Many medical facilities that believe the spread of containments from floor areas to other surfaces is minimal may still use basic disinfectants to clean their floors. However, in areas frequented by children, these basic disinfectants should be replaced with hospital-grade disinfectants. Where and when necessary, disinfectants that are specific to any pathogen threats that may be present should be selected.
According to Jennifer Meek, Director of Marketing for Charlotte Products Ltd., the preferred method of doing this is to select a disinfectant cleaner with a higher parts per million (ppm) concentrate.
“The key is to increase the cleaning
efficacy of the disinfectant,”
she says. “And hard-floor cleaning procedures need to be exemplary.”
The effectiveness of a hospital-grade disinfectant can be determined by reading the “disinfectant efficacy” information usually found on its label or related materials, says Meek. This claim is approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) (and in Canada by the Department of Health and a DIN Number) and lists the pathogens, kill times, and ppm of chemical solution needed to kill specific organisms such as influenza A, HIV, Norovirus and MRSA.
Information on the cleaning effectiveness of the disinfectant should also be found on the label or related materials and given a numerical rating. “Products with a stated dilution of 1:64 [rated] disinfectant cleaner, for instance, will be more effective at cleaning than a products with a stated dilution of 1:256,” she says.
To safeguard health and enhance floor care cleaning in areas frequented by children, Meek advises healthcare administrators and cleaning professionals to:
- Change cleaning solution frequently. Disinfectants can lose their killing efficacy and cleaning power as they become soiled and loaded with bacteria.
- Clean and maintain buckets. Buckets should be rinsed out and cleaned after each use. Some cleaning professionals line the insides of buckets with fresh liners to help keep the interior clean and sanitary.
- Do not allow the cleaning solution (even a disinfectant) to dwell in a mop bucket or, if using an automatic floor machine, the recovery tank. Bacteria can develop, thrive, and multiply in such an environment and then spread to other surfaces when the equipment is used.
- Minimize moisture levels. Wring mops thoroughly, and if using conventional floor care equipment, select machines that clean using less water. This minimizes the formation of bacteria colonies.
Every facility has its own unique cleaning challenges. Whether to use a disinfectant to clean and maintain floors is open to discussion. Some medical and other facilities handle the situation by determining if the threat of contamination from floor areas is critical, semi-critical, or noncritical. “But keep in mind all the floor care rules must be reexamined in those areas used by children and when threats of contamination in the facility increases,” says Meek. “In these areas, the threat is always high, as is the cost of failure.”
For more information on appropriate floor care products and proper processes please review our New Enviro-Solutions® Floor Care Program Brochure, as well as our New Enviro-Solutions® Infection Prevention Brochure for a clear understanding of infection prevention & control.