As Covid cases and other seasonal illnesses sweep the nation, Paul Owen, Regional Director at Kingdom Cleaning shares his top tips for winter cleaning
Winter is coming and it’s looking pretty worrying when it comes to public health. Covid cases are on the rise, the Health Secretary has warned that daily cases could soon rise to 100,000, and the NHS is calling for tighter restrictions to be re-imposed in an attempt to curb the spread.
Add to this the risk of other winter-related respiratory illnesses, and there is a dual threat, which experts are saying has the potential to overwhelm the NHS in the coming months.
The Government has implemented a Winter Plan, which aims to manage winter illness through pharmaceutical interventions and the ‘Test, Trace and Isolate’ scheme. But there is also a lot that we can do ourselves to help squash infection levels, and keep our people and places safe this winter. And it all centres around the highest standards of cleaning.
Cleaning has remained one of the first lines of defence against coronavirus throughout the pandemic.
In the early days, businesses across the country invested heavily in robust cleaning strategies, from deep cleans and fogging, to bolstered regimes and regular touchpoint sanitisation. However, as it became clear that we would have to live alongside the virus for some time to come, people started to look for more long term hygiene solutions.
Today, as we face a challenging winter, hygiene has never been more important. By combining the highest standards of cleaning with some additional protective measures, we can play a major role in preventing the spread of all winter bugs.
Here are our top winter cleaning tips:
Frequently touched surfaces, such as door handles, hand rails, phones and keyboards, can become bacteria-breeders if regular cleaning is not delivered. Having a touchpoint cleaning rota will ensure that these key areas are sanitised throughout the day, keeping on top of infection control.
Periodic deep cleans, particularly during winter months, can reduce the burden of daily cleaning and keep hygiene levels high. And when environments like schools and offices close over the festive period, a deep clean can remove any hidden bacteria that has been building up over previous months.
Fogging kills 99.9999% of all germs, bacteria, fungi, and viruses, including COVID-19. It can effectively reduce airborne contaminants, and can disinfect difficult to reach areas. It is a great way to remove pathogens, and can also quickly decontaminate any areas that have been exposed to an infection outbreak.
Put cleanliness to the test
How do you really know how effective your clean has been? This is where Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP) testing comes in. ATP is the energy molecule found in all living things, making it the ideal indicator when trying determine if a surface is clean or not.
We have seen a great uptake in people wanting our SAFER ATP testing regime, which monitors hygiene levels pre and post clean to ensure that the job has been done to the highest standards. This process includes:
- Swab of key touch points, risk areas and high traffic areas
- Analysis of swab results using ATP technology
- Formulation of tailored plan, methodology and cleaning regime based on the results
- Execution of the plan, with focused cleaning of areas showing higher biological residues
- Repeat monitoring and adjustments for continuous improvements and to identify high risk areas
The data-led insights that SAFER delivers ensures that daily cleaning and hygiene routines are enhanced according to need.
Protect hygiene levels
Regardless of how effective your cleaning regime is, recently sanitised surfaces can quickly become re-infected with a simple touch or sneeze, undoing all that hard work. But if you add an anti-microbial shield or surface protector to your regime, you can safeguard surfaces long-term.
There has been an influx of such products in recent months, and they really do have the potential to reduce transmission of infections and viruses. These products are applied after a thorough clean and can protect the surface for days (even months in some cases), instantly killing any pathogens that land on them.
Strengthening our defence
Although the threat of infectious outbreaks is very real this winter, we have learnt a lot over the past two years about the role of cleaning. It has a major role to play in infection control and the potential to dampen the transmission of winter viruses.
By adopting the above strategies, and investing in innovative techniques and products, we can keep the risks under control and society safe this winter.