Best Practices for Properly Cleaning and Disinfecting Surfaces

With rising concerns regarding the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus 2019), it is now more important than ever for community facilities and commercial cleaning companies to follow strict guidelines for cleaning and disinfecting surfaces. Fortunately, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other health organizations have laid out best practices for reducing the spread of infectious diseases within facilities. These are measures that The Budd Group’s cleaning and janitorial services follow each and every day.

Let’s break down these key measures that everyone should adhere to regarding cleaning and disinfecting surfaces. Because healthcare facilities already have their own standards and guidelines for cleaning and infection control, we will separate this crucial advice between non-healthcare community facilities and healthcare facilities.

Proper Infection Control for Non-Healthcare Community Facilities

As testing for COVID-19 becomes more readily available and the virus spreads within communities, there is a growing awareness of cases around the world. According to the CDC, if it becomes known that someone infected with COVID-19 was in a given facility, that facility should take special precautions, such as:

  • Closing off areas used by infected individuals and waiting at least 24 hours to clean and disinfect them
  • Opening doors and windows to allow air to circulate
  • After waiting, cleaning personnel should focus on cleaning and disinfecting areas that may have been used by infected individuals, such as frequently touched surfaces

As for the cleaning and disinfecting processes themselves, here is what the CDC recommends:

  • Commercial cleaning staff and/or anyone cleaning and disinfecting surfaces must wear personal protective equipment (PPE) to reduce their risk of receiving or further spreading diseases, such as compatible disposable gloves and gowns, face masks (if necessary), close-toed shoes, etc.
  • Before disinfection, all dirty surfaces should be cleaned using detergent or soap and water.
  • Disinfection solutions must be composed of either diluted household bleach solutions, alcohol solutions containing at least 70% alcohol, and EPA-registered disinfectant products.
  • If possible, use disinfecting products with EPA-approved emerging viral pathogens claim, as these are most likely effective at killing COVID-19 and other stubborn viruses.
  • Soft and porous surfaces (rugs, carpets, drapes, etc.) should be initially cleaned if visibly dirty and then laundered using appropriate warm water settings and let dry.

Proper Infection Control For Healthcare Facilities

While the best practices outlined above also apply to healthcare institutions, there are additional cleaning guidelines for healthcare facilities that cleaning staff must follow to ensure the safety of patients, staff, and guests. More specifically, The American Journal of Infection Control (AJIC) claims, “Because increasing evidence suggests that the environment plays a role in transmission of health care-associated infections, more attention is focusing on environmental cleaning and improving its efficacy. Creating and sustaining a successful cleaning and disinfection program should include several key components using a bundle approach and requires ongoing commitment within the institution.”

In other words, proper healthcare cleaning and infection control practices require additional education and accountability measures. To achieve the best possible outcomes, the AJIC suggests:

  • Establishing policies and procedures for cleaning and disinfection, which includes defining and prioritizing tasks, assigning roles, creating schedules, etc.
  • Selecting cleaning products to use based on function and safety metrics.
  • Determining application methods, i.e. microfiber cloths, cotton cloths, disposable wipes, etc.
  • Educating cleaning staff on environmental cleaning and infection control practices for healthcare facilities.
  • Monitoring methods and strategies to assess success of cleaning and infection control protocols.
  • Delivering feedback to building cleaning personnel to improve practices, reduce the spread of infection and disease, and maintain accountability.

The Budd Groups’ Commitment to Quality Care

The outbreak of COVID-19 has provided an opportunity for community facilities, individuals, and cleaning staff members to reestablish their commitment to infection control. At The Budd Group, we are prepared to face this challenge head-on and help our clients do the same via best practices for cleaning and disinfection.

To learn more about our services, our people, and our mission, give us a call today at 800-221-8158. And for more information regarding COVID-19 and recommendations for environmental cleaning and disinfection from the CDC, click here.

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