UPDATE: A Cleaners Approach to COVID-19
|New Developement: Protocol & Procedure Updates|
So, as promised, there have been new developments in the professional cleaning world that deal directly with how we (ALL OF US) treat and mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Here's the most recent update that is up to date as of 07:30 03/29/2020.
1. The virus is not a living organism but is a protein molecule (DNA) covered by a protective layer of lipids (fats) which, if absorbed by the cells of the ocular, nasal or oral membranes, changes its genetic code (mutation) and converts into a multiplier. This is why it's so hard to remediate and is proving to be so contagious.
2. Since the virus is not a living organism but rather a protein molecule, it is not killed but decays on its own. The disintegration time depends on variables such as the temperature, humidity, environment and the type of material on which it is found.
3. The virus is very fragile; the only thing that protects it is a thin outer layer of fat. That's why any SOAP or DETERGENT is the best recommendation to clean with because the soapy foam or dissolving detergent breaks the "fat" apart (that's why you have to scrub so much: for at least 20 seconds or MORE and make LOTS of foam). By dissolving the fat layer, the protein molecule disperses and breaks down on its own.
4. HEAT melts the fat coating. Use water above 85 degrees to wash your hands, clothes and all other surfaces. In addition, hot water produces more foam which adds to a soap or detergent's effectiveness.
5. ALCOHOL or any mixture with alcohol GREATER THAN 65%, but still containing water (not 100% alcohol) dissolves fat, especially the external lipid layer of the virus. This is not the time for the farmers market version of a "green" cleaner with under 60% alcohol. This virus requires full-strength consumer versions and/or industrial-grade strength if available.
6. A mixture of 1 part of bleach and 5 parts of water dissolves protein, breaks it down from the inside. Be careful with this remedy. The recommended contact time is 10-minutes and you must hit the entirety of the surface for that full dwell time. Bleach is caustic and can be damaging to the skin and other surfaces.
7. Hydrogen peroxide helps as a safety measure after soap or detergents, alcohol and/or bleach because peroxide dissolves the proteins of the exposed virus. However, you have to use it in full-strength which can be damaging to skin and other surfaces.
8. NO BACTERICIDE ONLY PRODUCTS. The virus is not a living organism like bacteria; one cannot kill with antibiotics what is not alive, but rapidly disintegrate its structure with the above recommendations.
9. NEVER SHAKE used or unused clothing, bedding, or other soft textiles. While it is glued on a porous surface, it is very inert and disintegrates between 30-minutes and 3-hours for fabric and porous surfaces. 4-hours on copper, because it is naturally antiseptic. Up to 4-hours on unpainted wood, because it inherently removes all moisture and makes it hard to detach. Up to 24-hours on cardboard that is not exposed to direct sunlight for 3 or more hours. And, finally, up to 72-hours metal and plastic. If you shake an item or use a device that causes vibration (vacuum without a HEPA filter), the virus molecules float in the air for up to 3-hours.
10. Viral molecules remain very stable in external conditions and artificially cold climates like air conditioners in homes and vehicles. Viral molecules also need moisture to remain stable and especially darkness. Therefore, dehumidified, dry, warm and bright environments will degrade them much faster.
11. UV LIGHT on any object that may be contaminated breaks the virus' open and allows the protein to decay. For example, UV light to disinfect and reuse a mask is perfect. Be careful, it also breaks down collagen, which is a protein, in the skin. Extended exposure eventually causes wrinkles and a greater risk of skin cancer. This method is unreliable as the entirety of the mask or surface must be exposed to the UV light to be effective.
12. The virus does not go through healthy skin. The use of gloves to protect the skin from harsh chemicals is worthwhile, but there is no concern of transmission through healthy skin. Be conscious of any areas of skin that come into contact with fabrics or surfaces and be sure to clean up to those areas when washing hands between contact.
13. We absolutely love the idea of green cleaning techniques, but now is the time for industrial-grade cleaning. Vinegar is NOT useful because it does not break the protective layer of fat.
14. NO ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGE or VODKA AS AN ALTERNATIVE CLEANER. Typical vodka is 40% alcohol by volume and you need 65% or greater to break the envelope.
15. Listerine is NOT AN ALTERNATIVE CLEANER. The strongest version contains only 20% alcohol.
16. Based on simple spread patterns, the more limited a space is, the higher the concentration of a virus. The more open, or naturally ventilated, the less concentrated.
17. This is seemingly overstated, but you HAVE TO WASH YOUR HANDS before and after touching your face (as you could be an asymptomatic carrier), food, locks, knobs, switches, remote controls, cell phones, watches, computers, desks, TV, etc. And especially before and after using the bathroom. You must DEEP CLEAN YOUR HANDS FOR 20+ SECONDS. For example, extended wash times help because virus molecules can hide in tiny wrinkles or micro-abrasions.
18. Continuous virucidal treatment regiments for public use areas are an absolute must. Cleaning high-contact areas frequently is the most effective way to prevent spread from surface contamination. Effective virucidal treatments are applied through a combination of electrostatic spraying and fogging applications.
19. Lastly, keep your NAILS SHORT so that the virus doesn't have an area to hide.
I want to reiterate that all of these suggestions come from the CDC, WHO, and my industry partners. I have cultivated all the information available into a shorter dialogue of the procedures and protocols we are taking in the professional cleaning industry. I have over 10 years of experience in dealing with the cleaning and sanitization of various organizations from seasonal waves of disease and viruses. I am not a doctor and I'm certainly not in any position of scientific authority. However, I have over 200-hours of continuing education credits in the FEMA and IICRC organizations. I have consulted on and performed thousands of sanitization services and by the time this is all done will have performed thousands more. There's quite a bit more that I will speak on and will continue to update our Facebook pages as more cleaning-related information becomes available.
Simply Rug Cleaning: https://www.facebook.com/simplyrugcleaning/
Theory Cleaning Co: https://www.facebook.com/theorycleaningco/
Helix Cleaning & Restoration: https://www.facebook.com/choosehelix/