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Fine-tune your approach to specialist cleaning tasks

By Dr Barend ter Haar, director, BES Healthcare Ltd

Difficult to remove, pervasive odour in some homes can arise, for example, due to bacterial breakdown of ‘hidden’ soiling. This can include incontinence spills, which can remain even after cleaning.

Cleaning and disinfection are different processes: cleaning involves removing ‘soils’ or contaminants, including dirt, food and bacteria. Disinfection refers to killing bugs or microbes, but does not entail their removal, so after disinfection the microbial remains are still there. The logical order is therefore to clean first, to remove visually detectable materials, and then disinfect whatever is left. Depending on the item to be cleaned and disinfected, a specialist approach may be required:

  • Medical devices: Walking frames, profiling beds, wheelchairs, drug administration devices, etc, all should be cleaned and disinfected with CE- or UKCA-marked products. A washer may be used for smaller items
  • Floors/specialist areas: Introduce ‘separation’ between clean and dirty areas (eg, laundry). Avoid using soiled cleaning utensils in clean areas. Avoid inadvertent transmission on PPE items. 
  • Air: Filtration is suitable for small areas/pollen control, etc. (see picture) Options for disinfection include UVC ultraviolet light   
  • Soft furnishings: Disinfect with disinfectant spray devices.

For free advice on cleaning, visit: BES Healthcare

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