To help cleaning professionals, the Clorox Professional Products Co. has compiled these five infection control tips.
- Clean and disinfect regularly. The common cold & flu can spread when people touch infected surfaces and then touch their eyes, mouth, or nose. However, flu viruses are fairly easy to kill when using appropriate products as part of the cleaning and disinfecting process, but this must be done regularly, especially during flu season. Remember to always remove visible soil from surfaces, followed by targeted disinfecting.
- Target high-touch surfaces. Objects and surfaces that are frequently touched such as desks, countertops, doorknobs, keyboards, faucets, and phones need to be disinfected at least once a day with a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered disinfectant. Specific germ-prone areas such as bathrooms should also be given more attention.
- Choose the right products. Influenza viruses can survive on both hard and soft surfaces for hours, providing ample opportunity for cross-contamination and the spread of infection, so it is important to use products that are EPA-registered to kill influenza and are effective on hard and soft surfaces. According to the CDC, several types of disinfectants are effective against the flu including chlorine bleach, hydrogen peroxide, and quaternary ammonium-based cleaners. No matter which product you use, it is important to always read the product label to ensure that it is EPA-registered to kill the Influenza A virus.
- Use products correctly. Remember, the best results are achieved when disinfectants are used correctly. It is important to always refer to the product label and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for use and contact time, or the length of time the disinfectant needs to remain wet on the surface to properly kill pathogens. Different products have different contact times for killing certain pathogens.
- Educate cleaning staff and other employees about personal cold & flu prevention steps. The CDC recommends that businesses encourage employees to get a seasonal flu vaccine and discourage sick employees from coming to work. In addition, instruct employees to wash their hands regularly with soap and water, especially after emptying waste baskets, touching used tissues, or using the restroom.
Following these five steps should assist you and your employees with combating and the spread of viruses, not only during cold & flu season, but all year long.