Cleaning and Sanitising

Cleaning and Sanitising

Experience has taught us that there is a general lack of knowledge in how day-to-day cleaning and sanitising techniques, particularly in ensuring a repeatable and verifiable disinfection process. These cleaning and sanitising processes needn’t be complicated or sophisticated, but they need to work effectively and efficiently, and repeatedly – this takes expertise and experience. Basic cleaning techniques, which when applied with sound training and management, have the capability to prevent an outbreak of any infection. Usually it’s the simplest procedures that staff and visitors can do that can stop any infection in its tracks; the obvious one is washing hands, the other is having a cleaning regime for areas tuned to the demands and likely harbours for an infection.

The use of hypochlorite-based products as a disinfection agent is often the ‘go to’ product for high risk and rapid disinfection. There are many more, much better formulated sanitiser products which are much safer in use, both on surface materials and for the operator, and are independently tested. The reason why hypochlorites are still used is partly one of inertia and a lack of knowledge, since most in our industry have avoided the use of hypochlorites for a good few years now. Hydrogen Peroxide, QAC’s and Hypochlorite disinfectants have their place within the overall cleaning and hygiene system, but powerful disinfectants like these need to be managed due to their corrosive chemical nature (Hydrogen Peroxide and Hypochlorites) and to prevent the growth of resistant strains of bacteria. Hydrogen Peroxide, for example is a very effective decontaminant but can only be used in enclosed rooms, emptied of staff and patients and sealed for a few hours, as it can present serious health effects as low as 7 ppm. Also Hydrogen Peroxide due to its inherent instability is non-residual; with new bacterial growths being detected within a few days after an infected patient has been introduced into the room; so the decontamination process is only a small part of an overall cleaning hygiene system. It’s important to point out that all disinfectants are ineffective in the presence of organic matter i.e. the surface to be disinfected must be visibly cleaned first. I feel that it is important to mention further that disinfectants and sanitisers should be rotated in use, rather than relying on just one type on a regular basis. There are many more very effective disinfectant and sanitiser products, both residual and non-residual, now available, many with patents on them. Most are safer to use than hypochlorites or peroxides and are more effective than QAC’s.

But at the end, it all comes down to proper cleaning management, management of the cleaning staff and the ability to guarantee the standard of cleanliness consistently. Futureclean Systems can establish and build a guaranteed cleaning system to solve the most intractable problems.

Rafael Cobos
rafcobos@futurecleansystems.com