Almost all the health agencies and governments worldwide accept the fact that proper cleaning is one of the effective ways to limit the spread of COVID-19 virus, which has now been declared a global pandemic.
In the battle to defeat the coronavirus outbreak, cleaners are working hand-in-hand with doctors and health specialists to control the virus’s spread. However, the cleaners and restoration workers working in such conditions must be given proper training to avoid getting caught by the virus, follow regulatory compliance and ensure the safety of people around them.
According to specialists, cleaners who have not been given proper training to clean in coronavirus conditions or lack the right equipment & solutions to do their job may cause more harm by becoming a liability to those around them.
Our Corona cleaning team at Clean Group Sydney is totally committed to keeping our clients, their families and premises safe during their coronavirus outbreak, which is why we had started training our cleaning staff with the best coronavirus cleaning techniques from the day one. As a leading cleaning company in Sydney, we are often asked questions by our customers who want to know how to be safe from coronavirus and prevent the spread. We also receive messages from other people/cleaners in the industry, asking questions about the best ways to improve their cleaning techniques in compliance with industry standards to battle the coronavirus and provide better services to customers.
To answer these questions and to help the customers, we have made this guide of the best tips for cleaners to battle against COVID-19 pandemic.
How to Train Your Cleaners in Corona-proof Cleaning Approach
Before you start training your cleaners, make sure that you understand the problem/s with your current cleaning techniques. For instance, some cleaners might think that merely adding a disinfectant to their cleaning solutions would be enough to fight the coronavirus. But, that’s a misconception. Similarly, traditional cleaning practices such as misting, fogging, etc. may not be as effective in this case.
Targeted Training is what we need right now to effectively understand and deal with this enemy of coronavirus. There is a dire need of trained and certified cleaners and accredited companies who know how to clean in such conditions.
Here are some effective ways to train your cleaners to battle against Coronavirus.
Cleaners Training & Courses
There are a number of training courses being offered by leading agencies & governments for those who wish to be trained to effectively battle the coronavirus and similar infectious viruses.
One of the popular courses is the GBAC Fundamentals Online Course: Microbial Warrior Workshop, which is an online course of 2 hours and designed to teach cleaning professionals how to prepare for and deal with biohazards such as COVID-19. The tutorial will teach cleaners how to effectively control infection & contamination for infectious disease-causing situations such as the coronavirus outbreak. Upon successful completion, the participant will get a Certificate of Completion.
Another training course that you might find useful to train your cleaners is the Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) for novel coronavirus (COVID-19) by the WHO. The course is designed specifically to teach facilities like medical centres on how to deal with situations like the coronavirus outbreak and prevent the spread to more people.
ISSA (The World Cleaning Association) has also released a suite of courses and training modules intended to help cleaners understand the right methods to properly clean & disinfect to remove and prevent the coronavirus.
Cleaning & Disinfection
Disinfection is the process of using certain chemicals to destroy germs, bacteria and common viruses from a surface. So, it’s certainly an effective technique to deal with the coronavirus spread. However, specialists suggest that traditional methods and products of disinfection may not be effective in the fight against coronavirus.
So, the right approach to ensure proper cleaning and disinfection is to replace your existing supplies with specialist cleaning agencies & disinfectants designed to remove viruses like COVID-19.
The United States’ Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued a list of the cleaning products, including disinfectants, that are highly effective for battling the coronavirus. These include Benefect Botanical Daily Cleaner Disinfectant Spray by Cleanwell LLC, Synergize by Preserve International, Veterinarian Type Disinfectant, etc. You can find the complete list here. When using these cleaning products, it is also important to use a proper delivery/dispersion system to ensure effective disinfection.
Besides routine cleaning of frequently-touched areas, such as doorknobs, remote, light switches, handles, toilets, cell phones, etc., it’s also crucial to disinfect these things using an EPA-approved disinfectant. When cleaning the room of an ill person, follow proper precautions such as using gloves and masks and avoiding direct contact with the person.
