In today’s world, it’s not unusual to see people wearing face masks and gloves, strapped with four different kinds of hand sanitizers, and maintaining a strict six feet apart from anyone else around them. It’s not unusual to see tables and surfaces in public places being wiped down with vigorous determination and an impressive thoroughness by employees after every single customer who comes into contact with it.
Since the pandemic has taken over the world, cleanliness is at the forefront of (mostly) everyone’s mind, and the way the economy operates has taken an unusual but innovative turn because of it.
It’s never been more important for public spaces to have elaborate and hypersensitive sanitary measures, especially if they want to reopen public spaces and survive the pandemic. The only way to make sure that your business doesn’t contribute to the spread, and/or end up getting shut down is to make sure you have a solid sanitary plan in place known well by everyone in your workplace.
Cleaning and disinfecting public spaces including your workplace, school, home, and business will require you to:
- Outline and develop a thorough plan
- Implement the plan clearly to all people
- Maintain and revise your plan
Our friends at Rhino Environmental have been providing routine COVID-19 disinfection services and advice for businesses nationwide since the pandemic began, and they have provided us with 5 things you can be doing right now, and every day, to reduce the risk of infection at your facility.
#1 Using EPA approved disinfectants
Check with CDC guidelines and make sure that your cleaning products are considered a safe chemical to clean with. You can also check an extensive list of every chemical and product available confirmed to kill the virus provided by The Environmental Protection Agency. However, the standard for cleaning products is that they need at least a 70% alcohol solution concentration in order to be effective.
The most popular and easily attainable products available are Clorox Disinfecting Wipes, Charleston Ethanol, and Disinfectant 1 Wipe by Ecolab Inc. All of these products are effective in under one minute, making sanitizing fast and effortless.
As we all know, it can be difficult to even find the cleaning products you need at the store due to shortages. If you can’t find any, don’t worry! The CDC has provided a guide for how to make your own with bleach. To do this, simply mix ⅓ cup bleach with one gallon of lukewarm water. Be sure not to let sit too long as it can degrade different surfaces, and be sure to use paper towels to wipe the surfaces. This bleach method is effective for 24 hours after use.
#2 Cleaning from a list of items
Make a checklist of all the items that need wiped down to ensure that nothing gets forgotten about, and follow this list routinely to dramatically reduce the chances of anyone at your facility contracting or spreading it.
Think of your most touched surfaces, then go even farther. There’s probably something you’re forgetting… for example: You’re probably remembering to sanitize the door knobs, but when is the last time you sanitized your keys?
Here is a list of some objects that are frequently touched surfaces that will need to be routinely disinfected:
- Light switches
- Faucets and sinks
- Gas pump handles
- Touch screens
- ATM machines
#3 Paying attention to porous or soft surfaces.
All soft and porous surfaces are more susceptible to passing on bacteria and illnesses than non-porous and hard surfaces. This may not be that surprising, as soft and porous surfaces have room for the bacteria to hide so-to-speak. Viruses can survive on soft surfaces for long periods of time, days even, and be transferred easily to the hands or other clothes easily.
What this means is that you can’t just take some sanitizer wipes to everything. There is a difference between sanitizing, disinfecting, and actually cleaning a surface. Soft and porous materials that are not frequently touched should only be cleaned or laundered (following the directions on the item’s label) and using the warmest appropriate water setting.
If you’re not sure what cleaning supplies you should be using, check out this list provided by the EPA of products approved for cleaning soft and porous surfaces. You can also find more information on CDC’s website on Cleaning and Disinfecting Your Facility.
#4 Keep a record of your cleaning schedule
Keep a track record of what got cleaned, what time, and by who. This is crucial for ensuring that your facility upkeeps the cleaning duties and keeps your place safe for the public.
We recommend doing a thorough walk through of your entire establishment and make sure you mark down the items that will need to be cleaned every day. Using google spreadsheets, pen and paper, or some other acceptable method, make a chart including a space for…
- The item
- The Date
- The Time
- Initials of Cleaner
Having a detailed list of this information can ensure your business stays in tip-top shape throughout the pandemic.
#5 Implement, Audit and Revise Your Plan
Now that you have developed a solid cleaning plan and schedule for your establishment, make sure you meet with everyone to go over the new plan and process. Emphasize the importance of getting this done, and reiterate not only the health facts, but also stress what could happen to the business if an outbreak were to happen.
You don’t need to bend over backwards to audit and revise your cleaning plan every day, but make sure to be mindful of the plan and make adjustments where adjustments are needed. Look out for items you may have missed on the daily cleaning checklist, like phones, pens, the stapler, etc.
Cleaning and disinfecting is a process, and although we know it’s not everyone’s favorite thing to do, it’s an incredibly important step in making sure that you or someone else stays healthy and safe in the midst of the pandemic. It’s also vital to making sure that your establishment can survive and stay open.
Each and every one of us are responsible for playing a part in keeping each other safe. Be sure to follow all CDC guidelines prior to undergoing and sanitization process. However, we understand that your time is precious and your time and attention is needed elsewhere in your business, that’s why there are trained professionals that can clean and sanitize your entire premises daily.
Bookmark this post for when you go to make your cleaning plan of attack, and don’t hesitate to reach out to our friends at Rhino Environmental with any questions you might have.