Keeping your workspace free of viruses and germs is a crucial step toward ensuring your employees’ and customers’ safety and health. If you are frequently on-site, having a consistent cleaning regimen can also protect everyone’s health as well.

In fact, proper cleaning is so important that the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has developed a list of best practices for maintaining a sanitary work environment. The following article will summarize some of the CDC’s most essential measures.

If you are looking for a convenient means of keeping your workplace virus- and bacteria-free, contact 360Clean today. We take a specialized approach to cleaning that has been proven to work across a variety of industries. Whether your business operates a shipping warehouse, medical facility, or any other large establishment, we are confident we can help.

Proper Cleaning and Disinfecting

Before outlining critical steps, it is helpful to examine the nuances between cleaning and disinfecting. Understanding their differences and when to implement one over the other will allow you to clean your facility more effectively and without redundancy. After all, there’s no sense in having to do things twice solely because they weren’t done properly the first time.

What Is Cleaning?

Though its definition may seem obvious, cleaning is the process of removing dirt and debris from surfaces. You can reduce the spread of harmful viruses and bacteria by engaging in basic cleaning every day.

If that sounds like the bare minimum, however, then you’re seeing more of the big picture. Cleaning by itself is not enough if your goal is to prevent your employees and customers from getting sick, especially if high-traffic areas are involved.

What Is Disinfecting?

Whereas cleaning reduces the number of germs on a given surface, disinfecting is a process by which chemicals are used to kill those same germs. On its own, disinfecting does not clean a surface, but cleaning a surface and then following up with a disinfectant is the most effective way to keep your workplace safe and reduce the risk of illness.

Below are some specific strategies you can implement to both clean and disinfect your workspace effectively:

1. Washing Hands Is Essential

Posting handwashing signs in prominent places throughout your workplace is an excellent way to remind employees and customers alike to wash their hands as they go about their day. Unfortunately, many infections occur simply because people touch a germ-ridden surface and then touch their face or their food, but thankfully, that unfortunate reality can be negated through proper handwashing.

Experts recommend washing your hands with soap and water for 20 to 30 seconds. Some people opt to sing nursery rhymes or other popular tunes that will allow them to keep track of time. An approach like that can prove especially important in the workplace, given that some employees tend to rush through washing their hands, thinking it will boost their productivity.

Don’t Forget to Dry Your Hands

After you’ve finished washing your hands, make sure to dry them using a clean cloth, paper towels, or a dedicated drying system. Germs tend to spread through moisture, making the drying process particularly important.

When to Sanitize and When to Wash

In addition to washing your hands, it is important to sanitize them throughout the day, especially when you do not have time to get to a restroom. The CDC recommends an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that consists of anywhere between 60 and 95 percent alcohol. Regardless, you should never rely on hand sanitizer alone. Always take the time to wash your hands as soon as possible.

2. Use Approved Disinfectants

To achieve the best results, experts recommend a dual-step process in which a surface is cleaned and then disinfected. The majority of germs and bacteria are swept away in the initial cleaning, and once the disinfectant is applied to the surface, it will stop any lingering germs and microorganisms in their tracks, killing them and preventing them from spreading.

When selecting a disinfectant, consult the EPA’s list of approved disinfectants to ensure that your product is approved and adheres to acceptable safety standards. The last thing you want is for your employees and customers to contract an illness or other serious ailment from an unapproved disinfectant.

Items to Focus On

As you disinfect your workspace, always wipe in one direction. Wiping in a circular motion can defeat the point of the entire process, spreading the germs around rather than eliminating them from the surface.

Furthermore, focus on disinfecting the following high-traffic areas and items:

  • Doorknobs
  • Phones
  • Keyboards
  • Mice
  • Desktops
  • Computer monitors
  • Common room surfaces, such as drinking stations and magazines
  • Bathrooms

Throughout the process, it is always a good idea to open a window and turn on a fan to maintain adequate ventilation. Personal protective equipment (PPE) will come in handy in areas where ample air circulation is impossible. You can also opt to wear a mask and gloves, for instance, to keep from inhaling or coming into contact with any of the disinfectants.

3. Communicate with Your Staff

One of the most reliable ways to maintain a clean and safe workplace is by letting your employees know what they can do to help. Doing so requires a clear line of communication, robust cleaning policies, and standardized guidelines and expectations, but by ensuring that employees across all departments understand how they can contribute to a safer, cleaner workplace, you can effectively reduce the spread of viruses and bacteria.

Hold Meetings and Send Emails if Necessary

Depending on the nature of your organization, it may be beneficial to hold meetings with specific departments so you can clearly and effectively communicate the company’s cleaning and disinfecting policies. Additionally, you can also keep employees updated with company-wide memos that they can save to their computers to reference whenever needed.

Use Communication Apps

Communication applications, such as Skype and Slack, are great ways to keep employees updated and accountable. You can use them to communicate directly with specific employees and targeted groups, and they’re great platforms on which to hold virtual meetings, where everyone can get on the same page in a relatively short amount of time.

These apps are particularly handy when maintaining accountability across your business, seeing as how you can have employees respond directly in the moment to confirm they’ve received and understood your message. Best of all, implementing these apps into your daily workflow is as easy as installing them onto your computers. Some of them even have tiered plans through which you can pay for additional features.

4. Take Your Time When Washing and Disinfecting Surfaces

Rushing through a cleaning job leaves germs behind with a chance to thrive. Proper cleaning takes time, and when done correctly, it (along with disinfecting) can remove 99.9 percent of all microorganisms from a given surface.

Nevertheless, adequate cleaning procedures require patience and adherence to the following techniques, which everyone in your business may not be aware of:

Soak the Surface and Use Detergents

Soaking the surface involves covering it in a moderate amount of water before applying any detergents, which are ideal for breaking down organic matter and other unwanted particles. Doing so will loosen microorganisms on the surface and make them easier to remove.

Use Hot Water

Water that is hot enough to outright kill bacteria is unsafe for standard employee usage in that it can result in scalding and burning, but using moderately hot water can help facilitate a faster cleaning process.

Disinfect Effectively

Effective disinfection requires a surface that is relatively free of organic matter, as a disinfectant does almost nothing to remove organic matter on its own. As such, an initial cleaning prior to disinfection is essential.

All Disinfectants Are Different

Keep in mind that no two disinfectants are exactly alike, so you will need to do some research to determine which will work best for your facility. It also helps to have a clear objective in mind so you can tailor your work and selection to the goal. Otherwise, you could spend unnecessary amounts of money while yielding subpar results.

Read the Labels

Always read the product labels before deciding which disinfectant to use. Some contain chemicals that could make your employees and customers sick, especially if someone in your workforce has an allergy or is sensitive to specific compounds.

This is another area where effective communication is important. Taking the time to ask your employees about their allergies and sensitivities to certain chemicals can help you make a more effective decision.

Take the Steps to Keep Your Workplace Safe Today

Keeping your workplace free from harmful germs and viruses is as easy as getting in touch with 360Clean Our proven JaniMed® Cleaning System and processes incorporate microfiber technology, hospital-grade disinfectants, and cutting-edge cleaning methods to ensure that our customer, their clients, and their employees are able to work in a sterilized environment with minimal risk of infection. Contact 360Clean today and let us know how we can help keep your facility virus and bacteria-free.

To learn more about our commercial cleaning services, contact us today for a free quote. Thanks for stopping by our blog; we hope to help you soon!

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