The past year has been challenging for all of us, but the future is finally looking a little brighter. With COVID-19 vaccinations on the rise and the CDC issuing new guidelines to open up businesses, schools, and larger venues, there is reason to believe that we are heading into better times or another "new normal."Those in the cleaning industry are among the unsung heroes in the pandemic, but what impact will our new normal have going forward? The pandemic brought to light the importance of cleaning for health, not only aesthetics. Pre-pandemic, the public had little knowledge and appreciation for cleaning for health. Since the COVID-19 pandemic hit the U.S., thousands of articles have been written about cleaning for health, shifting the public perception of what passes as a clean environment.
Will Heightened Cleaning Habits Remain?
According to an American Cleaning Institute (ACI) survey, cleaning practices are still front and center for about 85% of Americans. Gone are the days of cringing every time you put your PIN into a keypad. Thanks to COVID, we are all aware of the importance of cleaning for health. COVID has redefined the level of cleanliness acceptable for a business, no matter what industry you're in.
With Progress Comes Reflection
We've come a long way, but the work is not done yet. There is still a lot of misinformation circulating, leading to improper cleaning methods. Some examples include:
- The use of the term "sanitize" to address SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) on surfaces. Sanitizers do not kill as many germs as disinfectants.
- Reports of spraying and immediately wiping to disinfect without waiting the contact time is a common mistake.
- Another common mistake is the incorrect use of electrostatic sprayers intended for use on surfaces by inappropriately spraying them into the air. Cleaning companies waste product and time disinfecting surfaces that no one even touches and, therefore, are not considered higher-risk for germ transmission.
There's More Work To Do
If we want to continue to see the positive changes in the cleaning industry, we've got some more work to do. Here is what we recommend:
- Streamline surface disinfection- Instead of spraying everything, focus your disinfection efforts only on the most commonly touched areas.
- Emphasize personal responsibility- This can go for everyone, not just the cleaning staff. Everyone can benefit from getting better at washing their hands, staying home when sick, and wearing PPE when appropriate. Policies can help ensure that staff and building occupants minimize the transmission of germs.
- Open communication- As COVID-19 fades, as will the public's focus on cleaning. We need to keep sharing that cleaning for health is based on science, that it takes knowledge, skill, and practice. The people doing the work and the processes they follow are just as important as the exceptional products they are using.
COVID-19 is not the first pandemic and won't be the last. The cleaning industry can help prepare for the next one, starting with remaining vigilant with the progress we have made.
Made in America, for America
As a global leader in infection prevention solutions and expertise, Safetec of America is committed to providing high-quality products to our customers.
Safetec's SaniZide Pro 1® Surface Disinfectant Spray & Wipes is a broad spectrum, EPA Registered surface disinfectant that combines cleaning and disinfecting in one simple step with its ready-to-use, alcohol-based hospital-grade formula. With true one-minute kill claims for 48 microorganisms, SaniZide Pro 1 is safe and effective for any facility.
Safetec also offers an alcohol-free option, SaniZide Plus® Surface Disinfectant Spray is a non-corrosive, EPA registered, quaternary ammonium compound effective against MRSA, VRE, Tuberculosis, Influenza, Poliovirus, Norovirus and SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. SaniZide Plus® Germicidal Wipes are pre-saturated hard surface wipes that kill viruses such as MRSA, TB, VRE, and E. Coli in 10 minutes and HIV-1 in 2 minutes. According to the emerging viral pathogen claim, they are also effective against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Our dual quat, alcohol-free formula is non-flammable and non-corrosive on surfaces.