Hand washing lather soap rubbing wrists handwash step woman rinsing in water at bathroom faucet sink. Wash hands for COVID-19 spreading prevention. Coronavirus pandemic outbreak.

As facilities continue to struggle with whether or not to open and what that looks like, facility cleaning teams must put together programs that encourage proper hygiene. Whether fighting SARS-CoV-2, influenza, MRSA or anything in-between, facility cleaning teams must remain vigilant in the promotion of healthy hand hygiene. 

Some areas worth considering: 

• Promote Hand Washing and Sanitizing 

Regular handwashing is one of the best ways to remove germs, avoid getting sick and prevent the spread of bacteria. Signage that stresses the importance of handwashing should be strategically placed throughout the facility — especially in restrooms. These signs should illustrate the use of soap and water for at least 20 seconds, proper scrubbing technique and appropriate drying tips.  

In areas where water is not available, provide an approved alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Each facility is different, but experts suggest placing sanitizer stands at all entrances, outside restrooms, in common areas and spaces where food is consumed. 

• Keep Supplies Stocked 

Ensure the facility is stocked with ample amounts of hand hygiene products that can keep up with increased usage. This means frequently checking soap and towel dispensers, as well as sanitizer stations, possibly exploring the implementation of high-capacity dispensers, and/or considering Internet of Things (IoT) technology that will help monitor stock and refill frequency. 

• Choose Products Wisely 

A 2017 Harris Poll from Cintas Corporation found that 69 percent of Americans prefer using paper towels over air dryers in public restrooms. Providing products that building occupants prefer has shown to increase handwashing practices.  

This applies to soaps, too. Consider mild soaps that reduce the risk of skin irritation. Look for products that have been tested for sensitive skin, which are less likely to deter those who wash frequently and are prone to dryness. 

• Consider Touch-free Fixtures 

The pandemic has elevated awareness of how germs are spread, and public-opinion polls indicate that building occupants are looking for fewer touchpoint as they re-enter facilities. To reduce touchpoints in the restroom, consider installing automated toilet and sink fixtures, as well as touch-free soap and towel dispensers. Some facilities are taking it one step further and adding foot pulls to doors. 

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Tools That Help Ensure Cleaning Compliance