For years, we’ve been taking home necessities like toilet paper, hand sanitizer, etc. for granted. Many people have always been germaphobes and have a hand sanitizer bottle ready while avoiding public door handles and other high-touched areas.
But these people don’t seem so “crazy” anymore with the coronavirus pandemic affecting billions of lives around the world.
Due to the ongoing illness, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), along with the U.S. government, is encouraging all “non-essential” businesses to close to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Offices, restaurants, and other public spaces that regularly invite customers and clients into their space can certainly benefit from a deep cleaning, whether or not they are closed. But it’s simply not enough to have employees stay at home if they are showing signs of being sick.
A commercial cleaning service can prove to be very beneficial, especially for employees who do not work from home. Here are some of the best cleaning practices conducted regularly by the professionals.
1. Color-coded cleaning solutions
They prevent cross contamination by color coding towels and cloths for different spaces. Having a different color towel for each area like individual offices, breakroom areas, conference rooms, receptionist desk, etc. will surely prevent bacteria and viruses from spreading.
2. Post handwashing warnings
While it may seem like second nature, posting handwashing signs in the bathrooms will remind employees to use warm soap and water and scrub for at least 20 seconds (they can even sing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star). In the office, the CDC has noted that employees can also wash their hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that is composed of between 60 and 95 percent alcohol. According to Millsap, it’s also essential to dry your hands thoroughly since bacteria spreads through moisture.
3. Disinfect your cellphone
Dscout said that we touch our cellphones on average of 2,000 times each day. Many bacteria live on mobile devices, so disinfecting them regularly should be considered crucial.
4. Use the one-way wipe down
Despite the usual way we clean, germs are only redeposited back into the surface when using a circular or back-and-forth direction. Instead, commercial cleaning services will wipe down high-touch areas like workstations, desks, doorknobs, and countertops in one direction without going back in the opposite direction.
How Professionals Clean and Disinfect
- Professionals will first clean dirty surfaces with either soap and water or detergent prior to disinfecting them.
- EPA-registered disinfectants, diluted bleach solutions, and alcohol solutions containing at least 70% alcohol will be effective when deep cleaning workplace surfaces.
- The professionals will be sure to follow the product manufacturer’s solutions for proper application and ventilation. They will use products that are not past the expiration date and also be sure to not mix bleach with ammonia or other cleaners. As long as unexpired bleach is properly diluted, it will be effective against the coronavirus.
- How many professionals prepare bleach solutions:
- 4 teaspoons of bleach per quart of water
- 5 tablespoons, or 1/3 cup of bleach per gallon of water
- For products that are EPA-approved, they are expected to be effective against COVID-19 according to studies on harder to kill viruses.
- When cleaning porous surfaces, such as rugs, drapes, floors, and rugs, professionals will remove any stains, dirt, and debris, with carpet and upholstery cleaning.
- If possible, the items will be laundered according to the manufacturer’s instructions, using warm water and drying them accordingly.
- For surfaces that cannot be laundered, like the carpet, the professionals will use EPA-approved products that are best suited for porous surfaces.
Commercial Cleaning Professionals Use Personal Protective Equipment
- All commercial cleaning service professionals will wear disposable gloves, eyewear, and gowns when conducting deep cleaning, especially when handling garbage.
- All personal protective equipment (PPE) will be compatible with the cleaning products used.
- If there is a risk of splash when using highly toxic cleaning products, they will use additional PPE.
- To avoid cross contamination of the wearer and the surrounding area, the PPE will be removed carefully. They will also wash their hands thoroughly after removing the gloves.
- Any damage to the PPE during the service, such as rips or tears in the gloves that expose the individual will be reported immediately to the supervisor.
- Cleaning professionals will be sure to frequently wash their hands, especially after having contact with an ill person and removing their gloves. If soap and water are not available and there are no visible signs that their hands are dirty, they may use an alcohol-based cleaner that contains between 60 and 95% alcohol.
Employers should work with local health departments to ensure local protocols and guidelines are followed
Additional Recommendations for Employers
Especially after a commercial cleaning service, steps must be taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The CDC encourages all employers to work with state and local health departments to ensure local protocols and guidelines are followed. This includes updated and additional guidance for disinfection and cleaning and to stay updated on the identification of new COVID-19 cases.
The CDC also recommends that all employees involved in laundry, cleaning, and trash pickup services to recognize any and all symptoms of COVID-19. Employers should provide instructions for employees with COVID-19 symptoms within 14 days after their last possible exposure to coronavirus. Employees should at least notify their supervisor as well as their local health department as they will provide guidance on how to proceed. Also be sure to check the available hours of the local health department.
Finding a Reputable Commercial Cleaning Service
While trusted commercial cleaning services will follow the steps mentioned previously to prevent cross contamination while disinfecting highly touched surfaces, it’s important to research local professionals. Commercial cleaning services that are licensed, experienced, and trained in deep cleaning are considered the best fit.
While COVID-19 is still new, no professional has experience in eliminating it fully, but the CDC encourages them to treat it like another hard to kill virus. This means using personal protective equipment (PPE) and EPA-registered cleaning products will be most effective when ridding workplaces of the risk of the coronavirus.
Be sure to check your local commercial cleaning service professionals with these qualifications before setting up an appointment.
About Luke Armstrong
Expert in emergency fire and Austin water restoration services, fire cleanup and Austin water damage cleanup, mold removal, as well as carpet and upholstery cleaning services. Contributor to several restoration and cleaning blogs.