Everything You Need to Know About High-Level Disinfection

The Dallas area has been hit especially hard by COVID-19. As of November 9, 2020, a total of 112,000 cases and over 1300 deaths have occured. The pandemic is refusing to go down without a fight. But then again, neither are we humans.

With viruses as prevalent as COVID-19 becoming an unwanted part of everyday life, the smallest residence to the largest of corporations needs to think about a strong disinfection plan. Eating surfaces, counter tops, tables, you name it, all need to be properly cleaned to prevent infection. 

Medical facilities are certainly at the epicenter for areas that need constant cleaning and disinfecting, along with sterilization of all their medical instruments.

But there are other areas that are thought of less often such as carpets and regular floors. People come and go all day long into their residences, workplaces and businesses. But how often are those areas cleaned? This is where high-level disinfection comes into play.

What is Disinfection?

The FDA describes the term “disinfection” as “The destruction of pathogenic and other kinds of microorganisms by physical or chemical means.” 

“Disinfection is a less lethal process than sterilization, since it destroys most recognized pathogenic microorganisms, but not necessarily all microbial forms, such as bacterial spores. Disinfection processes do not ensure the margin of safety associated with sterilization processes (AAMI, 1995).”

The FDA is the only authority that regulates the chemicals used for High-Level Disinfection.

How Many Types of Disinfection Are There?

The main steps for disinfecting medical instruments were outlined In a 1939 paper titled “A Rational Approach to Disinfection and Sterilization”, by Temple University student Earle H. Spaulding. These very logical steps for disinfection are still used today with some refinements.

There are three types of disinfection before full blown sterilization:

  • Low-Level – When you need to clean things that are constantly in human contact. Ammonium-based products are used for disinfecting. A doctor’s office or any waiting area is examples of areas that need constant wiping down.
  • Intermediate-Level – This is commonly applied for work wear that comes into contact with areas that have high amounts of bacteria. This could include items such as hospital gowns or similar clothing. Cleaners containing bleach or alcohol are great for this type of disinfection.
  • High-Level – This level of disinfection is commonly used in hospital settings when people like doctors, nurses or emergency personnel in an ambulance have to deal with open wounds or similar. HLD helps to ensure that pathogens and harmful bacteria in those areas are kept under control.

What chemicals are involved with High-Level Disinfection?

High-level disinfectants are normally only found in hospital settings. These chemicals are very useful and effective when used the correct way. They can also be used in all sorts of businesses and even residential settings. When used as a disinfectant, only trained personnel should deal with these chemicals as they need to be mixed properly.

Some of the ingredients used are: 

  • Hydrogen Peroxide – An extremely useful disinfectant that’s normally used on material surfaces.
  • Hypochlorous Acid – Literally chlorine mixed with water. It makes for an excellent cleaner.
  • Glutaraldehyde – used for many things from treating warts to sterilizing surgical instruments.

High-Level Disinfection in Residential Areas

One of the most common areas for High-Level Disinfection in the home would involve carpet cleaning. The Institution on Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) provides industry standards and recommendations for things like cleaning carpets for instance. The IICRC suggests that carpets in the home be cleaned every eight to twelve months, but with shorter frequency when dealing with an epidemic for instance, maybe every six months. 

HLD is also essential when cleaning abandoned homes before renovation. Anyone who’s ever watched the television show ‘Hoarders’ has probably seen the specialized teams of people wearing full hazard gear going in to get the job done. 

Carpets attract so much dirt and debris that a thorough cleaning is essential. Microbes, bacteria, bugs and more can hide in carpets for a very long time. If you have children and/or pets, you’ll want to make sure those areas stay safe. When you hire a professional cleaning service like the team at Dallas Janitorial Services, you can be assured that they will use the proper equipment to clean and disinfect your carpet and regular floors. 

Fabric curtains are another thing that are infrequently cleaned, but they do collect a huge amount of dust, mites and other particles every day. Professional cleaning services can normally clean curtains with steam and disinfectant without having to remove them. The same can be said for cloth-covered furniture and cushions. And don’t forget those window blinds!

Disinfecting Commercial buildings

HLD cleaning is absolutely essential for any business these days. It’s especially handy for high-traffic zones such as public restrooms. Frequent areas like walls, light switches and floors need to be disinfected. Public sinks can be a hotspot for bacteria and mold. Company cafeterias, meeting rooms and even the office printer should be cleaned also. It’s always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to keeping your common business areas and employees protected from harmful pathogens. 

In medical facilities, there are no areas that should be left out when performing high-level disinfection. Places like hospitals are so busy, it’s a real challenge to keep up with things like disinfecting areas 24/7.

Businesses like daycare centers and retirement homes need to stay especially vigilant when it comes to high-level disinfection. Viruses like COVID-19 can run like wildfire through facilities like those. This is the main reason why industrial cleaning services like Dallas Janitorial Services exist.

Meet Dallas Janitorial Services

With our wide range of disinfection services, we at Dallas Janitorial Services know we can help your residential or business be as clean as it can possibly become. Our highly trained team of cleaning experts and help you devise a plan that works for you. From carpet cleaning to wall disinfection to fogging, we’ll prove how effective our techniques can be. We serve the entire Dallas/Ft. Worth area no matter how big or small. Contact us for more information at any time.

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