Whether you spend most of your time at the office or at home, keeping your surroundings well-sanitized is a step that should be integrated into your everyday hygiene practices.
In the face of a global pandemic, maintaining high standards of sanitization is especially crucial, as there is the risk of contracting a contagious and potentially life-threatening, virus that remains an imminent threat to the world’s population.
We all dread getting sick, especially in the case of a rampant respiratory disease like COVID-19, as it can spread quickly through the air or via contaminated surfaces. Looking beyond situations of a pandemic, during the average flu season, the probability of contracting influenza in an office environment is high, even if only one employee is sick.
To avoid a domino effect of sneezes, emptied tissue boxes, and the resounding sounds of coughs left untreated, it is our responsibility, and the responsibility of those around us, to implement ways that limit the spread of bacteria.
Disinfecting your office and living spaces is a great place to start. Note: these preventative measures are most successful when enacted proactively, rather than waiting for an unsuspecting coworker or family to contract the virus at-hand before you sanitize.
The spread of COVID-19 calls for stringent preventative measures and demonstrates the need for sparkling workspaces and living spaces. Many companies, in the wake of social distancing protocols and CDC regulations, are responding with professionally-trained cleaning crews who are hired to disinfect their workspaces on a routine basis, to ensure the safety of employees and customers alike. The CDC is also fighting on the frontline to inform the public on how to properly clean and disinfect potentially-contaminated surfaces.
How to clean
The first step is to wear protective gear, such as disposable gloves, to avoid coming into contact with harmful pathogens. Remember to scrub and rinse your surfaces with water and soap. Antibacterial soaps are an essential component while cleaning because it eliminates most of the germs from surfaces. This facilitates a near 100% elimination of germs when disinfecting.
Eradicating harmful bacteria can be more successful if you regularly target high-traffic areas in your cleaning routines. More regular disinfection may be required, due to the high level of use. High-touch areas include sinks, faucets, toilets, keyboards, electronic gadgets, desks, handles, countertops, light switches, doorknobs, tables, or any surface that experiences regular contact.
When outsourcing cleaning services, verify that the hired cleaning staff has been trained. It important they know when and where to use each particular chemical to maximize disinfecting efforts. Your office spaces are densely populated, so you’ll want a team of experts who are well-trained in the most sophisticated cleaning technology.
How to disinfect
The CDC recommends the use of EPA-registered household disinfectant. Once you acquire the disinfectant, carefully read the instructions on the label to ensure you use the product effectively and safely.
When disinfecting, make sure to take necessary precautions including wearing protective gear (gloves, eye protection, etc.) and checking that your windows are open for ventilation. Otherwise, these chemicals can cause harm to your skin, eyes, and lung health. Remember, these disinfectants can be lethal if injected, inhaled, drunk, or ingested. If you or someone you know accidentally ingests a disinfectant, contact poison control or emergency services immediately.
You can also make your own disinfectant using household bleach. It is recommended that your bleach has a concentration of sodium hypochlorite of about 5% to 6% percent. Before purchasing, you should confirm the product is intended for disinfection and has not already exceeded its expiration date. Expired household bleach is not effective, even when diluted well.
To make an effective disinfectant, add 1/3 of a cup of bleach per gallon of water. This solution can be useful for up to 24 hours of use.
Cleaning and disinfecting your office: electronics, soft surfaces, laundry, etc.
For electronics such as computers, smartphones, ATMs, etc., consider purchasing wipeable covers. You can follow the manufacturer’s guidelines when cleaning or use alcohol-based wipes. The disinfectant should contain at least 70% of alcohol.
Soft surfaces such as drapes, rugs, and carpeted floors need to be cleaned using a bacteria-fighting solution of soap and water. You can also use other cleaners designated for soft surfaces such as carpet cleaning solutions and other approved detergents. After disinfecting, ensure that the surfaces have dried completely to avoid creating moist, or bacteria-breeding environments.
On the other hand, laundry such as towels and other clothing needs to be cleaned according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Like soft surfaces, clean laundry using the appropriate water setting, and make sure that they dry completely. After cleaning, remove your protective gear, and remember to wash your hands right away.
Cleaning and disinfecting outdoor areas
Outdoor areas require standard routine cleaning but may not need disinfection. Roads, sidewalks, and other ground covers such as mulch and sand won’t demand the same disinfection procedure, but these outdoor spaces will necessitate some element of litter control and basic maintenance.
Keeping outdoor spaces clean does not require an extensive list of supplies. However, high-touch points such as doors, grab bars, and railings should be cleaned and disinfected regularly using recommended bleach solutions, disinfectants, and soaps.
The best advice for healthy living is to maintain high standards of hygiene by washing your hands regularly and keeping your living and working environment as sanitized as possible.
Employees should familiarize themselves with all essential safety measures in the workplace, such as routine handwashing, using antibacterial and antimicrobial soaps, especially after using high-contact areas such as the restroom or after preparing a snack. Your employees and coworkers should also understand that a proper handwashing technique involves washing your hands after using any workspace that is not your own.
Virus-causing microorganisms are easily transmitted from one person to another through contaminated surfaces, discharged droplets, or through touch. Keeping your office clean and sanitized is the best way to keep yourself and those around you safe and healthy.
Interesting Related Article: “Pros and Cons of Hiring a Professional Cleaning Company for Your Office“