It is important to ensure you and your cleaning staff are safe and protected by taking all necessary precautions before cleaning. It is also important to know which supplies to stock up on and how to properly use them for your safety and the most effective clean. There are a few simple steps you should take to prepare for your cleaning session.
Make sure you and your staff are safe
Wait before entering your accommodation: According to WHO, airborne respiratory droplets can last up to three hours. It’s important to note that scientific research is still unclear about how long smaller aerosol particles, such as COVID-19, can last in the air. If possible, it is highly recommended to wait 24 hours before entering your property. If you are unable to wait 24 hours, a minimum waiting time of 3 hours is advised as most airborne droplets would have settled by then.
Air out the accommodation after entering: Once you enter the property, open all doors and windows to increase the air circulation of your space.
Wear personal protective equipment: Put on proper protective equipment before entering the property and wear it throughout the cleaning session. This can reduce your risk of exposure to germs and chemicals. All cleaning staff should use the following equipment:
- Mask or cloth facial covering: Disposable masks should be replaced daily or as soon as it is soiled. Reusable masks should be washed daily.
- Disposable gloves: Gloves may need to be changed between certain tasks, such as after cleaning the bathroom where they are more prone to germs. Gloves should always be changed between cleaning different properties to avoid cross-contamination.
- Hair ties or hair nets: With hair out of the way, you’re less likely to touch your face and you will prevent it from touching potentially contaminated areas while cleaning.
- Safety glasses or googles: Safety glasses or goggles will protect you from exposure to cleaning chemicals and airborne germs.
- Closed-toed shoes (or shoe covers): Protect your feet from accidental spillage of chemicals by wearing closed-toe shoes. Wearing shoe covers when entering the property will also prevent bringing in germs from outside.
Wash hands regularly: All cleaners should wash their hands regularly throughout the cleaning process. This includes when they have the gloves on as well as when the gloves are removed. Make sure to wash hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water. When handwashing is not possible, use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
Avoid touching your face while cleaning: All cleaners should avoid touching their eyes, nose, and mouth while cleaning.
Prepare the right cleaning products
Use approved products: Be sure that only approved sanitizing products are used during your cleaning session. You can refer to relevant agencies for a list of approved cleaners and disinfectants. According to WHO, products with a 70% alcohol solution or products with a sodium hypochlorite concentration of 0.1% are suitable for disinfectant products. Some commonly approved products that you may already have include:
- Sanitizing wipes with 70% - 90% alcohol (such as Clorox or Lysol)
- Disinfectant sprays with at least 70%-90% alcohol (such as Purell, Clorox, or Lysol) to be applied on surfaces with a microfiber cloth that has been soaked in the disinfectant. As recommended by WHO, simply spraying the disinfectant is not as effective as it may not precisely target the affected areas and spraying the chemicals in the air may be harmful
- Products with a sodium hypochlorite concentration of 0.1% (commonly known as chlorine or bleach)
Read and follow instruction labels on cleaning products: Always follow the directions on cleaning product and disinfectant labels, including how to use the product, dilution concentration, and contact time. If contact time or concentration is lower than recommended, this will hinder the effectiveness of the cleaning solution or disinfectant. However, if the chemical concentration is higher than recommended, surfaces being cleaned may be damaged.
Check products and continuously restock: Keep a checklist of all products needed for cleaning as well as their expiry dates. Use this checklist to determine if any items need to be restocked or replaced. Cleaning products that are past their expiration date may be less effective or ineffective at killing germs.
Store solutions properly: Use opaque containers to store your cleaning solutions and keep them in a covered area that is not in direct sunlight. If using chlorine solutions, prepare it daily to ensure the correct concentration is maintained.
Do not mix cleaning solutions: Avoid combining different product solutions as this may cause dangerous chemical reactions.