The largest bacterial reservoir of germs in your office is not the toilet, seats, door handles, handrails, or push bars, it’s the floors and carpets in your facility. What really contributes to that germ infestation and cross-contamination in your facility? Industry experts suggest to all custodial cleaning companies and internal staff to embrace not just cleaning those surfaces but the equipment that you use to clean them with too.
Maintenance Is Key
The vacuums, extractors, mops and any other piece of equipment that you would use to clean and maintain carpets and floors can be a breeding ground for spreading germs. These devices if not maintained properly can spread dangerous bacteria. Make sure you break down the equipment and clean it regularly.
The first step in auditing and assessing your equipment is training your staff on where pathogens live, how they spread and what cleaning procedures kill them, says Mike Sawchuk, founder of Sawchuck Consulting. While doing this you may need to review your cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting processes to make sure you are still doing things properly.
The next step is for your custodial staff to learn proper maintenance and cleaning procedures of the machines and vacuums set by the manufacturer. If your staff doesn’t know how to do this, you can reach out to your suppliers or the manufacturers to find that information.
This can be a monumental task for many large facilities and time-consuming. This is where it might be more cost-effective to outsource your janitorial services to a professional cleaning company like Grimebusters inc..
To stop the cycle of spreading bacteria your environmental services department or outside janitorial service company should start with a deep cleaning of the custodial closet in your facility. This is typically a dark, damp and filthy closet that doesn’t get much care.
The next step is to designate a place in your facility to clean the cleaning equipment. It should be near a sink and have installed bright lights. Make sure the person cleaning the equipment is using PPE (personal protective equipment) to prevent breathing in the chemical fumes.
Employees or outside janitorial service providers should spray down the equipment while making sure they use the proper dwell time to kill all germs.
If any of your equipment is used in a cafeteria setting you should be disinfecting the equipment after each use. These areas have a high risk of E.coli spreading and large numbers of people can be exposed. One of the top places that bacteria dwells in a vacuum is the bottom of the machine that meets the floor or the carpet. The brushes should be washed or sprayed and air dried.
Where Does Bacteria Dwell In My Equipment?
The wheels, reservoir tank and wands tend to hold bacteria because those tools hold liquids or come into direct contact with the contaminated surfaces. The reservoir tank is a big one because moisture sits in there and when left uncleaned or dried out, bacteria will grow.
Custodial staff should use a concentrated cleaner in the reservoir tank and let it dwell for 10 to 15 minutes to kill all bacteria. Make sure you check wand jets and any filters for debris. Wands usually can be disassembled for regular maintenance.
Another way to kill germs is with ultraviolet light or sunlight. The sun can dry out your equipment and the fresh air and breeze will help to reduce smell.
All of these tactics will help to prevent the spread of bacteria from surfaces to equipment and back. Another great strategy is to designate specific equipment for designated areas in your facility. This will further reduce the spread of germs from one area of your facility to another.
What If You Don’t Have The Staff To Do This?
Most of what we wrote about in this article is intended for facilities that have a full time or part-time custodial staff in their facility. The question for smaller businesses is can you afford to buy all of the equipment and hire the necessary staff to perform the regular cleaning and maintenance of equipment in your facility. For many small and medium businesses, it is by far more cost-effective to hire a professional cleaning company like Grimebusters, inc to take care of all of these tasks. Give us a call for a free consultation.
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