Clean first, then disinfect

Cleaning with a microfiber cloth

Cleaning and disinfection have long been routine in any facility. Of course, the COVID-19 pandemic has further highlighted these operations since SARS-CoV-2 can persist on various surface materials for hours or days. Facilities have sought to improve these cleaning and disinfection practices. Therefore, it is imperative that this process be orderly. Therefore, this article addresses the importance of cleaning before disinfecting. Cleaning and disinfection should be a 2-step process to reduce the risk of transmission of environmental infections.

Clean first! Why?

Primum nitidare – “D’abord nettoyer (Clean First)”. It is a book that my coworker, Gaétan Lanthier, wrote in 2019. It is to say that this is not a new subject!

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) cites: “cleaning is “the necessary first step of any sterilization or disinfection process” or, more
simply, you must clean first before you can disinfect.”

The CDC adds: “Cleaning is the necessary first step of any sterilization or disinfection process. Cleaning is a form of decontamination that renders
the environmental surface safe to handle or use by removing organic matters, salts, and visible soils, all of which interfere with microbial inactivation.”

It’s in the mechanical action (friction)

As the CDC mentions it: “The physical action of scrubbing with detergents and surfactants and rinsing with water removes large numbers of
microorganisms from surfaces.”

Studies have shown that friction or mechanical action is at the heart of cleaning. This facilitates the effective removal of dirt, debris, microbes and soiling, making a surface ready for disinfection if necessary.

It’s a matter of interference

The CDC defines cleaning as the “necessary first step” in any disinfection process for “at least two” important reasons: it removes any barrier between the disinfectant and the target pathogen, and it removes materials that could potentially inactivate the disinfectant.

In order to effectively kill pathogens, disinfectant chemicals must have direct contact with the pathogen; however, soils, dirt, and debris can coat or
protect microorganisms, essentially serving as a protective barrier between the chemical and the target.

The build-up to biofiolms

Another important reason to clean first before disinfecting has less to do with the immediate action of a disinfectant on a surface. Rather, it is in prevention of a future problem, namely the buildup to biofilms.

Biofilms are populations of microorganisms attached to a solid surface and protected by a “viscous layer”. This layer is an extracellular matrix of polysaccharides and non-cellular materials.

Biofilms can virtually form on any hard surface, from the countertop to the water pipe. They are involved in a range of infectious diseases.

What about touch-free technology?

Comac ULVC Electrostatic Sprayer for Disinfection

Although research has shown that many of these systems, from ultraviolet light (UV-C) to hydrogen peroxide vapor (HPV) to electrostatic sprayers, can reduce microbial contamination, experts caution that they should be used as a complement to standard manual cleaning and disinfection rather than as a replacement.

Organic matters, dirt and grimes are a limiting factor for UV-C technology.
A light or heavy organic load has a significant negative impact on the destructive efficiency of the devices.

In short, clean first with mechanical action (friction) to remove dirt, debris and microbes. The disinfection step is to be done when the interferences are removed by cleaning in order to kill microbes. This reduces the risk of transmission of environmental infections by keeping surfaces clean.

Loose translation of Rubbermaid TWO STEPS FOR A REASON:
THE CASE FOR CLEANING PRIOR TO DISINFECTION

https://www.rubbermaidcommercial.com/resource-center/1b113258af3968aaf3969ca67e744ff8/The_Case_for_Cleaning_Prior_to_Disinfection_White_Paper/

Sources:
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/disinfecting-building-facility.html

Disinfection – The Power of Steam

Credit – Andrew Knechel Unsplash

Disinfection using disinfectant cleaners with active ingredients including alcohol and quaternary ammonium has often been discussed. Another disinfection solution is to disinfect with steam and pressure. Cleaning with the power of steam is a proven method of disinfection. Dry saturated steam at high temperatures kills viruses, bacteria, germs and bedbugs! It is an environmentally friendly and practical way to clean all kinds of surfaces.

THE POWER OF STEAM

The power of steam is to dissolve and emulsify grease, mold, dirt by vaporizing and killing viruses, bacteria and germs.

WHAT ABOUT SARS-CoV-2?

