Can you believe that the world has now been living with COVID-19 for over a year and a half?
During this pandemic, commercial cleaning services have been pertinent to ensuring the spread of the virus is stopped via deep cleaning procedures.
And sure, we've all heard on the news, "a Brisbane cafe has closed overnight for deep cleaning after a woman, who was unknowingly infectious, dined there."
But what exactly is deep cleaning? Why is it necessary not just for COVID, but for general hygiene and cleanliness?
To truly stop the spread of viruses, bacteria, and COVID-19, workplaces must be regularly completing deep cleaning practices to ensure the safety and health of your employees are protected.
At In-Tec, we've had plenty of our clients ask questions about deep cleaning and what the process actually entails. So, we thought it would be best to share our knowledge with you while hopefully answering any questions you may have.
Over the past 18 months, we have performed deep cleans for a number of our clients - they had close COVID contacts visit their premises or had a positive case.
In this article, we'll dive into what deep cleaning is, and also In-Tec’s 4-step deep cleaning procedure so you have a better understanding of what processes are involved.
What is commercial deep cleaning?
So, what does it mean to do a commercial deep clean?
Deep cleaning is the process of capturing and removing all contaminants from a site. This can include visible dirt, bacteria, germs, and microbes. The deep cleaning process focuses on frequently touched surfaces, accessible spaces, and nooks and crannies.
There is no half doing a deep clean – it needs to be performed properly to be successful.
How does deep cleaning differ from general commercial cleaning?
What is the difference between general cleaning and deep cleaning?
Think of general cleaning as the standard commercial cleaning tasks your cleaner will undertake when on your site. These duties, such as mopping, vacuuming, and wiping down surfaces are performed on a regular basis and are included in the scope of works.
A general clean ensures your site is actually clean, not just looking clean.
Whereas, deep cleaning is a procedure that effectively eradicates germs, bacteria, and viruses from the workplace. Although similar tasks are undertaken just like the general clean, it involves a detailed step-by-step process that must be followed correctly in order for it to work.
How does In-Tec deep clean a workspace?
In-Tec has recently performed a number of deep cleans (mostly in retail stores) for people who have had a positive COVID test in their workplace.
We understand what steps need to be executed in order for a deep clean to work.
At In-Tec, our deep cleaning process effectively removes dirt and kills viruses including COVID-19, creating a safe and healthy workplace environment.
While there is no official standard protocol for what should be included in a deep clean, we have provided a 4-step breakdown below that clearly specifies what a highly trained commercial cleaner should be doing when performing a deep clean. All 4 steps must be followed to ensure the deep clean is executed correctly.
Step one - cleaning
In the cleaning process, a cleaner is simply conducting standard everyday cleaning practices such as removing dirt, wiping down surfaces, mopping, vacuuming floors, and steam cleaning carpets (if needed). This process is conducted with a cleaning agent and clean microfibre cloth.
Step two - sanitising
The sanitising process involves removing 99% of germs and bacteria. This requires the cleaners to go through the site a second time (after the clean) with an agent such as Oxivir. Oxivir is a hospital-grade disinfectant cleaner based on Accelerated Hydrogen Peroxide (AHP). This cleaning agent has a fast and effective cleaning performance.
Kills COVID-19 in under 1 minute
Kills viruses including Hepatitis C, Influenza A, etc in under 1 minute
Effective against 27 microorganisms
The cleaner will use this type of agent to go back through the site and sanitise hard surfaces.
Step three - disinfecting
Our method of disinfecting, especially when performing a deep clean, is using an electrostatic machine.
So, what is an electrostatic machine?
Electrostatic sprayers use positive and negative charges to aggressively cling to and coat any surface the sprayer is aimed at. These sprayers use a specialised solution of air which is atomised by an electrode inside the sprayer.
The electrostatic sprayer releases mist and is able to coat surfaces evenly, even if the mist is only sprayed from one side.
At In-Tec, one of the machines we use is the Victory electrostatic handheld sprayer. This electrostatic machine is a great solution for disinfecting germ and contaminant areas.
After cleaning and sanitising the site, the electrostatic treatment will ensure that 100% of germs and bacteria are eradicated. The entire work area is treated, specifically all surfaces that a human would touch and/or areas that are near a surface a human would touch.
Generally, carpets are not disinfected. However, if a carpet has been steam cleaned, then a bacterial treatment should be added to this whole process.
Step four - ATP testing
Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP) testing allows us to see the bacteria load counts on surfaces.
Although a surface may look clean, there is just some contamination that is not visible to the naked eye – this is where ATP testing comes in.
After we have completed the first 3 steps of the deep cleaning process, we conduct ATP tests to ensure the deep clean has done its job and removed all bacteria, viruses, dirt, and microbes.
If you require a deep clean on your site, you need to ask your cleaning company whether they know what ATP testing is, and if they can do it because it is a part of the overall deep cleaning process.
Deep cleaning for COVID-19
Deep cleaning is an action that all commercial cleaning companies should be employing during the COVID-19 period.
As part of this process, all organisations should be introducing some easy and actionable daily tasks.
High-touch surfaces should be wiped down and disinfected daily. These surfaces might include doorknobs, light switches, bench surfaces, bathroom fixtures, and more. In “hot-spot” areas where many people use the space daily, like an office kitchen or bathroom, hand sanitiser should be made readily available, and all people in this environment should be encouraged to use it regularly. Staff should also be encouraged to wash their hands every few hours.
As part of your office protocol, we would recommend organisations look at solutions to ensure that workstations and equipment are always wiped down after use. This will not only aid in preventing COVID-19 spread but also will assist in preventing the spread of common viruses and colds, creating a healthy environment for staff, and increasing productivity levels.
Remember, prevention is better than the cure
If you're considering whether you may or may not need a deep clean, then you probably do. It's better to have a deep clean conducted at your site sooner rather than later - we all know that it's easier to stop something from happening in the first place rather than dealing with it afterward.
When it comes to deep cleaning, there is no standard protocol for what should be included in the process. For instance, if you go to another cleaning service and ask for a deep clean, they may not follow the same 4 steps the team at In-Tec has implemented.
However, with over 28 years of experience conducting deep cleans, we understand what processes need to be put in place to ensure deep cleans are performed successfully. This means guaranteeing that all germs, bacteria, and viruses are eliminated.
Although some forms of deep cleaning will always be needed such as carpet steam cleaning and tile scrubbing, you should never rely on a thorough deep clean to fix the problem and make it go away. Having your workplace cleaned properly every day, or at least each time your site is attended to by a cleaner, is the best way to ensure your facility is kept clean.
We understand the importance of creating a workplace environment that is safe and hygienic for your staff.
If you’d like to get in touch, schedule a call with In-Tec’s team of cleaning experts.