It’s common for cleaning staff to prioritize the disinfection of soap dispensers, railings, door knobs, and countertops as they are more obvious high-touch surfaces that invite frequent contact from hands. However, floors need the same attention too. There are countless ways a floor can become contaminated, including exposure to the bottom of shoes, placement of bags that have been on other surfaces, patient-room spills, and residual airborne bacteria. Many facility managers consider floor disinfection to be a wasted effort instead of being a priority.
Often lying undetected, it’s important to identify how germs transfer from the floor to other critical surfaces. For example, in health care facilities, wheelchairs are a prominent source of cross-contamination, according to a study from the World Journal of Microbiology and Biotechnology. A patient’s hands will touch everything the wheels pick up as they move throughout the room, bathroom, or corridor, causing the potential spread of harmful germs or super-bugs. Another example is when visitors place handbags or other personal items are placed on the floor and then moved to a table or other high-touch areas. Flooring is a surface that all facility managers should consider adding to their infection control plan.
Disinfecting Floors After Cleaning
After the floors have been cleared of dust, dirt, and debris, cleaning professionals are clear to disinfect. Product selection for disinfection is crucial, as it impacts the safety of your building’s visitors. Below are best practices to consider when making product decisions.
- Reduce contact time. Choose a chemical concentrate with a shortened dwell time to minimize obstruction in high-foot traffic areas.
- Ensure chemical accuracy. Using the right amount of chemicals is important to ensure proper cleaning, disinfection, and sanitizing of surfaces. Mopping systems that feature a chemical dispenser provide more control by accurately applying disinfectant to the floor.
- Consider disposable options. Launder-able mop pads can harbor the dangerous bacteria that contributes to cross-contamination. Using disposable mop pads will help reduce the cross-contamination of bacteria on facility floors.
- Alleviate cleaning fatigue. Physical strain is a concern for any task requiring high repetition. Use a mopping system with ergonomic features to help alleviate cleaning staff fatigue.
Create a New Mindset for Disinfecting Floors
Today, the standard for floor disinfection is changing due to a growing awareness of the harmful bacteria that can be found on floors. As a result, facilities such as hospitals are increasingly relying on floor disinfection procedures to limit and eliminate the dangerous pathogens that resides on floors. There are core steps and products that can provide optimal disinfection results, and cleaning is an important first step in the process. Cleaning removes dirt and debris which provides housing for harmful bacteria. When selecting a dusting product, facility managers should choose a tool that traps dirt, dust and hair as opposed to products that simply redistribute debris.