SANITIZING SURFACES: 4 TIPS FROM SECTOR EXPERTS.

Despite several months passing since the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus and the wide media coverage of the emergency, there is still a great deal of misinformation around how to effectively clean and sanitize the environments in which we live and work.

HERE ARE SOME OF THE MYTHS BUSTED, PLUS OUR ADVICE ABOUT HOW TO SANITIZE YOUR BUSINESS.

Here below we build on the themes explored in our article “Cleaning, disinfecting and sanitizing floors…during the time of COVID-19”.

  1. CLEANING A FLOOR IS NOT THE SAME AS SANITIZING IT.

The Italian health care system has declared that the only method currently recognized to kill COVID-19 and consequently sanitize surfaces effectively is the use of solutions made of:

  • at least 1% chlorine

  • 0.1% hydrogen peroxide

  • at least 70% alcohol

It should be specified that products with an alcohol base, while suitable for hand washing, are not compatible with floor cleaning equipment, for example scrubber-dryers, because their vapors are explosive. This also applies to cleaning products which contain hydrogen peroxide.

The only recognized cleaning products to use with a scrubber dryer for floor sanitization are thus chlorine-based solutions.       

Other detergents have not been tested for their ability to kill the virus and are therefore not currently recognized as being effective.

  1. THE VIRUS DOESN’T REMAIN SUSPENDED IN THE AIR BUT IS DEPOSITED ON THE GROUND OR ON OBJECTS.

The coronavirus is spread via saliva droplets which usually enter the air via talking, sneezing or coughing. These droplets do not remain suspended in the air, instead they settle on different surfaces including the floor, which given its large area is actually where they are most likely to fall. Spraying chemicals into the air is therefore not effective and in addition could create problems for anybody breathing in these airborne substances.

  1. TO SANITIZE AN ENVIRONMENT FROM COVID-19 WE ADVISE CLEANING FLOORS AS OFTEN AS POSSIBLE.

To carry out effective sanitization it is necessary to first clean with a chemical that is going to remove oils and grease from the floor, especially in manufacturing environments. Once the floor has been cleaned of this first layer, it is then possible to sanitize with an approved sanitizer. How often this operation should be carried out can be difficult to establish with a general rule, however its worth remembering that that any floor area with a door to an outside environment (where people or objects could carry the virus) could turn out to be an entrance point for the virus. Complete sanitization should therefore be more frequent in high traffic areas.

Using a scrubber-dryer to carry out sanitization can save time, especially for cleaning large areas. In addition, Eureka scrubber dryers with DoseMatic® also enable quick substitution of the chemical tank fitted on the machine. This allows a fluid transition between cleaning phases, instead of wasting degreasing solution (required in the first phase) the chemical bottle can simply be substituted with a sanitizing product (for the second phase).

As stated on the official website of the Italian Ministry of Health at present there is no evidence that ozone carries out a sterilizing function against the coronavirus and consequently that it protects against infection, the same applies to steam. Instead, the most effective way to sanitize the environments in which we live is to first to clean all surfaces, including floors, with soap and water or another product which is going to remove dirt and grease, then to disinfect with an 0.1% active chlorine based solution. (cit. "Covid-19 e fake news: le nuove bufale smentite dal ministero")  

  1. DON’T OVERUSE ALCOHOL OR CHLORINE SPRAYS ON FURNITURE.

Work tops and furniture can be cleaned with a spray bottle which distributes alcohol or chlorine-based products on a surface. The use of these products however shouldn’t be abused, as if they are not used appropriately they can ruin these surfaces.