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With cleaning and sanitising never having been so important it is abundantly clear that businesses, governmental departments, our hospitals and healthcare, and in fact all of us are consuming time in huge amounts by cleaning in a way most of us have not before. Please consider touchpoints as an example; door handles, light switches, elevator buttons, handrails, furniture, computer peripherals, work stations, sanitaryware and any other surfaces which see frequent human contact (the list is endless) – these are needing to be cleaned and then sanitised for us to be sure of eliminating the risk of spreading the virus through touch. Not only must we clean touchpoints under this guidance but we must clean frequently, and in some environments this could be many times a day.
This is an abstract from the World Health Organisation Cleaning and disinfection of environmental surfaces in the context of COVID-19 from May 2020.
“One study found that the COVID-19 virus remained viable up to 1 day on cloth and wood, up to 2 days on glass, 4 days on stainless steel and plastic, and up to 7 days on the outer layer of a medical mask. Another study found that the COVID-19 virus survived 4 hours on copper, 24 hours on cardboard and up to 72 hours on plastic and stainless steel. The COVID-19 virus also survives in a wide range of pH values and ambient temperatures but is susceptible to heat and standard disinfection methods”.
As a machine supplier we would of course always champion proven equipment that is effective and improves productivity, alas, there is little help that cleaning machines can offer when cleaning touchpoints, and no proven effective alternative to manual cleaning and wiping down, following strict protocols as you go. One claimed solution is to use misters, foggers or sprayers; and although there are applications where these types of equipment can benefit the Covid-19 fight they are not recommended alone for touchpoint cleaning and sanitising. This equipment will not allow complete disinfectant coverage as this can only be guaranteed if it is then wiped over. In addition, there are lots of measures that have to be in place before fogging, misting or spraying, such as; taking steps to avoid contact with any items that are electrical or moisture sensitive due to the risk of ingress, ensuring operator PPE is in place to avoid inhalation and skin contact, and consideration must be given to room re-entry times.
Spraying disinfectants may not be effective in removing organic material and some surfaces will be shielded by objects. Folded or surfaces with texture and intricate designs may not receive full disinfectant coverage either. It is recommended by bodies such as the World Health Organisation to disinfect by applying with cloths or wipes that have been soaked in disinfectant. Using sprayers outside is also not recommended as the dirt and soil levels overwhelm the disinfectant and render them ineffective. Lastly, regardless of using foggers and alike, all surfaces must be cleaned before sanitising which requires manual labour – you cannot effectively sanitise a dirty surface.
These safeguarding practices take a huge amount of time and as we all know ‘time is money’, so we need to think how we can save time in other areas of our cleaning regime; this is where cleaning machines have always come into their own. It is nothing new, by that we mean improving productivity and cleaning performance has always been the big advantage when investing in a machine.
We use our cleaning machines for all other essential cleaning duties, for example, sweeping and vacuuming, wet scrubbing and drying floors, pressure washing outside areas and vehicles, steam cleaning kitchens and bathrooms to name a few.
Are you mopping, still? Are you trying to get by with an old inefficient machine that constantly breaks down and even when it is working it is not performing? Are you sweeping with brooms and wondering why your back hurts? Using mops, buckets and brooms is hard work, takes forever and dirt / dust still seems to remain. How long does it take for the floor to dry once mopped, is this safe?
You may use some machines already but are you covering all the bases? Perhaps you can regain time by looking at other applications in and around your building, you may vacuum by machine but do you use a scrubber dryer to clean the floor. You may benefit from a scrubber dryer to clean your floor but how did you sweep beforehand? Are you using a cold pressure washer when you could achieve better results from a hot water machine? Do you use chemicals when sanitising could be achieved with steam cleaning? Are your operators trained in the correct usage and maintenance of your equipment? When was your machine last serviced? These are just some areas to think about and may help in realising opportunities to improve efficiency and save money.
All these situations can be massively improved by investing in cleaning machines – you can then save the time you need to apply to other cleaning duties such as touchpoints, particularly in this Covid-19 era. It doesn’t have to be expensive and you don’t even have to commit to purchase – for many applications we can provide used machines, we can hire equipment, or you could consider leasing your new machine. On weighing up the cost of your machine and calculating the savings on labour it becomes clear that the initial outlay for cleaning machines is recouped over a relatively short period and subsequently further savings can be made. Be in no doubt a machine will clean much more effectively, improve safety, control bacteria and dirt whilst at the same time improve efficiency and save money.
Here at Clemas & Co we offer expertise in all areas of cleaning machines and will be very pleased to offer help with your equipment needs, furthermore reducing cleaning times, saving money and allowing your focus to be directed to controlling the virus and keeping us all safe.
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Let’s all keep safe.