5 Substances That Require Your Space to Be Disinfected
When you’re the big cheese (business owner, building manager, etc.), a lot of decisions fall on your shoulders.
What kind of upholstered furniture is right for the waiting room? Should we replace the bathroom tile?
And maybe one you haven’t thought about as much: How do I know which messes require disinfecting? Isn’t cleaning and sanitizing enough?
The last thing you want is for your tenants or clients to be exposed to Staph, MRSA, hepatitis, or some other type of nasty infection.
Don’t worry because we’re here to take some of that confusion away and tell you about five scenarios that definitely require disinfection for the safety of everyone. And why you need the help of a commercial cleaning service.
But first, let’s talk about the difference between disinfecting and regular old cleaning or sanitizing.
The real deal on disinfection
When you disinfect the surfaces in your office or building, you’re getting rid of microorganisms. To truly “disinfect,” you need to use an EPA-registered disinfectant liquid cleaner or wipe.
They contain chemicals that have been proven to kill the viruses and germs that make people sick.
Another important element of a disinfectant is that it has to sit on a surface for a specified period of time to be effective.
Now, let’s move on to the WHEN of disinfecting.
1. When blood is involved...
Here are some common scenarios when blood may be an issue in the workplace:
- Kevin cut his finger in the lunchroom while he was slicing an apple.
- Susan had a nosebleed and blood dripped onto her keyboard.
- John got a papercut while making copies and got blood on the touch screen.
I’m sure you get the point. ANY time blood comes into contact with a surface in your office or commercial space, it must be disinfected right away. Do not pass Go, do not collect $200...you get it. Immediately clean up the blood.
Unfortunately, there are several infectious germs that just chill out in the human bloodstream, waiting to spring into action and cause an infection.
Which ones, you may wonder?
- Hepatitis B and C
Not the guests you want to invite to a party, to say the least.
Pro tip: In some cases, when blood has gotten onto a soft surface such as upholstery or carpet, your best bet is to let a commercial carpet cleaning company handle the job. Then you’ll KNOW it’s clean and safe.
2. When sweat is involved…
This is especially relevant for you if you own a gym or a fitness center. (Obviously.)
But there are also other scenarios when sweat can be a problem:
- Jim decides to ride his bike to work, not taking into account that he’s terribly out of shape and will be drenched in sweat by the time he arrives at the office.
- The building’s air conditioning goes out in the middle of the summer. Sweat everywhere.
- Karen decides to start jogging on her lunch break. (You can figure out how this ends.)
First of all, if someone knows they’ve touched surfaces with their sweaty selves, they should be cleaning up their own “moisture.”. But we know that doesn’t always happen. (Karen)
The problem with sweat is that it can spread skin infections as easily and quickly as a toddler will try to eat a sucker they found on the sidewalk.
Here’s what you could be looking at:
- Pityriasis rosea
Pro tip: If the facility that you manage or own IS a gym, you have the potential to infect dozens of people if you don’t disinfect properly. You owe it to your clients to be well-versed in the right methods.
3. When vomit is involved…
What? You didn’t think this list was going to get LESS gross, did you?
Vomit is actually considered a biohazard. 😬 Its greatest claim to fame is being a conduit for spreading norovirus.
But wait, there’s more. If there’s blood in the vomit (🤢 ), there’s a risk for the illnesses we already mentioned that are carried in the bloodstream.
(We don’t really need any scenarios here, do we? I think we’re all well-versed on this topic. Let’s move on.)
Just one more thing to emphasize before leaving this section behind: It’s vitally important that the area be disinfected ASAP.
Pro tip: This is another area when it’s a great idea to call on the services of a commercial cleaning company. They’ll disinfect and deodorize – an important step since the smell of vomit can linger.
4. When a known pathogen is involved…
What exactly are we talking about here?
Jake has been diagnosed with C.Diff (inflammation of the colon that causes diarrhea and colitis).
He’s going to work from home for a while, but he stops by the office to pick up a few things and touches a few surfaces throughout the space. Then he sneezes a couple of times for good measure.
Anyone who comes along and touches what Jake touched is vulnerable.
Sick people can unwittingly transfer their germs (pathogens) to the surfaces they come into contact with. And many people don’t bother to keep themselves at home when they’re not feeling well.
That makes this extra-tricky and basically requires you to include frequent and regular disinfection of your space. (Guess who can help? Yep, your favorite commercial cleaning company!)
Pro-tip: Whether you’re the building manager or the business owner, express to the people who share your space how important it is to stay home if they’re feeling sick.
5. When urine or feces are involved…
Buckle up because this may shock (and disgust) you: Urine and feces are two of the most common ways that viruses are passed.
But wait, it gets worse. These “materials” aren’t just found in the bathrooms of your office building. Yeah.
How does that work, you may wonder? Try this on for size: Four out of five people do NOT wash their hands after they use the restroom.
(This is most likely the reason that 20% of coffee cups in a typical office would test positive for feces. Yes, you read that right.)
There are less “sinister” ways that your space could be contaminated, too. Like when Sam’s wife stops by the office with the kids and little Sam, Jr. doesn’t make it to the potty in time.
💩 happens. (You knew it was coming.)
Much like the pathogens, you may not be aware that urine or feces have been “deposited” somewhere in your building, so it’s critical that you be intentional about not only disinfecting your space yourself but also having a trusted commercial cleaning service on speed-dial to help you on a regular basis.
Pro tip: Hammond Knoll offers a Stay Beautiful program that makes things easy for you. Find out more about it here.
Let a commercial cleaning service keep your space germ-free
Now that you’re well-versed in the five situations that absolutely require you to disinfect your commercial building, it’s time to start thinking about how.
You’re responsible for the on-the-spot, in-the-moment cleaning and disinfecting, but you need to have a strategy for regular professional cleaning, too.
At Hammond Knoll, our skilled, expert technicians know just how to treat whatever you come up against.