360° Hygiene Cleanliness
This post is based on a question from a client: "When and where should the janitorial staff be disinfecting?"
We have all been hearing recent claims that hand sanitizing is causing more harm than good because it is killing all germs, including the healthy ones. Because our bodies create good bacteria to fight the bad, I must agree with these claims. There are times when a quick hand sanitizing is needed and recommended, but shouldn't be used religiously. Of course, the same can't be said about public contact points like door handles, elevator buttons, telephones, and … the list goes on. Ninety-nine percent of the germs on these public access areas are not yours, and even the good germs are not germs created by your body so they do you no good at all.
Going above and beyond is our daily goal at Simpurgo. To reach this goal, we look at every aspect of our cleaning service. An important area, which most other companies do not fully concentrate on, is hygiene. Hygiene refers to conditions and practices that help maintain health and prevent the spread of diseases and germs.
Education and proper quality assurance play a large role in this fundamental task. To properly execute a hygiene cleaning program, staff must first be trained on the importance of protecting themselves and the public.
Disinfecting vs Sanitizing
It always amazes me when we begin training new hires who have been trained by other janitorial companies. Besides the obvious techniques and best practices they were never taught, they also were never taught the difference between disinfecting and sanitizing. For one to complete a task to the best of his/her ability they first must know the differences between the two, and understand the best practice techniques and rules.
Disinfecting is the highest grade of cleansing in the janitorial industry (sterilization is not for general commercial cleaning). The process takes 5 minutes or more, depending upon the disinfectant used and the area size. Although this process is ideal for contact surfaces in public areas, it's not practical for every area. Proper disinfecting involves pre-spraying a surface with disinfectant, allowing it to penetrate for no less than 5 minutes, and then removing.
Sanitizing is a step down from disinfecting. The purpose of sanitizing is to reduce microorganisms, but the process will not destroy them. In most cases, the same product is used for both disinfecting and sanitizing. The difference is the degree of dilution and the overall contact time. Where disinfecting is a longer process, sanitizing is instant. Applying a disinfectant to a cloth and wiping a surface - that’s really all there is to sanitizing.
Where to Disinfect?
Let’s be honest, disinfecting is neither needed nor is it a practical for most surfaces in a building. The areas that require disinfecting are those areas where bodily fluids are found (restrooms, change rooms, hospitals, and clinics to name a few). These are all highly sensitive areas which require daily disinfecting to ensure the potential of transference of diseases is minimized as much as possible.
What about main contact points in public areas? This includes door handles, railings, elevator buttons, light switches, keyboards, telephones, and such. These are just as important! The issue then arises, how can we efficiently increase hygiene cleanliness on areas such as a door handle in an office or a hand railing in a shopping mall or around electrical components like keyboards and telephones? The answer … Technology!
Here at Simpurgo we understand the sensitivity of high traffic contact points and agree they need more than just a simple wipe with a disinfectant cleanser; these areas need more than sanitizing! So we take it to a new level. Since we want the same hygiene cleanliness as disinfecting but cannot achieve this through standard disinfecting procedures, we use a process called Nano Silver technology. Yes, you read correctly Silver!
Silver is a natural disinfectant mineral. It serves many, many purposes, and a few smart companies have applied this new technology to the cleaning industry. Nano Silver is the process by which silver nanoparticles are embedded within microfiber. These nanoparticles are fast-acting, kill 99.9% of germs on contact, and prevent bacteria growth. We suggest that everyone substitute your standard microfiber cloth when sanitizing to increase hygiene cleanliness.
Hygiene Quality Assurance
Okay great! You are now educated and have implemented a new hygiene cleanliness program. But the big question you must ask yourself now is: How do I know things are properly disinfected and/or sanitized by my cleaners?
Hygiene cleanliness plays a major role, but it's also the most difficult to inspect since it can rarely be seen. Quality assurance comes down to proper supervision and simple trust. Implementing hygiene programs which are practical for your cleaners will make it more appealing, with fewer using shortcuts. Using color coded clothes and properly labelled application bottles will allow a supervisor to easily assess if an employee is using your upgraded and improved cleaning procedures.