By Jim Flieler, VP Sales Canada, Charlotte Products

As your facilities begin to reopen, it is time to get back in there and provide some essential maintenance for your manual and mechanized equipment. Equipment has been sitting idle, most likely with dirty solution left in the recovery tanks or with lids closed on the solution and recovery zone, which are all great breeding zones for germs. Any time you fire up a machine after a long period of inactivity, you will spread those contaminants and associated odors and health risks throughout your facility. Now is the time to rinse, flush and disinfect this equipment and prevent the spread of infection. 

Just like your front line workers, cleaning equipment touches or comes into contact with many surfaces throughout a facility. Because COVID-19 is a droplet based infection, this is especially important with auto scrubbers that touch the floors, where heavy droplets land. Below, I offer a few steps to ensure your cleaning equipment is cleaned, flushed, disinfected and ready for a safe and healthy reopening. For more details, watch a demo and recorded webinar on this topic.

The Autoscrubber Disinfection Process

You will want to perform a disinfectant flush on many different parts of your autoscrubber or other mechanized floor equipment, including the tank, squeegee blade assembly, back hose, all brushes or floor pads and your recovery tank. As always when using a disinfectant, be sure to don the proper personal protective gear, including goggles and gloves.

Next, prepare your product according to the label, mixing the solution with the right amount of water directly in your machine’s tank. It is essential that you follow the dilution guidelines. So often improper dilution will render a disinfectant useless.

After you have filled the tank with disinfectant at the proper dilution level, take the autoscrubber to a pre-designated small area of floor. Run the machine to flush and disinfect your tank, squeegee pads, and other activated parts of the machine. Do this for the amount of time necessary to achieve your dwell time. Remember, dwell time is the amount of time a disinfectant must be wet on a surface in order for it to achieve efficacy. The dwell time will be listed on the label of your product. For a five minute dwell time, for example, you will want to run that machine back and forth in your area for a total of five minutes. That gives enough time for disinfectant solution to get in hoses, tank, and brushes and squeegee. After you have finished this, discharge all of the solution down the appropriate drain.

Next, you will want to be sure to clean and disinfect the outside of the machine, especially the high contact areas. This includes the sides of the machine, anything a person would touch to get at the battery or the tank of the machine, the steering wheel, buttons, key and safety horn. Once you’re done a pre-clean of these surfaces, it is time to disinfect. I prefer using a pop-up sprayer to get a fine mist with my disinfectant to allow for achieving dwell time. I simply spray the disinfectant using that pop-up sprayer, and then walk away for the amount of time needed to achieve dwell time. Last, rinse all surfaces using a water rinse and then dry using a cloth or air dry method.

After you are done, make sure to wash your hands or apply a hand sanitizer. To make your job easier going forward, never leave the recovery tank door closed when you are storing your equipment so that you will avoid bacteria growth and foul odors.

Now more than ever it will be important to regularly flush and disinfect your cleaning equipment. A piece of equipment such as an automatic floor scrubber touches everything in a facility. It would be a severe issue if that piece of equipment became contaminated. This process takes less than 15 minutes, but it will go a very long way toward lowering the risk of contamination, stopping the spread of disease and protecting the health of your employees and building occupants.

Learn more about this topic and a full host of COVID-19 related topics by registering for our weekly COVID-19 webinar series, which airs live Fridays at 1 pm EST. You may also watch recorded webinars online.