With Norovirus outbreaks in cruise ships appearing in the news regularly, awareness around cruise ship sanitation and hygiene is at an all time high. To help cruise lines combat the spread of viruses, ITW Professional Brands offers tips for creating a safe and pleasant cruise ship environment.

“Cruise ships isolate a large number of people in a relatively small space,” said ITW Professional Brands Marketing Director Rich Bucher. “This increases the opportunity for the spread of viruses such as Norovirus and Influenza, and makes cleaning and sanitation a key activity in protecting ship passengers and a cruise line’s image.”

Tips for cruise ship sanitation:

1) Clean frequently: On a cruise ship, general disinfection practices are not enough to prevent the spread of infection. Treatment must be frequent, particularly on high-touch surfaces such as door handles, lounge chairs, railings, sports equipment and water fountains. Use a true disinfectant at the proper dilution and dwell time to protect guests and staff against infection.

2)m Use a multi-purpose disinfectant with a fast dwell time: When selecting a disinfectant, it is important to consider efficacy, contact time and cleaning ability. In a busy cruise ship environment, reduced contact time disinfectants are recommended. Look for solutions with contact times of 45 seconds or less. And since space is at a premium on cruise ships, use multi-purpose solutions to limit inventory and to maximize cleaning efficiency.

3) Encourage the use of pre-moistened wipes: Providing cleaning staff with pre-moistened wipes eliminates exposure to chemical concentrates and ensures cleaners follow correct chemical dilution ratios. Pre-moistened wipes are easy-to-use, increase efficiency and reduce the chance of cross-contamination throughout a ship.

4) Provide employee training: Proper training is key to ensuring the maximum benefit of your infection control efforts. If staff are using disinfectants, but not doing so properly, the virus will remain on the surface. In addition to making sure staff understand the proper procedures for disinfecting, it is equally important that cleaners understand the significant role they play in combating disease.

5) Promote your program: It is important to communicate your cleaning efforts to cruise ship passengers. Promote your cleaning program within staterooms, via collateral placed throughout the ship and on your website. This will help alleviate any guest apprehensions and can be a key differentiator from the competition.