Disinfecting Restroom Touch Points
Which is more important: disinfecting a floor in a restroom or disinfecting the stall latch?
The latter is correct simply because a person will touch the latch with their bare hands in most cases and walk on the floor with shoes or some other protection. Although any hard floor should be kept clean and slip free, there is seldom a reason to disinfect it simply because it will not stay disinfected more than a few moments with foot traffic and air flow. The exception might be a high aseptic area such as an operating room or a delivery room but even in those areas, if an item is dropped on the floor it is immediately replaced. With the focus on “green cleaning” today, we can use green friendly neutral detergents to keep floors clean and focus disinfectant use in areas that absolutely require the strongest efforts at disinfection.
A great exercise for your crew might be to list all the touch points in a typical rest room that should be disinfected every time the area is cleaned. Among touch points that should be the noted include the inside latch of each stall, any rails used for balance, flush handles, faucet handles, toilet seats, light switches, soap dispenser levers, towel dispenser levers, hand dryer buttons and exit door handles. Can you think of any others?
Remember to read the label of all disinfectants being used to determine its recommended dwell time. Train workers to apply the disinfectant wet early into servicing the rest room so that it has at least the required time. Teach them to use a clean microfiber cloth (preferably color coded) to wipe dry the surface. Take special note of any product left on toilet seats where bare skin may react to some chemicals. These areas should be rinsed and dried using a separate microfiber cloth.
As more and more rest rooms go “touch-less” with powered soap and paper towel dispensers, workers need to be reminded of those crucial areas that still need disinfecting to reduce cross contamination. I hope to hear from you soon. Until then, keep it clean…
Mickey Crowe has been involved in the industry for over 35 years. He is a trainer, speaker and consultant. You can reach Mickey at 678.314.2171 or CTCG50@comcast.net.