Despite that the power of steam kills viruses, bacteria and germs, opinions vary and there may be a lack of evidence that it can kill SARS-CoV-2 virus. The list of approved disinfectants put out by The Environmental Protection Agency only includes chemicals.

Patty Olinger, the executive director of the Global Biorisk Advisory Council, a division of ISSA (a cleaning industry trade association), said that, based on current evidence, while steam can kill the virus, it needs a lengthier application time than some users may realize.

On the other hand, Heidi Wilcox, a microbiologist and commercial cleaning consultant, says that: “At this point during the pandemic I would not use steam at all.” She cites a lack of strong evidence.

Then again, industry representatives such as Wayne Delfino from Advanced Vapor Technologies of Everett, Washington, insist that dry steam vapor works. The company’s non-chemical, “Thermo Accelerated Nano Crystal Sanitation” technology, he wrote in an email, “has been tested and proven effective on harder-to-kill viruses and on a similar human coronavirus in seven seconds or less.”

SURFACES TO CLEAN

Steam cleaners can clean and disinfect all kinds of surfaces. With the right tools, they can concentrate the jets to properly clean specific surfaces and hard-to-reach areas. Here are some examples:

  • Clothing
  • Mirrors
  • Seals (e.g. ceramic)
  • Mattresses and bedding
  • Stainless steel
  • Floors
  • Grids and hoods
  • ECOLOGICAL
  • Steam machines are said to be environmentally friendly because they require no chemicals. Only water is needed to steam disinfect and clean thoroughly.

NEED STEAMER MACHINES?

Power Steamer Machine JS 1600C

Power Steamer Machine JS 1600C

The power of steam from JS1600C attacks grease, grime, hard water deposits and mold. It leaves surfaces clean and sanitized without the use of chemicals. Operator safety is assured by the 12V waterproof switches and controls, a pressure switch, a high-limit thermal shutoff and an LED display informing the operator when the water level is low. The Energy saving safety system also automatically shuts off the machine if it’s idle for 60 minutes.

  • The tank can be filled while the unit is running, allowing for continuous use
  • Excellent on grouted floors, showers, kitchens and any area where detail cleaning is a challenge
  • Very effective in all food preparation and processing areas, including stainless steel range hoods in kitchens
  • Ideal for hotel rooms – spot draperies, bedspreads and carpets, and even kill bed bugs and their eggs on mattresses
  • Clean floors with the optional “steam mop” and 33′ hose
  • The continuous flow system provides the necessary steam to remove dirt and built-up soil while leaving your floors and surfaces virtually dry

Ecological Vapor with Vacuum A2006

Commercial Ecological Vapor with Vacuum A2006

The Vapore A2006 acts as two machines in one unit. The vapor not only dissolves dirt and grime, but is scientifically certified to disinfect any surface, thoroughly eliminating bacteria and viruses in an ecological way without use of chemicals.

  • With the water filtration system of the vacuum, Vapore A2006 collects dirt and traps it in the water without the risk of spreading dust
  • Vapore A2006 also has a HEPA filtration system to ensure the cleanliness of the air is not compromised
  • Equipped with a cold water reservoir, the Vapore A2006 has a continuous fill feature which allows you to refill the vapor system with water at any time, without stopping
  • The machine comes with a variety of floor accessory and tools

There’s no proof that the power of steam can kill SARS-CoV-2, but the virus is known to be sensitive to the exposure of high-temperature. Could it be a question of exposure length or a question of chemicals? However, the power of steam can be useful for general disinfection.

Visit our catalog of steam machines or any other type of disinfectant cleaners on lalema.com.

Source:
https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/the-nation-paralyzed-by-a-pathogen-deep-cleaners-have-their-day/
https://new.nilfisk.com/global/articles/steam-solution-when-hygiene-is-critical/

Surface Cleaning Methods & Products with RCP

Hygen microfiber from Rubbermaid Commercial Products
Hygen microfiber from Rubbermaid Commercial Products

The COVID-19 has led us to adopt new protocols to ensure patient and staff safety in healthcare facilities. Having said that, it is crucial to equip yourself with the right surface cleaning and disinfection products in healthcare facilities! What are the right products? How should you clean? Let’s explore them with the help from Rubbermaid Commercial Products, a world leader in the commercial cleaning industry! Of course, in these strange days, depending on the availability of some products, Lalema has suggestions as well ;)!

