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Clean your way to a COVID-19 free care home

By Shaun Doak, CEO at REACT Specialist Cleaning, deciphers some of the latest cleaning tech on the market. Pic credit: Diversey UK

Despite the roll out of COVID-19 vaccines, health experts urge continuing hygiene vigilance: coronaviruses can remain stable for up to three hours in the air and up to 72 hours on hard surfaces such as plastic and glass. A range of cleaning ‘tech’ is now available to support thorough and consistent cleaning of even hard-to-reach areas. The following are the most common:

Ultra Low Volume (ULV) fogging involves the delivery of disinfectant product in droplet form, which covers a greater area and for longer than conventional cleaning.  Delivery in line with manufacturers’ recommendations is crucial to ensure the safety of all people using the building, as well as electrical equipment.

Ultraviolet light treatment utilises high energy UV light to destroy the genetic material inside viruses. UV technology has been proven to destroy related coronaviruses, but is not yet clinically tested against the virus causing COVID-19. In addition, it can cause damage to eyes and skin so extra precaution, care and appropriate PPE should be used.

PH-neutral detergents are a good first step in cleaning to remove ‘hidden’ bacteria and viruses in lingering dirt and dust.

Virucidal disinfectants are stronger than their antibacterial counterparts but, in many cases, their effectiveness against coronaviruses is unproven. Many also contain potentially harmful or damaging ingredients, such as chlorine compounds, so follow the manufacturer’s instructions in terms of the correct ‘contact period’ (how long to leave the disinfectant before wiping away) and frequency of reapplication. For a safer option, seek out environmentally friendly disinfectants

Surgical spirit can be used as an alternative to virucidal disinfectants. These products can effectively destroy the protein and RNA of viruses in as little as 30 seconds. To use surgical spirits, rub the liquid over the surface using a cloth. The spirit will then evaporate and does not need to be wiped away.

Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP) test. ATP is an indicator molecule for the presence of biological residues. This test works by wiping a swab across surfaces, inserting it into an active substance and then measuring the output on a hand-held ‘luminator’ device. The more light shown on the device, the more ATP is present and the more virus or bacteria residue on the surface.

Disinfection standard EN14476 identifies products that are effective against the virus that causes COVID-19. Products that are pleasant and quick and easy to use will encourage uptake.

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