Our last post discussed how janitors may contribute to the cross-contamination of different environments. As a follow up, this post will discuss different methods for preventing cross-contamination.
Cross-contamination can happen so easily that many people do not even realize it. A simple example would be that a janitor cleans a toilet with a wipe, and then uses that same wipe to clean the bathroom sink. Whichever viruses were present on that toilet have now been transmitted to the sink. This is why it is crucial that organizations develop cleaning programs that will prevent cross-contamination from happening.
Steps for preventing cross-contamination
Cleaning and Maintenance Management (CMM) makes three simple recommendations for the prevention of cross-contamination: (1) color code and categorize, (2) upgrade your tools, (3) clean from top to bottom. (2017).
The first recommendation is to color code and categorize. Organization is crucial in preventing cross-contamination. CMM recommends the use of a color-coded system, more specifically, the use of microfibre cloths and mop heads which come in a minimum of four colors: red, green, blue and yellow.
The British Institute of Cleaning Science recommends the following color chart for the cleaning of specific items and rooms:
- Red: sanitary appliances, restroom floors, toilets, urinals
- Yellow: restroom surfaces – sinks, towel dispensers, hand dryers, soap dispensers
- Green: general food and bar cleanup in non-preparatory food areas, such as lunchrooms
- Blue: areas of low-risk of contamination, such as hallways, offices and classrooms
Furthermore, it is recommended that cleaning tools are kept separate within the janitor’s closet. This is because if these items touch each other in the closet, then it defeats the purpose of having different colors for different areas and does not solve cross-contamination.
The second recommendation is to upgrade your tools. Having the best tools for cleaning will ensure that most of the bacteria is removed. Microfibre cloths and mops are highly recommended, since they are the best material for trapping dirt and bacteria. Once the dirt and bacteria are trapped in the microfibre, the particles will remain trapped in the material.
The third recommendation is to clean from top to bottom. Cleaning from top to bottom allows the cleaner to avoid missing any areas. By starting from the top, any dust or dirt that may fall to the bottom, or the floor, will be picked up afterwards, since the cleaner will then move on to the lower areas.
CMM provides the following methodological approach for top to bottom cleaning:
- Wipe Down surfaces first. Make sure to wipe down surfaces before applying products.
- Disinfect second. Spray disinfectant on areas that have been wiped down and let sit for 5-10 minutes before wiping it off.
- Tackle the floor last. Mopping or vacuuming the floors last will ensure that anything that may have fallen onto it will be picked up.
Preventing cross-contamination may seem like a daunting task, but the steps recommended by CMM definitely help simplify it!
As you have read on this post, microfibre is one of the best cleaning tools that you can use because it has the ability to trap dust and dirt particles, and does not release them. Having microfibre cleaning products will provide you with optimal results in cleaning. Here at Lalema Inc, we offer all types of microfibre products. Feel free to consult our website for more details 🙂