SURFACE CLEANING PRODUCTS

First of all, here are some products suggested by RCP for surface cleaning. Overall, most of them are available. Otherwise, we have replacements.

Recommended surface cleaning products
Recommended surface cleaning products

Hygen microfiber cloths – Rubbermaid Commercial Products’ all-purpose 16″ x 16″ HYGEN microfiber cloths remove 99.9% of the viruses and bacteria tested on surfaces.

Bowl Brush – This bowl brush has a plastic handle. The brush is made of polypropylene bristles. It is odor and stain resistant.

Toilet brush holder – This toilet brush holder is made of polypropylene. It is stain and odor resistant.

Bottle and Sprayer: Graduated bottle for inserting and spraying cleaning solutions.

As a replacement for Hygen disposable microfiber cloths and its charging tub system, we suggest this:

Dry Wipes and MYOSAN TB Kit – Kit of dry wipes and MYOSAN TB designed to disinfect and eliminate microorganisms on hard surfaces. It should inactivate the new coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

Dry Wipes and MYOSAN TB Kit
Dry Wipes and MYOSAN TB Kit

BEST PRACTICES

Second, as expectations for cleanliness and hygiene rise, facilities must ensure that they have an established surface cleaning and disinfection process. This includes regular cleaning of high-traffic areas. Below are the best surface cleaning practices used in hospitals around the world today.

CLEANING TIPS

  1. Clean systematically, clockwise or counterclockwise – No surface is forgotten, this process saves time and is more ergonomic
  2. Go from clean to dirty – This reduces the likelihood of the spread of infections and contaminants
  3. Clean from the top to the bottom – Any dust or debris dislodged from the upper surface will naturally fall to the lower surfaces
  4. Wipe in one direction (unidirectional wiping) – Unidirectional wiping ensures that the solution is applied over the entire surface, while circular wiping re-contaminates areas
  5. Color Coding – Use single color wiping cloth for each zone. For example:
  • Red for high risk areas
  • Blue for mirrors
  • Yellow for baths and showers

8-SURFACE FOLDING METHODOLOGY

Finally, the 8-surface folding methodology! This is the 8-sided folding for microfiber cloths. It optimizes the use of the cloth while reducing the risk of cross-contamination during the cleaning process. Here are the steps:

8-SURFACE FOLDING METHODOLOGY
8-SURFACE FOLDING METHODOLOGY

8-surface folding methodology by Rubbermaid Commercial Products

  1. Start by opening a clean microfiber cloth
  2. Fold the microfiber cloth in half
  3. Fold the microfiber cloth into four pieces
  4. Clean surfaces with both sides of the cloth exposed
  5. Open the microfiber cloth once to change the sides
  6. Fold over to expose both clean cleaning surfaces
  7. Fully open the microfiber cloth when all four sides have been used
  8. Repeat steps 2 to 7 to use all eight sides

In short, these tips are only general since we could have gone deeper into the details or in further checklists. However, the importance is to set up a methodology for surface cleaning and disinfection and to be equipped with the right products. Don’t forget to wear personal safety equipment! Let’s save the subject of floor cleaning for another day!

Lalema would like to thank and salute all the staff in the healthcare facilities for their services!

Spotlight on microfiber!

Microfiber cloths
Wipeco multi-use microfiber cloths MFC-1414/10P

As we all know, the cleaning and disinfection of premises and surfaces have never been more critical with the COVID-19 pandemic. We often talk about disinfectant cleaners, but this time the focus is on microfiber cleaning cloths and tools. Since its commercial introduction, microfiber has been part of everyday life because of its reliability and effectiveness in cleaning and wiping.

WHAT IS A MICROFIBER CLOTH?

Microfiber is a synthetic textile fiber (polyester, polyamide or a mixture) that is very fine and light with a denomination which is less than one decitex. The decitex is a unit of measurement: 1 decitex = 1 g / 10 km of yarn. In fact, the term “microfiber” is used when 10 km of yarn weighs less than one gram.

A microfiber (filament) is characterised by its small diameter, the nature of its fiber and its structure. Therefore, not all microfibers are the same or of the same quality.

