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NEWS FLASH 1 // Chemicals And Equipment That Fight Infections
By Ronnie Garrett
(Courtesy of Cleanlink News)-www.cleanlinknews.com
Disinfectant wipes may be useful to help combat germs during the day, but offering them can get touchy. Some teachers unions would prefer the educators leave cleaning for the custodial crew, but custodians can certainly use the help with interim cleaning throughout the day.
In fact, Dr. Gerba’s research indicates that interim cleaning can reduce germs such as E. coli, Klebsiella pneumonia, streptococcus, salmonella and staphylococcus aureus. Wiping surfaces with disinfecting wipes was found to reduce bacterial levels by up to 99 percent.
But Tierno points out that not all disinfectant wipes are created equal. Some have longer kill claims than others, which isn’t practical in a busy school. But even so, they can provide some protection.
“Anything that uses friction reduces microorganisms,” he explains. “People get sick based on inoculation size, so anything that cuts down on inoculation size helps.”
When it comes to chemicals, Tierno recommends either a quaternary disinfectant or a bleach/water solution.
“The best product is bleach, but you say the word bleach and the world goes a little whacky,” he says. “But the fact is that chlorine is a very effective disinfectant. It can kill the polio virus and hardy enteroviruses.”
He advises using a bleach solution for food prep areas and areas commonly touched by large numbers of people.
Tierno asserts he’s not talking about a “high concentration” but rather one part bleach to 19 parts water. A strong enough solution, he says, to kill the bugs that need to be killed, but not so strong that the smell is overpowering. At that dilution it doesn’t damage surfaces.
Slocum had once found success using hydrogen peroxide, saying the efficacy was unparalleled and had just a three- to five-minute dwell time. But the dilution ratio of one part chemical to 16 parts water made it cost prohibitive.
Today he uses quaternary ammonium (quat) products to disinfect schools.
“The quat’s dilution ratio is one part chemical to 64 parts water,” he says. “That’s a little more budget friendly.”
Wilcox adds, though, that departments should be careful of how much germ-killing chemical they use.
“Disinfection does not need to be done in a school unless there is a blood spill or possibly in Pre-K classes where there may be diaper changes,” she says.
Once schools determine appropriate chemicals, managers must focus on equipment and cleaning processes.
District 67 implemented a color-coded microfiber cleaning system to keep cross-contamination down. Custodial staffs utilize a red cloth for restroom fixtures, urinals and toilets; a blue cloth for glass; and a green one for general purpose cleaning.
Wilcox adds that “a good microfiber system can remove more than 90 percent of the soils and microbes on a surface.”
With touch-points under control, managers should turn their focus to equipment designed to keep infections at bay. HEPA filter vacuums keep indoor air quality high, while microfiber mopping and autoscrubbers keep floors clean.
One piece of equipment that can help schools is a water-based, steam cleaning system, says Tierno.
“Steam systems are easy to use and do a good job of killing germs,” he says. “Chemicals, like quats, can be applied at night when the children are not there, but if there’s a classroom where a student vomited, a custodian can quickly and safely clean that up during the day.”
Though all of these measures will do volumes to keep infections under control in the school system, Tierno does come back to his first assertion: No matter what the custodial team does, it’s a moot point if children are not taught how to prevent infection.
Ronnie Garrett is a freelance writer based in Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin.
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NEWS FLASH 2 // Ten Reasons to Have Carpets Cleaned Year Round
(Courtesy of Cleanlink News)-www.cleanlinknews.com
As the weather warms and people head outdoors, it is important that custodial departments don't lose sight of what needs to be done inside. There are many reasons why carpets should not be neglected. Doug Berjer product manager for CFR, manufacturers of recycling portable carpet extractors, offers these top ten reasons to have carpets cleaned year round.
Properly cleaning and maintaining carpets:
1. Prolongs the life of carpeting. Regular carpet cleaning using the extraction method can increase the life of carpets significantly, protecting your floor-covering investment.
2. Protects indoor air quality. Carpets trap airborne pollutants; however, eventually those pollutants must be removed in order to protect the carpet and maintain indoor air quality.
3. Makes carpets easier to maintain. Most carpet soiling is made up of dry soils; when carpets are kept thoroughly cleaned on a regular basis, most dry soils can be removed with regular vacuuming.
4. Removes spots and stains. As with other soils, spots and stains can attract more soiling. Removing them promptly protects carpeting from damage.
5. Prevents buildup of allergens and bacteria. Moist soiling of carpets can result in the buildup of several unhealthy contaminants.
6. Enhances the appearance of any room. Clean, well-maintained carpets speak volumes about the overall cleanliness of a home or facility.
7. Improves worker morale. Workers feel better about their work environment when it is clean. This includes the carpeting.
8. Makes carpeting look and feel clean and fresh.
9. Removes dust mites and bedbugs that may have found a home in carpets.
10. Maintains the carpet’s warranty. Most carpet warranties require that carpets be cleaned using the extraction method within a specific amount of time, usually every 12 to 18 months.
July 04, 2014
June 15, 2014