It can be difficult to weed through the trends involving traditional, dilutable cleaning solution systems. Here are five tips that should help:

  1. Be cautious of products that claim to be a 2-in-1 cleaner/disinfectant.
    Disinfectants are a technical chemical and do not clean. Meanwhile, cleaners do not disinfect. These 2-in-1 products usually cost more and overuse toxic disinfectant compounds that are registered pesticides. They do not carry third party certifications due to their ingredient makeup and therefore may contain asthmagens, irritants, sensitizers, carcinogens, reproductive and neurological toxins. Cleaning and disinfecting are two separate steps and require two separate products.
  2. Watch out for products that contain a high amount of fragrances or dyes.
    Fragrances and dyes are synthetic, meaning they are not natural and can cause irritation to eyes, skin, lungs and nose, as well as dizziness. They can also decrease IAQ and leave residues behind on surfaces and carpets, attracting soils.
  3. Consider sustainability metrics in cleaning formulation choices.
    Sustainable benefits can be less quantifiable. Facility cleaning managers should look for main metrics such as solid waste production and/or reduction, water usage, environmental concerns such as aquatic toxicity, VOCs and air quality, wear and tear, and pollution of transport.
  4. Be careful not to use too many products to clean.
    Many manufactures today make products that can be used for more than one job, depending on the concentration. At a proper dilution, an all-purpose cleaner can also be a glass cleaner, a floor cleaner or a carpet spotter. Less can be more for many cleaning systems.
  5. Always consider innovations for your cleaning system.
    Innovations are more of a capital cost up front and a new way of doing things. They are worth a look as they gain ground in the industry due to the sustainability advantages, time savings and performance benefits.
    Cleaners are used in all facilities, which is why selecting the least toxic chemicals or solutions to do the job should be the goal. Once products are identified, focus on cleaning high-touch points. This will guarantee a clean facility that helps maintain health. Cleaning can and should remove 90 percent or more of soils in your facility, allowing for lower use of sanitizers and disinfectants.

Identify The Threat

Over the past two years, the flu and other infectious diseases have been stronger and more dangerous than ever — 2017/2018 was the deadliest flu season in history. Every year susceptible populations die from the flu, such as the elderly, the sick and the young.

Last year, strong, healthy people in non-susceptible populations, like adults between the ages of 20 and 50, died from flu and respiratory illness complications. These deaths came on quick. Many knew they were sick, but in past years were always able to push through it.

How should facility managers combat this situation? Many wait until there is an outbreak, shut down the school or facility, and then douse surfaces with chemicals thinking it will be sufficient. This couldn’t be further from the truth. The answer is to set up a consistent infection control and mitigation plan for public health before a crisis hits.

No one can stop people in the facility from becoming sick. Our job is to stop the spread of infectious outbreaks and reduce the potential for people to get sick. This can be accomplished through the following:

  • Make sure you have written processes and procedures in place for daily infection mitigation. Be proactive, not reactive.
  • Clean high-touch points.
  • Rely on cleaning to remove up to 90 percent of the germs that can cause infectious outbreaks, so the minimum amount of disinfectant is needed.
  • Select the right sanitizer/disinfectant for the job. It should kill what your facility is concerned about — cold, flu, norovirus, MRSA, C.diff — in the least toxic way.
  • Application of your disinfection matters and can make or break a system. Training must be emphasized.

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