What the Pro's Use: A Professional Cleaners Approach to COVID-19 😷
|Life during COVID-19|
Howdy, y'all! I pray everyone is at home staying healthy, safe, and sane in these concerning times. Before we jump into professional cleaning tips and tricks, I want to clarify that this email is intended to spread a bit of encouragement and not meant to cause further alarm. It's for that reason that it has taken me this long to send out a response email. I know that we've all received 10,000 emails from every corporation that's ever had our email, but none of mine have been informational outside of the copy & paste CDC bulletins. I'm a father with a stay-at-home wife, a 2.5-year-old son and a 1-year-old daughter at home. Because of my specialized training and licenses, I'm choosing to continue working to clean and sanitize high-risk facilities that are deemed essential and have continued to remain open. This puts me directly in the middle of potential exposure each day and these are the steps that I'm taking to mitigate the risk to my family. I'm certainly not a fan of all of this mass-hysteria surrounding this thing, but as a professional cleaner and a concerned citizen, I do want to stress the importance of taking this seriously. That said, I've been compiling the policies, procedures, and protocols of both the CDC and FEMA for the last two weeks and have put together a series of best practices for both the workplace and your home. Please understand that all of the following is current as of 9:00 AM 03/25/2020.
The facts about COVID-19:
1. COVID-19 does NOT have an extended life expectancy (less than 30-minutes is what most recent studies are showing) on soft surfaces such as clothing, carpets, upholstery, drapery, etc.
Suggestion: Since this is a new virus that's still being researched, it's good to regularly clean and sanitize these textiles. If you need to go out into a public place or come into contact with anything that can carry the virus, my recommendation is to clean it thoroughly. This includes handling packages that come in the mail although they are currently considered a low-risk transmission surface. For example, those of us still being exposed to the outside world should mitigate the risk to our family by going directly to the washroom when we get home and placing our clothing in the wash. When removing a shirt from over the face, please do so slowly to ensure you don't cause anything that could be present to become airborne. At this time, a standard cleaning with normal detergent is all that's being called for. Please consider going and taking a shower immediately after, or at the very least, washing all areas of skin that were exposed including your entire arms.
2. COVID-19 is capable of surviving on hard surfaces such as plastic, metal, concrete, and natural stone surfaces for up to 72 hours.
Suggestion: Treat this as a virus so treat it as one. It's very common for viruses to live on hard surfaces for extended lifecycles; this is nothing new. Every year we service contracts for medical facilities, retirement homes, childcare centers, gyms, and churches. Virucidal fogging and electrostatic spraying is the proven method for mitigating the spread from surface contamination. So, since you likely don't have either of those pieces of equipment handy, here's what you can do at home. First, it's important to do things in the correct order. Clean high contact surfaces with detergent soap and water first, then with sanitizing solutions. Note, most disinfectants and sanitizers call for 7-10 minutes of contact time to work properly, but this dwell time is commonly reduced by simply using agitation to scrub the surface for a thorough 30+ seconds.
3. COVID-19 can remain airborne in enclosed areas for up to 4 hours.
Suggestion: Obviously, we're now under orders to steer clear of any unnecessary public places. Utilize the standard 6-foot distance between others and do not touch anything you don't absolutely need to touch. There's a massive shortage of N95 filtration masks and you need to understand that there's no perfect way to avoid this. If you're lucky enough to have already had some N95 masks (which I did from an old painting project, so go check your storage or garage and see if you get lucky) then you're going to want to minimize the use of it as they're generally considered single-use items. Since we don't have that luxury, even the CDC is recommending to recycle them by spraying them with sanitizer and only throw them away if they come in direct contact with a contaminated individual, become dirty, or become difficult to breathe through. The backup suggestion is to at least use a bandana in combination with a full face shield. People might stare, but that's ok with me... 🤷♂️
I want to reiterate that all of these suggestions come from my 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/