As the country continues recovering post the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses have to be sure that they are taking all necessary precautions. The coronavirus threat is still present, which means your business should still be following the CDC’s cleaning and disinfecting guidelines for commercial buildings. To help, we’ve put together a list of some of the best ways to clean and disinfect commercial buildings.

Why Following Guidelines Is Essential

Whether it’s sick season or not, every business should be following cleaning and disinfection guidelines to keep employees and customers healthy. These guidelines ensure that you fully remove microorganisms and don’t spread them along to people inside your business. 

At Dallas Janitorial Services, we believe that an abundance of caution is necessary at all times, whether illnesses such as COVID or the flu are spreading or not. It’s much easier to already have strict cleaning methods and protocols in place, so you can rest assured that your facility is always clean and ready to go.

Avoid the Spread of the Disease

Because COVID-19 spreads so quickly and so aggressively between individuals, an outbreak of the virus can occur before anyone knows it happened. We’ve seen countless moments where one or two individuals managed to infect a vast number of people at a single event or location.

So, if you don’t take extra precautions, you could be putting the health and safety of both your employees and your guests at risk. Also, for those who will be coming into contact with large numbers of people, the potential danger is far higher. Not only can an outbreak at your location be devastating to your workforce, but it can also ruin your business’ reputation.

Limit Your Business’s Liability

Even without a pandemic spreading through the country, companies are responsible for providing a safe work environment. Currently, employers are not immediately liable if an employee catches the virus while on the job. However, the biggest hurdle there is proving that transmission happened on company property. If an employee (or guest) can provide sufficient evidence of unsafe practices, the employer could be liable. Also, since there are no federal guidelines in place yet, the rules can vary widely between states, counties, and cities.

Overall, it’s far better to be cautious, just in case. Again, even if one cannot provide definitive evidence of transmission while on the job, the perception may be enough to cause problems. Not only that but if one worker gets sick, everyone else has to get tested, which can delay operations even further.

Provide Peace of Mind to Staff and Visitors

Finally, even as businesses reopen, the big question is whether customers will return. Consumer confidence is understandably shaky right now, particularly in areas where close contact is unavoidable. You can offer peace of mind to employees and guests by showing that you’re taking the threat seriously. Also, if other businesses are being more cavalier, you’ll look even better by comparison.

CDC Cleaning and Disinfection Guidelines

Now that we understand the value of maintaining a clean and healthy environment, let’s take a closer look at the CDC’s cleaning and disinfecting guidelines. The CDC defines the following terms as:

  • Cleaning – Using commercial cleaners that contain soap or detergent decreases the number of germs on surfaces and reduces the risk of infection from surfaces in the facility.
  • Sanitizing – Reduces the remaining germs on surfaces after cleaning.
  • Disinfecting – This can kill harmful germs that remain on surfaces after cleaning. 

On their website, they list all of their recommendations to help keep your business clean and open.

Maintain Adequate Ventilation

As more research comes in about the coronavirus, it’s clear that the most effective form of transmission is via air droplets. If an infected person coughs, sneezes or breathes next to another individual, the virus can spread very quickly.

So, one way to minimize this threat is to have excellent ventilation inside. The CDC recommends using other methods like open doors and windows if you don’t currently have a high-powered HVAC system. Also, fans can help prevent droplets from landing on specific surfaces, such as tables or prep areas.

purifier in the living room

Wear Gloves and Masks While Cleaning

Although infected surfaces are not as dangerous as air droplets, they can still spread the disease. The virus can live on most objects for several hours, potentially days. So, to ensure that employees don’t contract the disease, it’s best to have them wear personal protective equipment (PPE) while cleaning.

Enforce Social Distancing and Mask-Wearing Guidelines

Since air droplets are the primary method of transmission, social distancing is the top-recommended strategy to avoid a spread. Next on the list is to have employees and potential guests wearing masks at all times. Even if patrons balk at the suggestion, forcing workers to wear them can limit their contact with the virus. Considering that an employee is more likely to come into contact with a higher number of people, this strategy is highly effective.

During the reopening phase, it might help to have signs posted to illustrate these guidelines. Attendants may also be necessary to assist those who have trouble following them. Again, over-preparing is better than the alternative, and you can reassess your needs later on.

Focus on High-Traffic Areas and Objects

In many cases, mask-wearing and consistent cleaning schedules aren’t necessary everywhere. For example, if workers are mostly confined to a personal cubicle or office, they don’t have to wear a mask the whole day. Likewise, if an individual is the only one touching objects in that space, it’s unnecessary to clean it obsessively.

Instead, it’s better to focus on areas where social distancing is impossible (i.e., the elevator), as well as high-traffic areas (i.e., public touch screens). By focusing your attention, you can minimize the risks without having to disrupt daily operations too much.

Effective Cleaning Solutions

Thankfully, the coronavirus and other viruses can be killed using most household cleaning solutions. Some examples of these products include:

  • Commercial-Grade Cleaners – Use these in high-traffic areas where cleanliness is a priority, such as a bathroom.
  • Bleach-Based Solvents – Don’t use these products on fabric or absorbent materials. Stick to tile and other hard surfaces. Also, avoid using them in food-prep areas.
  • Alcohol-Based Disinfectant Solutions – As long as the concentration is 70% or higher, the solution will be effective. 
  • Soap and Water – A normal routine cleaning with soap and water removes germs and dirt from surfaces, lowering the risk of infections.

cleaning gloves and detergents

Call Dallas Janitorial Services Today

If you need assistance in keeping your business clean and preventing the spread of illnesses, we’re here to help. We understand the unique challenges you’ll face along the way, and our team is committed to providing the best results.

Frequently Asked Questions About Cleaning and Disinfection Guidelines

What are the five basic steps of cleaning and disinfection?

The 5 important steps of cleaning and disinfection are:

  1. Pre-scrape any dirt and food on the surface.
  2. Wash the surface with an approved detergent.
  3. Rinse the surface with clear water or running water.
  4. Sanitize the surface.
  5. Allow the surface to air dry.

What are the 7 steps in the cleaning process?

The 7 steps in the professional cleaning process are:

  1. Removing debris
  2. Rinsing the surface for the first time
  3. Applying detergent
  4. Rinsing the surface again
  5. Sanitizing the surface
  6. Rinsing the surface for the last time
  7. Allowing the surface to dry

What is the proper way to clean and disinfect?

According to the CDC, the proper way to clean and disinfect is by cleaning with water, soap, and scrubbing. Then, they recommend sanitizing to reduce germs to levels public health codes or regulations consider safe. Always clean surfaces well before you disinfect them. 

What are the CDC levels of disinfection?

The 3 levels of CDC disinfection are:

  • Low-level – Noncritical items that will come in contact with intact skin.
  • Intermediate-level – Semicritical items and noncritical items. 
  • High-level – Semicritical items that will come in contact with non intact skin, like dental and medical equipment. 

What are 5 cleaning principles that should be applied in the cleaning process?

The 5 cleaning principles that should be applied in the cleaning process are:

  • Time – Duration allotted to a cleaning task
  • Temperature – Higher temperatures aid in chemical productivity
  • Mechanical Action – Manually cleaning the surface or with a machine
  • Chemical Reaction – Using cleaning chemicals to sanitize 
  • Procedures – Proper cleaning procedures ensure effectiveness