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

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

Why choose a Ready-to-use Bleach based Cleaner-Disinfectant?

ready-to-use-cleaner-disinfectant-nursing

In the actual market, you can find many cleaner-disinfectants. When it comes to consumer products, you’ll find a lot of brand, most of them are ready to use. It means you do not have to dilute the product and use it as is to disinfect. For industrial and institutionnal use, most of cleaner-disinfectants are concentrated if not ultra-concentrated. In that case, why choose a ready-to-use Bleach based Cleaner-Disinfectant for institutionnal use?

Main benefit of a low-foam concentrated product

Let’s talk about a product like Ali-Flex LF, a product like this one offers a high concentration for general disinfection in hospitals. On a day to day basis, with the right dilution system, the surfactants contained in ALI-FLEX LF increase the wetting power of this chlorinated disinfectant and contribute to degrease and remove dirt from hard non porous surfaces such as countertops, walls, floors, toilets, commode chairs, etc.

Main benefit of a ready-to-use chlorinated disinfectant cleaner

When it comes to infection control, one important aspect is to reduce the risk. We know that dilution systems can sometimes be flawed and not consistant with delivery concentration. Therefore, it is crucial to obtain a consistant known concentration. That is exactly what Ali-Flex RTU can provide: a factory consistant concentration of 6000 PPM (when packaged) with a validated shelf-life.

Of course it may generate more plastic in the environnement. Recycling may then be on option to consider. At the same time, when patient’s lifes are at risk, all factors that can reduce the risk is of important value.

What are you using in your facility?

Tell us what kind of product you are using. Are you in control? Are you facing problems when it comes to stop eclosion? Surely we can help you! Let’s talk!

FIFO: First In, First Out also applies to disinfectant!

fifo

First In, First Out (FIFO): also applies to disinfectant!

Some of you may be familiar with the FIFO concept. FIFO is a method for organizing and manipulating goods such as food, it is also used in computer science to organize data. In the food industry, FIFO is essential in order to ensure freshness, preventing foodborne illness and controlling costs.

Can a cleaning product expire?

When it comes to disinfectant the same goes, a fresher or let’s say a newer product is better. I sometimes hear people saying that soap doesn’t expire. Even though the shelf life of soap is way greater than most food items, soaps and other cleaning products do expire. Same goes for disinfectant the active ingredient of a disinfectant whether it is quats, chlorine or peroxide will diminish over time. Hence to ensure a proper disinfection it is important to use product that are not expired. A good way to achieve this is by implementing a FIFO rotation system. By always using the oldest disinfectant that you have in inventory first, you make sure that you won’t get stuck with old and maybe expired stuff!

How to know if a cleaning product is expired?

This is a broad question… For disinfectant it is pretty easy, Health Canada and the EPA requires that all disinfectant have an expiration date on their label. Most cleaning product however does not have an expiration date and the shelf life varies greatly among them. But some signs won’t get you wrong. If the color, the odor, the consistency of the product is changed or if you see a deposit in the product it might be a good sign that the product is expired. In case of doubt, call the manufacturer, with the lot number every good manufacturer will be able to tell you if the product is expired.