This revolutionary material has quickly become a must in the hygiene, health and automotive sectors. See how it is made.

THE “STORIES” OF MICROFIBER

No one is entirely sure where and when microfiber was developed. However, here are two interesting stories/versions:

  1. According to Texasmicrofiber:
    “In the late 1950s, various spinning techniques were used to produce ultra-fine fibers. At that time, experiments had resulted in random length pieces, and the first real success occurred in Japan in the 1960s.

    Dr. Miyoshi Okamoto and Dr. Toyohiko Hikota worked on this project to finally find microfibers suitable for industrial use. Ultrasuede fiber was one of the first success stories, and reached the market in the following decade. This led to an explosion in the value of microfibers in the textile sector. »
  2. According to Maboutiqueecolo:
    “It would have been invented by the Swede Rudolf Nordine in the 1980s. The invention of microfiber is said to have come about by chance during the manufacture of “towels” for hairdressing salons. These were so absorbent that they could suck out the dye from freshly dyed hair. Nordine was quick to file a patent to protect this discovery. He was awarded a prize at the Lépine competition in 1998 for this invention at the International Invention Salon in Paris. »

USE AND EFFECTIVENESS

Microfiber has the power to clean and dust different kinds of surfaces without necessarily adding a cleaning product. This is why it can be seen as an organic and ecological product.

Microfiber cloths can be used dry or wet. First, when used dry, they attract dust and trap it in its microfibers (micro-filaments). Then, when wet (with or without a cleaning product), they trap grease and dirt.

During a pandemic, it is used with a disinfectant cleaner to disinfect surfaces. Lalema also suggests using a microfiber cloth with a tuberculocidal disinfectant. This Myosan TB starter kit is an example:

Myosan TB starter kit
Myosan TB starter kit

There are several types of microfiber products for all kinds of surfaces: cloth, pad/mop, feather duster, towel, etc.

HOW TO TAKE CARE OF THEM?

Microfibers are economical and environmentally friendly. They can be reused up to 500 times. “Avez-vous le pouce microfibre?” by Kim Beauregard is an article about the maintenance of microfibers. Unfortunately, it is in French only. But here are key elements:

  • Wash the microfibers separately from other textiles and items
  • Use a small amount of liquid laundry detergent while washing.
  • Do not use a softening agent
  • Wash them in cold or room water
  • Dry the microfibers at low temperature or without heat

So, microfiber is a revolutionary material in the world of cleaning. Whether it is used as a cloth, a pad/mop or a duster, it is the ultimate cleaning tool for cleaning and wiping in many sectors. Finally, microfiber cloths can replace disposable wipes. Use them with a disinfectant product to disinfect the surfaces in your environment.

Lalema has several microfiber products from leading brands.

Sources:
https://www.microfibrefrance.com/quest-ce-quune-microfibre.html
https://www.gralon.net/articles/materiel-et-consommables/materiels-industriels/article-la-microfibre—une-matiere-revolutionnaire-4549.htm
http://www.maboutiqueecolo.com/fr/menage-rapide
https://texasmicrofiber.com/blog/brief-history-microfiber/
https://www.parish-supply.com/microfiber-history.aspx

How to clean and dispose of a mask?

Wearing a mask has become our new habit during the pandemic situation. Therefore, let us explore how to clean and remove a mask or a face cover. In fact, there is more than one way to clean a mask including some additional precautions. So, let’s go over some methods!

CLEAN IN THE LAUNDRY

First, according to Health Canada, if you plan to rewear a reusable (non-medical cloth) mask, we suggest cleaning it by putting it directly in the laundry. It can be washed with other items using a hot water cycle. As for the cleaning product to use, regular laundry soap should be fairly effective, according to the New York Times. In addition, according to Le Parisien, washing with hot water should be at least 60° C for 30 minutes.

Laundry machine

CLEAN BY HAND

Second, following what was shared in the New York Times, experts have said that hand washing face covers in a sink works as well. You should lather the soap and rub the mask for 20 seconds. It’s a similar process to hand washing.

Hand laundry kit

SOAK WITH HOT SOAP

Third, soak the mask in warm soapy water. This method comes from Professor Golemi-Kotra, an expert in molecular biology in Toronto York University. She said the best way to clean a cloth mask would be to soak it in hot, soapy water for at least an hour.

