Restroom Cleaning And Infection Prevention
Public restroom cleaning is a hugely important part of modern society. People must relieve themselves; that is a given. As critical as restrooms are to human health, they are also costly, risky, and difficult to clean.
With the ongoing threat of COVID-19, all surfaces in a facility are receiving extra attention from cleaning staff, restrooms included. With more facilities closed due to the global pandemic, the restrooms that are open and available are seeing more use. This makes the importance of cleaning these facilities paramount.
Even before the threat of COVID-19, restrooms brought in the most complaints from building occupants. That alone tells us that there is a problem with restroom cleaning. But there’s more. Even though restrooms are clearly not being cleaned effectively, somehow, they are still costing more to maintain than any other room. Restrooms consume 60 percent of all supplies in a building, and they present the greatest risk for slip-and-fall accidents. Professional cleaners are waging a seemingly impossible war against restroom filth. At Kaivac®, we are here to say, it doesn’t have to stay that way.
The Signs of an Unclean, Unhealthy Washroom
Warning. This is about to get gross. Unpleasant odors indicate biological activity in the restroom. The stronger the odor, the more bacteria are thriving and reproducing. How did the bacteria get there? You’re going to regret asking that question. The moment a toilet is flushed, a fine mist of feces, urine, and bacteria flies into the air. A June 2020 study suggests that these toilet plumes can also spread Coronavirus particles. Over the next couple hours, these particles will slowly settle on surfaces throughout the restroom. If the last person who used the facility was ill, those contaminants may cause disease. Disease-causing organisms on surfaces might lie in wait for days or weeks until a suitable host comes along. They also breed during that time, multiplying in numbers.
Restroom Maintenance and Protecting Health in the Facility
It isn’t a pleasant scenario, but it is an important one to understand. A healthy person with a strong immune system might easily fight off a disease-causing organism from a restroom. It’s those with weakened immune systems – babies, children, and the elderly – who may not be so lucky. At Kaivac, we think of professional cleaners as technicians of public cleanliness. They simply must do their jobs with vulnerable individuals in mind, working to effectively rid restrooms of disease- and odor-causing organisms. This is not only important for people who visit the restrooms, but for everyone in a facility, as contaminants spread quickly from a restroom throughout the building.
Don’t Blame the Employee, Blame the Tools
If professional cleaners are waging a war, they are doing it with woefully inadequate weapons. Mops weren’t built to remove. You wouldn’t remove paint from a canvas with a paintbrush, and you shouldn't try to remove contaminants from a floor with a mop. Mops are naturals at spreading, distributing, and cross-contaminating. They also provide a nice damp environment for bacteria to hang out in between mopping. In fact, a single mop can become home to a bacterial population in the millions within just seven days. If a mop isn’t properly cleaned or changed from one room to the next, bacteria from the restroom quicky spreads throughout the building. With public health at risk, facilities can no longer afford to use outdated, ineffective cleaning tools such as mops.
Disgusting Bathroom Cleaning Procedures
Nobody wants to touch contaminated restroom surfaces, but many professional cleaners are required to get on their hands and knees in front of a toilet and wipe it down with a cleaning cloth. Can you blame some cleaners for not taking their time or doing a thorough job? Would you want to extend your time kneeled before a filthy throne? We’re all for doing what a quality job requires, but cleaning cloths hardly guarantee a quality job. In order for them to be effective, a cleaner must spray cleaning solution, allow for dwell time, and then use a clean, dry side of the cleaning cloth every time they wipe down a surface. This is a tall order, especially when you factor in the additional time cleaning workers are spending on increased cleaning in the rest of the facility.
A New Cleaning Checklist: Spray, Rinse, and Vacuum
With a newfound focus on safety and increased cleaning frequency, facility managers have spent the last few months updating their cleaning protocols. This includes new cleaning methods as well as new tools that clean efficiently and effectively. Spray-and-vac cleaning is a perfect match for the “new normal,” and takes only 3 easy steps:
Step 1: Spray
The first step in No-Touch Cleaning is to spray fresh cleaning solution on a low-pressure setting. Precise chemical injection assures the right mixture of solution for repeatable outcomes and reduced chemical waste.
Step 2: Rinse
Next, rinse the area on the high-pressure setting. The water blasts stubborn soils and bacteria out of grout lines, cracks, and crevices, sending the soiled solution to the floor.
Step 3: Vacuum
Lastly, use the vacuum wand to capture the solution and contaminants from the floor. The floors are left clean, dry, and safe to immediately return to service.
Clean Restrooms by Removing Contaminants
Instead of spreading contaminants with mops and cloths, there’s another way to clean restrooms – by removing. Kaivac systems use vacuum recovery to capture soil, bacteria, and other contaminants and remove them from the environment.
No-Touch Cleaning for Walls, Fixtures, and Floors
Designed for heavy-duty restrooms with water-resistant surfaces, a No-Touch Cleaning® system combines an indoor pressure washer with a powerful wet vacuum. Proven to be up to 60 times more effective at removing bacteria from grout lines than a mop, No-Touch Cleaning reduces the time it takes to clean a single restroom fixture from three minutes to one minute. In an independent NELAP-accredited laboratory test, Kaivac's No-Touch Cleaning® system removed more than 99.9% of targeted bacteria when used with regular tap water – all of this without ever having to touch a contaminated surface or fixture.
Kaivac Systems for a Customized Clean
For restrooms with a mixture of water-sensitive and water-resistant surfaces, Kaivac systems like the SUV™ and Dispense-and-Vac create a customized clean with reliable soil and bacteria removal. Studies show that Kaivac systems achieve 30-60 times more soil removal than a mop while reducing the time it takes to clean by 25 percent or more. Designed to be a whole building mop replacement, Kaivac systems tackle everything from pressure washing to spill cleanup, from wide-area floor care to maneuvering around obstacles.
Provide Peace of Mind with EPA Registered Disinfectants
While a No-Touch cleaning system can remove 99.9% of targeted bacteria with plain water, to kill viruses such as Coronavirus you must properly disinfect surfaces with an EPA-registered hospital use disinfectant. Kaivac offers two such EPA-registered disinfectants, KaiBosh™ and KaiSanII™, both of which disinfect and clean in one labor saving step.
KaiBosh is a concentrated no-rinse Hospital Use disinfectant cleaner for COVID-19, Norovirus, Bird & Swine Flu, and more. This disinfectant is best for washable hard non-porous, non-finished surfaces.
KaiSan II is a concentrated no-rinse Hospital Use disinfectant cleaner with a neutral pH for Coronavirus (COVID-19), MRSA, HIV-1 (AIDS virus) & more - perfect for finished floors and pH-sensitive surfaces.
Though designed for application with a Kaivac system, both chemicals can be applied via spray bottles, automatic washing systems, immersion tanks, foaming apparatus and low-pressure sprayers.
Respect Employees; Supply the Right Tools for the Job
Professional cleaning is neither glamorous nor grand, but it is critical to the physical and mental wellbeing of our society. Cleaners should have tools that make it easier for them to succeed, tools that get them up off of their hands and knees, tools that reliably clean spaces to a welcoming and hygienic level. When cleaners have innovative and effective tools, they feel respected and happier in their jobs. At Kaivac, we think that is a pretty good reason to keep innovating restroom cleaning systems.