In the past, we have often lauded the advantage of microfiber for cleaning. This is repeated today, but with the use of a disposable microfiber as the first step in the disinfection process. Of course, we are talking about cleaning first, then disinfecting. However, the products highlighted in this article are compatible with common disinfectants. These products are Rubbermaid‘s Hygen single-use microfiber swabs and wipes.
WHAT IS A MICROFIBER AGAIN?
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. 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. To know more about it, read this article, Spotlight on microfiber!
THE HYGEN LINE FROM RUBBERMAID
The Hygen line was designed specifically for the healthcare industry. It is an excellent option for any facility looking to improve its cleaning efficiency, especially during the COVID-19 period. The HYGEN disposable microfiber pad and wipe contribute to the area cleaning as the first step in the disinfection process.
Microfiber pads and wipes
They eliminate 99.7% or more of the viruses and bacteria tested to help improve cleaning efficiency. And this was tested with water only
Help reduce cross-contamination with disposable pads/wipes that encourage cleaning with new pads/wipes for each area or task
Built-in scrub strips are made of polyester to help effectively remove dirt
DEMONSTRATION OF THE DISPOSABLE MICROFIBER
Here’s a video from Rubbermaid Commercial Products. They demonstrated the benefit of their Hygen disposable microfiber wipe compared to a paper towel and a disinfectant wipe. They use a fluorescent marker to demonstrate and verify cleaning practices.
Thus, using this disposable microfiber with a disinfectant provides an added layer of assurance. They will clean and disinfect well your floors and surfaces by combining the microbe removal power of the microfiber with the disinfectant’s killing power.
When we talk about disinfection, we talk about the prevention and control of infection in the environment. Therefore, equipment used for respiratory therapy is considered semi-critical. The equipment must then be cleaned and disinfected properly between patients. The WHO gives us the proper maintenance of respiratory equipment in procedures to follow. The procedures are checklists in steps of a cycle. Let’s explore all the summarized steps up to the cycle finish. And yes, the cleaning step is before the disinfection step!
The external device surfaces must be wiped with a damp cloth or disposable wipe that is soaked in detergent and clean water. Then, remaining detergent residue must be wiped off with a dry lint-free cloth. A mechanical action (scrubbing/brushing) should be used to remove visible dirt deposits and calcifications.
4a. Physical disinfection – Heat for heat resistant equipement (steam/hot-water)
A high-level of physical disinfection can be achieved with steam (e.g. autoclaving at lower temperature) or hot-water at least 121°C. This is an inexpensive and effective method for sterilization or high-level disinfection.
4b. Chemical disinfection for plastic plus other parts that can be damaged by heat
b) If the disinfection needs to be with chemicals solutions, it should be performed in a well-ventilated area and away from patients. Use a disposable wipe or a fresh cloth that is soaked in a compatible disinfectant. Hydrogen peroxide 0.5% or ethanol 70-90%. Wipe from top to bottom and avoid contact with electrical connectors.
5. Dry equipment / Rinse equipment
a) Physical equipment often has a drying feature within the machine (e.g. washer, pasteurizer or autoclave). Following pasteurization, the wet equipment is typically dried in a hot-air drying cabinet or air-dried. Make sure to carefully inspect and ensure that no water is left in the equipment.
b) If a chemical solution was used for disinfection, rinse the equipment with sterile or clean water (i.e. water boiled for 5 mins and cooled down). It is preferred to use sterile water for rinsing off residual liquid chemical disinfectant from the respiratory device.
6. Store equipment in closed packages
Last step. Title says it all.
This was a summary of the Care, cleaning and disinfection of respiratory equipment in sterile services department’s article by World Health Organization.
This article is a free translation of WHO’s article.
Source: World Health Organization – https://www.who.int/publications/m/item/care-cleaning-and-disinfection-of-respiratory-equipment-in-sterile-services-department – https://www.who.int/images/default-source/health-topics/coronavirus/care-cleaning-disinfection-of-respiratory-equipment.tmb-479v.png?sfvrsn=14530f0b_1
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?
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/
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.
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.
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.
Clean systematically, clockwise or counterclockwise – No surface is forgotten, this process saves time and is more ergonomic
Go from clean to dirty – This reduces the likelihood of the spread of infections and contaminants
Clean from the top to the bottom – Any dust or debris dislodged from the upper surface will naturally fall to the lower surfaces
Wipe in one direction (unidirectional wiping) – Unidirectional wiping ensures that the solution is applied over the entire surface, while circular wiping re-contaminates areas
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 by Rubbermaid Commercial Products
Start by opening a clean microfiber cloth
Fold the microfiber cloth in half
Fold the microfiber cloth into four pieces
Clean surfaces with both sides of the cloth exposed
Open the microfiber cloth once to change the sides
Fold over to expose both clean cleaning surfaces
Fully open the microfiber cloth when all four sides have been used
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!
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:
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. »
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:
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.
Christmas is right around the corner and who isn’t excited? I mean, who doesn’t like relaxing, going to parties, eating A LOT of food and getting to sleep in?
