturers, have demonstrated not only their effectiveness, but allow a very significant reduction in usage costs. A bad habit persists however with some users who mix the products without properly dosing the measure. This generates performance problems that are too often dealt with using other techniques that involve the use of even more harmful products that inevitably end up in the eco system.
Clean all surfaces
It’s easy to neglect hard-to-reach surfaces such as the top of filing cabinets and desks, fan blades, or ceiling corners. Some devices such as HEPA filter vacuums combined with extended suction sections make it easier to reach the top of furniture and other high surfaces. Curved nozzles make it easier to fit certain shapes such as ventilation ducts or plumbing pipes. In addition, these vacuums are even more effective at removing dust and other debris from hard surfaces and floors compared to dry mops, which move and send dust back in the air only to be re-deposited a few hours later.
For glass surfaces, extensions with applicator tips make it easier to reach these surfaces, which are increasingly found in commercial and retail spaces. In addition to clearing the windows and their sills of dust and dirt, the applicator allows the surfaces to be coated with a dust free solution that prevents dust from adhering to them. Not only will the surfaces be more beautiful but in addition, this method will delay the next cleaning.
Exterior glass surfaces can be washed with water fed systems. Tap water is purified by resin bags that retain contaminants and other debris present in the water, leaving these surfaces clean and using a chemical free method. This technique not only limits the impact on the environment but also facilitates the work of operators who can remain on the ground handling carbon poles that can reach up to 5 stories.
5- Eliminate airborne particles
Cleaning and disinfecting surfaces can reduce the risk of contamination. The use of vacuum cleaners with HEPA (High Efficacy Particle Air) filtration systems makes the circulation of airborne particles more difficult since this system traps them more effectively. As a matter of fact, the standards associated with this certification stipulate that HEPA filter vacuums must retain 99.97% of particles of .3 microns or more.
As previously mentioned, the use of microfiber cloths will also limit the presence of airborne particles because of their superior absorption capacity. By taking these five recommendations into account, it will be easier for you to help reduce the risk of contamination and improve the results of your cleaning techniques.
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