For the cleaning of soft areas such as carpets or rugs, remove the dirt and debris first using standard carpet cleaning techniques. For removal of germs & viruses hidden inside the carpet fibres, you can use disinfectants that are EPA-approved and safe for such surfaces.
When cleaning electronic equipment such as computers, phones, touch screens, etc., use a wipeable cover with a spray disinfectant. You can also consider using any alcohol-based wipes for the cleaning of such items, as they seem to be effective in killing the coronavirus.
Professional cleaners who are performing cleaning activities in hazardous environments and situations like these must take special care of their own health and safety. They must always use gloves when cleaning & disinfecting surfaces for COVID-19. Clean hands properly after every cleaning job, including after removing gloves. Wash your hands with soap for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based sanitizer. When cleaning, avoid touching your face, eyes, mouth, or nose.
Use of Sanitisers
The use of alcohol sanitizers, not just for cleaning the hands but also for the cleaning of surfaces, equipment and other touch-sensitive places, is crucial for the removal of viruses, bacteria, etc. Sanitizers containing alcohol, ethanol and similar ingredients may be effective in the killing of the coronavirus. This is particularly useful for the cleaning of medical equipment and products that must be regularly sanitised to control the infections.
Always use an alcohol-based sanitizer that contains a minimum of 60% alcohol. Make sure to verify that the sanitizer you’re using is effective in the removal of viruses like the COVID-19.
Besides providing training to your cleaners in coronavirus cleaning methods and the use of effective disinfectants & sanitizers, you must also advise them to strictly follow the regulatory compliance with battling the coronavirus and similar infectious situations. This is even more important in sensitive services like cleaning, where cleaners may be liable to spread the virus, making more people infected, by simply not following the regulatory compliances.
For instance, a cleaning agent or disinfectant may have been designed to work best with a particular delivery system, so it won’t be fruitful to use that product with your regular sprayer or fogger. So, when training your cleaners on the various disinfectants and cleaning products, you must also teach them about the best equipment to use along with specific products. They must also properly understand how a particular disinfectant works and for which types of infectious issues it is the most effective.
And most important of all, follow the standards and instructions prescribed by your respective government and health authorities to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Follow the industry standards
Irrespective of where you live in the world, make sure that your organisation follows the cleaning & health standards issued by respective governments and/or health authorities to effectively deal with these conditions. And if you can’t find those, just update your cleaning methods in line with the recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO).
Some of the common industry standards to be followed during the Coronavirus outbreak in the USA, Australia and other countries are as follows:
- Regularly clean the premises, house and workplace, in line with WHO guidelines.
- Disinfect high-touch areas, such as tables, handles, desks, toilets, doorknobs, light switches, faucets, sinks, and keypads/phones,
according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines.
- Use a professional & trained cleaning service to ensure proper and in-depth cleaning of the place.
- Place security personnel to control access and disinfection of visitors.
Regular Inspection & Analysis
In addition to the above things, also train your team and cleaning staff, managers, etc. to regularly inspect their cleaning techniques for results. Through proper analysis, you’ll know whether the existing cleaning methods are effective in battling against the coronavirus. If not, be sure to update your strategies in line with the above recommendations for better results.
Coronavirus Cleaning & Disinfecting FAQs
To make sure that your cleaners understand what they’re dealing with and how to effectively deal with it, here are answers to the most basic cleaning questions related to the Coronavirus.
1. How long does the virus last on the surface?
It’s not clear, but the behaviour of the COVID-19 is similar to other coronaviruses, which indicates that it can last on a surface for up to a few hours or even days.
2. What type of mask is most effective for the coronavirus?
For infected persons, surgical masks are best, as they prevent further spreading of germs. For normal people, cleaners and health workers, wearing a face mask is ideal to prevent getting infected by the virus.
3. Can I use regular household bleach solutions for disinfection?
Only if your cleaning solution has at least 70% alcohol and is effective in killing such viruses.