It’s no surprise the COVID-19 outbreak has required offices and businesses around Australia to improve and increase their cleaning practices.
In this blog, we’ll go through the WA Government cleaning recommendations for workplaces, including offices, reception areas, hotels, schools, childcare centres, and retail shops.
If someone touches it, it has to be cleaned
On average, a person will touch their face 26 times every hour. As COVID-19 is a respiratory illness, it travels by droplets which are released when an infected individual coughs or sneezes. With the average person touching their face so much, it stands to reason everything an infected person touches is a potential transmission source for COVID-19.
In an office or workplace, this includes tables, personal desks, handrails, door handles, elevator buttons, light switches, computer keyboards and mice, telephones, taps, soap dispensers, and shared kitchen appliances including coffee machines and kettles.
It’s not enough to simply wipe these surfaces with a cloth and water. To clean effectively and stop the spread of COVID-19, you’ll firstly need to clean any signs of grease or soiling with a detergent. Then, you can go ahead and apply a disinfectant to kill any bacteria or viruses.
At PetraClean, we use hospital grade disinfectant at all our client’s premises, paying particular attention to horizontal surfaces (e.g. desks) and the high-traffic touchpoints (e.g. door handles) mentioned above. This helps to maintain a clean, COVID-19 free workplace for you, your employees, and your customers.
Preventing COVID-19 in the kitchen
A we mentioned above, because COVID-19 is a respiratory illness, everything that comes into contact with mouths and hands needs to be cleaned thoroughly. In the kitchen, it’s important to focus on dishes, including plates, bowls, pots and pans, in addition to cutlery. If possible, these should be cleaned in a dishwasher (either commercial or residential grade) using dishwashing detergent.
If a dishwasher is unavailable, the Western Australian Government guidelines recommend using disposable dishes and cutlery. If this is not possible, dishes and cutlery must be cleaned thoroughly using hot water and dishwashing detergent.
Dishes and cutlery should also be dried completely and put away immediately to prevent potential contamination from sneezes or coughs. All employees should also practice proper hand hygiene before handling dishes or cutlery.
Cleaning your office floors during COVID-19
If your office or workplace is carpeted, it should be vacuumed at the very least once a week, with the government recommending using vacuums that are fitted with a HEPA filter. A High-Efficiency Particulate Air filter, better known as HEPA, is a type of filter that can trap a large number of very small particles that other vacuum cleaners would otherwise recirculate back into the air.
Vacuums that use HEPA filters are considered superior because they minimize dust, skin cells, hair, and other particles that can exacerbate allergies and respiratory conditions. All vacuums used by PetraClean are equipped with HEPA industrial grade filters, not only guaranteeing clean carpets but also great air quality for your office or workplace.
If your floors are wood or tiled, the Western Australian Government recommends using disposable cleaning mops and cloths, changed regularly. If you’re using reusable mops and cloths, they should be cleaned and disinfected regularly.
Not only does PetraClean supply all the equipment needed to clean your office or workplace, including mops, cloths and buckets, it stays there with you. This gives you the peace of mind that the mop we use to clean your kitchen isn’t the same mop that’s been used to clean another client’s restroom. Plus, all our mops are disinfected after every clean.
How to choose the right cleaning products
To choose the right cleaning products for your office, you’ll need to consider the surface, and what you’re trying to achieve (e.g. removing grease or sanitising). In general, combined detergent/disinfectant solutions or wipes should be chosen for hard surfaces.
If you’re trying to do the cleaning yourself, remember that some cleaning products, like bleach, can stain fabrics, and damage stainless steel and other surfaces. It’s also important to never mix cleaning products together as in some instances toxic gases can be created.
When using detergents, you can choose between mildly acidic, neutral or mildly alkaline. For most general cleaning tasks, a neutral detergent with pH between 6 and 8 should be used.
Disinfectants or sanitisers should be one of the following:
- Alcohol wipes with 70-90% alcohol (ethyl alcohol or isopropyl alcohol)
- Chlorine and chlorine compounds – sodium hypochlorite (household bleach), sodium dichloroisocyanurate (NaDCC) and calcium hypochlorite (bleaching powder)
- Hydrogen peroxide
- Quaternary ammonium compounds (alkyl dimethyl benzyl ammonium chlorides)
- Phenolic disinfectants
With over 50 years in the cleaning industry, it’s an understatement to say we know cleaning products. PetraClean can provide your office or business with all your cleaning product needs, including hand sanitiser, detergent, toilet paper, bin liners, hospital-grade disinfectant and other chemicals. Not only do we know the right product for every room and every material, we can provide you with the cleaning products you need at wholesale rates.
Plus, our comprehensive supply and maintenance system not only means you’ll always be stocked with the right products, you’ll never run out of paper towels or soap again.
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While the above guidelines may be new for some businesses, offices, or cleaning companies, they’re the exact same practices we’ve been following for the past 50 years.
All of the recommendations made by the Department of Health already align with our current service levels, meaning our customers enjoy the peace of mind knowing their office or business is the cleanest it can be in a COVID-19 world.