With the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) worldwide, it is time to get even more serious about cleaning and disinfecting your workplace. This means deep cleaning your facility by a commercial cleaning company that has experience dealing with viruses, using the right disinfectants, and infection control measures.
A joint study done by UCLA, Princeton University, The Center for Disease Control (CDC), and the National Institute of Health (NIH) found that germs that spread severe acute respiratory coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) are detectable on some surfaces for as long as 3 days.
• 1-3 days on plastic
• 1-3 days on stainless steel
• 24 hours on cardboard
• 3 hours in aerosol form
While the most common way to contract COVID-19 is through contact with someone that has been infected, coronavirus can also be transmitted through the air and by coming in contact with contaminated surfaces.
You should aware that there is no formal standard for deep cleaning, especially when it comes to disinfection. It is important to discuss deep cleaning with your commercial cleaning company to make sure they are using practices and standards that align with what health experts say is the most effective.
Cleaning alone will not kill the coronavirus germs. That means cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting your workplace is the only way to kill the germs. According to the CDC, disinfecting is the “best practice measure” for the prevention of COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses.
Commercial cleaning standards should be addressed in three areas: the type of chemicals used, the way the disinfectants are applied, and formal training for cleaning crews.
EPA Registered Disinfectants
You should require any commercial cleaning company that is disinfecting your facility for coronavirus, germs, and bacteria to use only EPA-registered disinfectants that are shown to be 99.999% effective within 5-10 minutes. Common cleaners are only effective at 99.9%. While the difference appears small, surfaces can hold millions of pathogens and it only takes a few minute particles to spread an infection.
Surfaces should have two layers of cleaning for the best protection. Floors, desks, tables, metal, wood, and other non-porous surfaces should first be cleaned as normal to remove surface dirt using a microfiber cloth. Then, a commercial cleaning company should disinfect using EPA-registered disinfectants for hard surfaces for improved infection control. Diluted household bleach can be used, if appropriate, with dwell time lasting at least 1 minute.
Carpets, rugs, drapes, and other porous surfaces should be removed and laundered (if possible) using hot water and dried completely. Coronavirus does not like heat. Commercial detergent can be used on hot settings. If it is not possible to launder items, such as installed carpeting, porous surfaces should be cleaned as normal and then a commercial cleaner should use EPA-approved disinfectants with cleaning agents for porous surfaces.
Disinfecting Electronics and Equipment
Disinfecting equipment and electronics, such as computers and monitors, should be implemented with alcohol-based wipes or sprays that contain at least 70% alcohol. Care should be taken with sprays to avoid damaging electronic components.
Commercial Cleaning Company Deep Cleaning & Disinfection Standards
During a deep cleaning, your commercial cleaning company needs to pay extra attention to high-touch areas including places that don’t normally get cleaned thoroughly, such as door handles, light switches, elevator buttons, phones, and vending machines. These areas need to be cleaned with approved disinfectants to aid infection control.
Equipment, Application, and Training
You want everything cleaned in a safe and effective manner. This means your cleaning company needs to use commercial-grade equipment and follow industry best practices. Gloves and gowns or uniforms should be worn by commercial cleaning staff when doing a deep cleaning. Depending on the disinfectant being used, additional personal protective equipment (PPE) should be worn.
Before applying disinfectants for Coronavirus, the cleaning crew must be fully trained on safe application, state and local health regulations, and know how to comply with OSHA regulations. They should also follow NIH and CDC guidelines for infection control and be GBAC certified for bio risks and infection control.
Deep Cleaning and Disinfecting with Electrostatic Spraying
An option some businesses choose is commercial cleaning with electrostatic spraying. Since you can’t see coronavirus, electrostatic spraying provides better coverage for areas that might be missed. The cleaning agent is electrostatically charged by the sprayer. These charged particles stick to surfaces better and provide a protective coating.
Electrostatic spraying is highly effective, but it will cost more and may require you to vacate your facility for the day.
OpenWorks is the preferred commercial cleaning, disinfecting and facilities services company for more than 1,500 customers nationwide. With more than 35 years of experience in cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting, OpenWorks is committed to providing the most effective and innovative processes, highly-trained elite network of service providers using the latest cleaning technology and practices, and providing the best service in the industry.
Contact OpenWorks to discuss deep cleaning standards for Coronavirus, including the use of EPA-approve disinfectants and advanced infection control.