It is more important than ever to know how to properly disinfect our workplaces to kill and stop the spread of germs, bacteria and viruses.
However, there is a big difference between proper disinfection and a simple clean. Our commercial cleaning London experts know how critical it is during the pandemic to thoroughly disinfect your office to prevent further spread in the capital.
Cleaning, Sanitising and Disinfecting, What’s The Difference?
Just the act of cleaning alone, without the use of proper products or methods, simply makes the workplace look nice. That’s why everyone should know exactly what disinfection is.
For example, someone could have placed raw meat on the kitchen table and wiped away any residue with a cloth.
It may look like there’s nothing there, but we all know there are still harmful bacteria that could make us ill.
While ensuring that the office is aesthetically pleasing to staff and visitors, it is also crucial we remove nasty bugs from our surfaces.
Sanitising reduces bacteria by up to 99.9% while disinfecting works even harder. But what does disinfectant do?
Disinfectants kill a larger range of bacteria, germs and viruses than sanitisation, therefore it’s always worth opting for a disinfectant.
Why Is Disinfecting So Important?
Bacteria spread quickly, especially in an office. High traffic flow teamed with long hours spent in the building each day means if there is anything harmful in the premises, it won’t take long to infect us.
Even if just a small surface area has been touched by someone carrying any damaging bacteria, they can double in number within just 20 minutes. Warm, damp climates can cause this to be even larger numbers.
In some cases, just one bacteria can become 30,000 in just 5 hours!
Especially around food preparation areas and washroom facilities, adequate disinfection is a must to prevent anyone from getting sick.
How Does Disinfection Work?
Now for the science bit. While you don’t need to be an expert in biology, it’s always good to know exactly what your cleaning products are doing.
Disinfectant attacks those horrible little microbes by destroying their cell wall by wrecking their metabolism.
What Products Disinfect Surfaces?
It’s quite easy nowadays to spot products that kill bacteria, it’s usually the selling point on a lot of products and brands love to boast this on the packaging.
Rubbing alcohol is a great solution for areas that may be delicate or susceptible to liquid damage. However, make sure you opt for a product that has at least 70% alcohol to really rid surfaces of bugs.
You may mistake 100% alcohol as the best, however, this evaporates too quickly to take any effect, so steer clear.
Hydrogen peroxide and bleach products are perfect for killing off bacteria and viruses but should be used with caution. Both are highly toxic and can cause skin irritation so you need to take extra care to remove all residue of them while disinfecting surfaces.
We always recommend checking the label on your products, every brand varies and even similar solutions can differ in how they need to be used.
Most disinfectants need to be left to sit for at least a few minutes to be effective, if they are not allowed to work for the recommended amount of time, you may not be removing all the germs on a surface.
On the flip-side, make sure you don’t leave any cleaning solutions on for two long as they can cause long-term damage to surfaces.
How To Disinfect Common Office Items
While your commercial cleaning staff will know how to do this during their contract hours, with the current pandemic, it’s important to do this as often as possible to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
How To Disinfect A Phone
One of the hotspots for bacteria and viruses, not only are shared office phones touched by numerous people, but mouths are closely placed to them. 28% of office workers never clean their phone, this needs to change!
A mobile phone should be disinfected with disinfectant wipes that are alcohol-based (at least 70%) or rubbing alcohol. Use a lint-free cloth or kitchen paper to avoid any debris getting into charging ports or buttons.
A landline can be cleaned in the same way but pay attention to all elements of the handset, mouthpieces and buttons are a great place to start but don’t forget the rest. If you have a corded phone, it’s likely to have been fiddled with during a phone call, so make sure this is also wiped down.
How To Disinfect Carpet
Carpets are often neglected as they can seem too much hassle to clean and disinfect, but you shouldn’t turn a blind eye to your carpets, they come into contact with shoes all day and you never know where they were previously.
The best way to disinfect an office carpet is with steam, the higher the heat, the more bacteria that will be killed.
You can hire industrial steam mops or speak to your office cleaners to see if this is a service they can provide.
The best part, you don’t need any strong chemicals so there is no worry about cross-contamination.
How To Disinfect Door Handles and Light Switches
The door handles in your office are one of the most frequently touched items along with light switches. You can wipe over these regularly with disinfecting wipes.
At least once a week, spray door handles with a stronger cleaner, such a bleach and leave for a few minutes, then rinse.
Light switches can’t be sprayed due to the electrical components, however, you can rub some rubbing alcohol around these to get into cracks and crevices and it will try before any damage can be caused.
Always remember, cleaning alone doesn’t stop the spread of disease, it should always be used in conjunction with disinfecting. Every facility will have varying needs, depending on the business, what works in one building isn’t always best for another.