But, as great as Christmas celebrations and parties are, they are usually synonymous with mess. Nobody likes the big clean up after Christmas holidays, and yet most people leave it to the last minute. Have no fear though, we are here to rescue you with a simple, 12 days of Christmas cleaning plan so that you can do a little bit of cleaning every day instead of at the end your vacation.
So without further-ado, let’s jump right into your 12 day cleaning plan!
12 Days of Christmas Cleaning Plan
Day 1) Start with the kitchen, more specifically any dishes that have been lying around in your kitchen for a while. Chances are, your kitchen will see a lot of action over the holidays, since food will be prepared and served in this room. Tidy up any dishes that you have been trying to avoid, and put them away once cleaned.
Day 2) Back in the kitchen for day 2! Today the focus will be on wiping all the counter tops and the stove and cleaning the kitchen table. Whether you have wine stains or cookie dough stuck on your counters, this day will make sure that your whole kitchen has been cleaned!
Day 3) You know when all those messy boots cover the floor at the front entrance of your house, and they drip snow and slush all over? Day 3 is reserved for you to clean that mess up! Depending on the type of floors in your house, you can either mop, wipe or vacuum.
Day 4) Day 4 is reserved for cleaning up any wrapping paper, gift bags or packaging that was left around your house. Depending on the condition of the wrapping, you can either throw it away or store used bags and leftover wrapping paper somewhere for next year.
Day 5) Clean the dining room. While the food was prepared and served in the kitchen, the eating probably took place in your dining room. If that was the case, Day 5 is to clean up your dining room. Wipe up any food or crumbs that may be on the table and mop or vacuum the floor.
Day 6) Tackle the bathrooms, or at least the bathroom that was the most used by your guests. Nobody likes to clean bathrooms, but it needs to be done, and even more so after the holidays when they have been used by many different people. Make sure that you sanitize the countertops and sinks, clean the toilets and mop the floor. And, as we have already seen on this blog, avoid cross-contamination by using different wipes and equipment for different parts of the bathrooms.
Day 7) Take this day to catch up on your laundry. You’ve attended a lot of parties and, therefore, probably wore a lot of clothes, so now it’s time to catch up on cleaning them! Also, don’t forget about washing linens, like sheets and pillow cases, especially if you had guests using your guest bedrooms.
Day 8) Up next is the living room. Whether you watched Holiday movies with your family or spent lazy days on the couch with your kids, chances are you spent a lot of time in your living room relaxing over the holidays. Now it’s time to pick up those popcorn crumbs and place those pillows!
Day 9) Clean your master bedroom. You’ve already done the linens and pillow cases on laundry day, so this step should be relatively easy. Pick up any trash lying on the ground, dust the wardrobes and night tables and try to store things away like clothes and books.
Day 10) If you have other bedrooms, Day 10 is to clean all the other rooms in your house. Same thing as for the master bedroom, you’ve already done the linens, so all you have to do is clean the rest of the room!
Day 11) It’s almost time to go back to work and most of the parties are over now. Check your fridge and see what leftover party food you can throw away. Wash any containers that were used, so that your sink doesn’t get cluttered!
Day 12) Put away your Christmas tree and decorations. Probably the saddest day out of our 12 day cleaning plan, because putting away the Christmas tree means that the holidays are officially over! But the earlier you put it away just means that you won’t have to do it in January once you’re back in the routine of work and school. Also, don’t forget to sweep up underneath where the tree was after everything is out of the way.
So there you have it, cleaning up after the holidays made simple! And if you think you’re missing any products that will be necessary for your holiday cleaning, we’re here for you! Feel free to consult our website and check out our product offerings:
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:
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 🙂
Janitors are responsible for the cleanliness and maintenance of many types of establishments, including hospitals, schools and restaurants. In most places, there are procedures and regulations to be followed in order to achieve optimal cleanliness and, ultimately, prevent the spread of harmful bacteria.
But did you know that janitors can also spread infection through cross-contamination, if there aren’t proper cleaning protocols in place?
According to Infection Control Today (2019),
“Cross-contamination is defined as the spread of germs from one surface or object to another and frequently occurs when performing janitorial tasks.”
Robert Shor, Infection Control Today, 2019
Infection Control Today describes several possible causes of janitorial cross-contamination, which include mop heads, towels, and gloves. While it is known that these sources are associated with the spread of infection, there is one which is often overlooked: the gloves worn by the janitor. While cleaning many different rooms, and even different buildings, the janitor usually keeps the same gloves for the duration of the cleaning. When changing rooms and buildings, he is spreading the bacteria that are on his gloves.
Infection Control Today suggests the following protocol for janitors’ use of gloves:
Don gloves before performing cleaning tasks (use gloves that are appropriate for the task being performed).
Change gloves in the following situations:
When they become soiled, torn or punctured
After cleaning areas with high concentrations of germs (restrooms)
When going from building to building or floor to floor
After cleaning each classroom (room), restrooms, kitchen areas
Avoid contaminating your hands when removing gloves by following CDC guidelines.
Wash hands and/or use hand sanitizers after janitorial tasks are completed.
Janitors play a very important role when it comes to keeping establishments sanitary and safe. That is why it is crucial to develop protocols to ensure the highest quality of cleaning.
Source: Infection Control Today, Vol. 23, No. 3, March 2019