As cleaning business owners you are probably being asked to provide extra details cleaning on high traffic touch points due to Covid-19, the Coronavirus. Some of the worst places that bacteria and viruses grow are in high traffic touch areas. This includes any high traffic touch points like door knobs, elevator buttons, faucets, eating utensils, or even credit card readers. Not only are these areas likely to have germs on them because they are touched by so many people. This also makes these places that spread infections from one person to the next. Cleaning these surfaces specifically can help reduce the spread of an infection in a household or business. While it can make sense to disinfect every surface in some occasions it is really these specific areas that need extra cleaning. Imagine if you lived in a high rise condo building and were trying to shelter in place. It is hard to do if you have to use the same elevator as the other 100 residents and no one is cleaning the buttons in the elevator on a regular basis. There is an opportunity here to provide a much needed service either as a bonus or an add on service. Some cleaning services are using this touch point service as a free add on to make their customers more comfortable such as this company which highlights their free Virus Buster check list. While others are providing it as a free standing service especially to multiple family properties like that condo building we mention above.
Wiping down an area is always good, but is it enough? Is it getting rid of the little monsters we want to stay away? All that you need to know is, if it’s not disinfecting, it’s not killing the bacteria and viruses. Just cleaning won’t do the job.
In terms of a cleaning business, this is very relevant. When you’re disinfecting an area you have to be extremely thorough. For some companies, they might charge an up-charge for the extra effort involved. Though, it might be best to do it out of courtesy at this time. Good PR is always useful and if you help people in times of trouble, they’ll be appreciative in times of peace.
Regardless of how you might go about handling disinfecting with clients, you need to handle disinfecting high traffic touch points relatively the same. The first step is you need to make sure the surface is clean of soil. Most disinfectant products will not work if the surface is still covered in soil. Once it is clean you apply the product and you need to let it remain on the surface for long enough for the product to do it’s work. This is called Dwell time. . Let me repeat that. You have to let the cleaners sit. These disinfectants aren’t instantaneous. They need time to work and kill all the unwanted bacteria and viruses. Every product is different and dwell times can vary so be sure to read the label.
You’ll also need to make sure there is good ventilation and you are wearing protective gloves. These harsh chemicals are no good on the human skin or in your lungs. Also, make sure to never mix chemicals as the outcome could be very dangerous.
But what cleaners should you use? For the most part make sure anything you’re cleaning with “disinfectant” on the label. This is an EPA registered term and cannot be used in the USA without extensive testing to prove the product is effective. In addition he EPA has issued a list of products that have been proven effective against COVID-19. That should be efficient in eliminating viruses. Another technique to kill germs is heat. Steam systems can be effective as well but it is important they are used properly. Some require a long exposure of the heat on the surface than others which can cause damage especially on plastic and many inexpensive bathroom vanities are now made of particle board and plastic not wood.
There are recommendations to clean these touch points often, but obviously there is so much one can do. “It isn’t possible to disinfect every surface you touch throughout your day,” Stephen Thomas, M.D., chief of infectious diseases and director of global health at Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, New York, told Consumer Reports. “The planet is covered with bacteria and viruses, and we’re constantly in contact with these surfaces, so hand-washing is still your best defense against COVID-19.”
Regardless, there are still steps one can take without cleaning every surface every minute of every day. You can simply wash your hands with soap and water in the proper method.
If you want more information, make sure you go to our Facebook page where we have daily live streams about running a business during Corona.
Brandon is a digital marketing intern working with Blue Skies Services and Cleaning Business Today.
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