In addition to selling color-coded cleaning tools, distributors can support infection control efforts by bundling products so that customers have everything on hand to clean a particular room or area. Doing so not only helps cleaning teams stay organized, but also prevents the risk of cross-contamination.

"Bundling aids in education and simplifies the process for sales people," says Fellows. "Anything you use to clean a restroom should only be used in a restroom — from the simplest cleaning cloth to mop buckets and mop heads. The same is true of eating areas: You need to isolate all your equipment, clothes and brushes so that they don't go anywhere else."

Hand tools should also be kept separate on cleaning carts according to color and thoroughly cleaned after use. Dirty equipment can quickly become a source of contagion for staph infections and similar diseases.

"When I do training, I often ask people if they know where MRSA is most prevalent, and they say locker rooms or restrooms," says Craddock. "These are good guesses, but the most prevalent place is in the janitor's closet because custodians don't clean their carts and equipment."

According to Fellows, microfiber cloths should be folded to provide eight clean sides to work with, after which point they should be laundered. Mop heads may last for four or five uses or they may need to be changed after every room, depending on the type of facility, the size of the floor and the level of dirt.

Unfortunately, when it comes to sanitizing and disinfecting equipment, hand tools are often neglected.

"A lot of times, cloths are washed by hand at night and hung on the cleaning cart to dry until the custodian comes back the next day," says Poole. "It's a problem that's hiding in plain sight, and it needs to be addressed."

Brushes and brooms are frequently overlooked, but they too should be cleaned on a regular basis. Fellows suggests vacuuming dry brushes and brooms after every use to remove dust and debris. Wet brushes or brooms should be washed and air-dried with bristles facing upward.

Last but not least, buckets and wringers should be rinsed out at the end of the shift and tipped over into a sink to air dry.

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