Cleaning in Covid-19 Times
Coronavirus also known as Covid-19 is probably the biggest pandemic we have had this century as it has led to many unfortunate and untimely deaths, the shutdown of the global economy and massive changes in our way of life. Social distancing, mask wearing, limits to gathering may be the new normal going forward. Cleaning in both health and non-health sectors has become central to stopping the spread of the virus. Indeed, for most health facilities, offices, shops and public areas, regular cleaning is recommended throughout the day until the end of trading or operations.
For domestic cleaning including – end-of-tenancy, beginning of tenancy, one off cleaning or deep clean, cleaning services companies have taken additional measures to ensure that areas cleaned are also disinfected and decontaminated. This is to prevent the spread of the virus and ensure the safety of everyone in the area.
However, we need to note that:
We are aware of the various precautionary measures recommended by government for our safety which include staying at least 2m apart from each other, washing our hands regularly with soap and water, not touching our faces with our hands if possible to prevent the spread of covid-19. Cleaning and disinfecting surfaces are important additional measures to prevent the spread of the virus.
We highlight some key facts about cleaning and covid-19.
Cleaning focuses on removing dirt, germs, and impurities from surfaces however disinfection means killing germs on surfaces using antiviral products. In these times, it is important to adopt this 2-step process of cleaning the area first and then disinfecting after the area is cleaned. If the area is a high traffic area, then we recommend that you clean regularly or clean after people have visited and left. For disinfection, use anti-viral products that target and eliminate viruses. This will limit the spread of the virus. Clean surfaces that are regularly touched like door handles, railings on the stairs, refrigerators doors, kitchen work tops, cookers, TV remote controls, computer keyboards, bathroom area and surfaces amongst others. Wherever possible wear disposable or washing up gloves and apron for cleaning
Decontamination provides an extremely high level of protection from the virus. This means preventing bacterial, viral, and pathogenic contamination and also removing persistent odours within an area or space. For decontamination to be effective, the first step is to have a deep clean. A deep clean is a thorough manual clean to the areas or surfaces that come into contact with people’s fingers or hands regularly e.g. door handles. Decontamination is an important part of disinfection as it includes sterilization which kills all bacteria and viruses and prevents the spread of diseases or reduces infection.
Ventilation means allowing outdoor air into an area or space. This helps control indoor air quality by diluting and displacing indoor impurities. Taking measures to improve ventilation in an area before and after cleaning, disinfection and decontamination will help limit the spread of the covid-19 virus. Also if an occupant of the area has contacted covid-19 then ventilation can also help decontaminate the area and outdoor air neutralises the impact of indoor air. As the virus is mainly spread through respiratory droplets, keeping the area ventilated most times should limit its spread. It is also a good way of neutralizing the smell from chemicals that have been used for decontamination and disinfection.
Most of the everyday cleaning products still do a good job of keeping the area clean and disinfected. We advise that you clean with water and detergent first and then disinfect using suitable anti-viral products to kill the viruses. Note there is a difference between anti-bacterial and anti-virus cleaning products. Anti-bacteria kill bacteria while anti-virus kills and prevents the spread of virus. To disinfect use anti-viral products to prevent the spread of covid-19. Look for products that contain alcohol, chlorine beach, oxygen bleach and ammonium compounds.
Natural cleaning products like vinegar although effective are not as powerful as anti-viral products in killing the virus and preventing its spread.
Studies have shown the virus can survive on steel and plastic surfaces for 72 hours and less than 24 hours on cardboard. Therefore, if you think a surface may be contaminated, we recommend that you safely clean and disinfect using gloves.