DRY THE MASK

Afterwards, dry the mask completely in the dryer or by hanging it.

Drying masks

ELIMINATE A MASK

Finally, we dispose a mask that cannot be washed when it is wet, soiled or wrinkled. So just throw the mask properly in a lined trash can. It’s the same for a damaged reusable mask or a face cover at the end of its life span. Do not leave your mask lying anywhere else.

In short, these were ways to clean a face cover. Which method is right for you? Above all, do not forget to wash your hands properly before putting on a mask and also after removing it! Also, disinfect your surfaces as well!

Visit Lalema for masks and soaps!

Sources:
https://quebec.huffingtonpost.ca/entry/voici-comment-laver-masques-tissu-faits-maison_qc_5e960ed6c5b6a7e383dfffca
https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/prevention-risks/how-put-remove-clean-non-medical-masks-face-coverings.html
http://www.leparisien.fr/societe/coronavirus-comment-laver-et-entretenir-correctement-son-masque-en-tissu-30-04-2020-8308476.php
https://www.lesoleil.com/actualite/le-masque-en-tissu-doit-etre-desinfecte-apres-chaque-sortie-voici-comment-faire-video-1fcd1b8b27e5a48f580cb589d22273c5

COVID-19 and the preventive measures.

2019-nCoV is making the headlines these days. What is the 2019-nCoV and what are the preventive measures? Up to now, we don’t fully understand the pathogenic potential and transmission dynamics of this new 2019 coronavirus.

Young woman with respiratory mask

What is it?

In a nutshell, it is part of the coronavirus family. It presents “80% of similarities” with the SARS (Severe acute respiratory syndrome) which killed hundreds of people in 2003. This virus does not spread as well as influenza and doesn’t evolve very quickly. The symptoms are the same as most flu cases: fever, cough, muscle aches, shortness of breath and difficulty breathing.

Last December, the coronavirus appeared in Wuhan, a city in central China. The cities of Wuhan and Huanggang have been quarantined. So far, it has killed 490 people in China and thousands of people have been infected. The virus has also been detected in 23 other countries. In order to limit its spread, measures are being taken in several countries. The WHO (World Health Organization) has declared this virus as an international emergency.

Yellow Crane Tower in Wuhan

What are the preventive measures?

Brief, here are some preventive measures for 2019-nCoV. As suggested by the WHO, the following are strategies for health care-associated infection prevention and control when a case of nCoV is suspected:

  1. Early detection and source control
    – Encouraging health care workers and managers to have a high level of clinical suspicion
  2. Application of standard precautions for all patients
    – Ensure that respiratory hygiene measures are taken by providing a medical mask in case of suspected nCoV infection for those who can tolerate it
    – Cover your nose and mouth by coughing or sneezing into a tissue or bent elbow
    Wash hands after contact with respiratory secretions
    – Wear personal protective equipment
    – Follow environmental cleaning and disinfection procedures consistently and correctly
  3. The implementation of empirical additional precautions
    – Wear a particulate respirator at least as protective as a NIOSH N95, EU FFP2 certified respirator or equivalent
    – Wear eye protection (goggles or face shield)
    – Use clean, non-sterile long-sleeved coveralls
    – Wear gloves and avoid contact with eyes, nose or mouth with potentially contaminated hands
    – Use disposable equipment or dedicated equipment to be disinfected after each use
  4. Administrative controls
    – Ensure sustainable infection prevention and control infrastructure and activities are in place
    – Provide training and education to health care workers and patients
  5. Environmental and technical controls
    – Ensure adequate ventilation and proper cleaning of the environment

So, do not hesitate to contact us for your needs and questions about our products or hygiene training.

For more details on 2019-nCoV, see the following sources:
https://ici.radio-canada.ca/nouvelle/1482141/coronavirus-chine-questions-reponses
https://ici.radio-canada.ca/nouvelle/1486752/coronavirus-chine-villes-quarantaine-transports
https://ici.radio-canada.ca/nouvelle/1482961/coronavirus-virus-chine-asie
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/lab-biosafety-guidelines.html
https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/situation-reports/20200203-sitrep-14-ncov.pdf