Every day, customers call our busy office for help and advice on all things hygiene, and our dedicated team do their best to guide them on the best products and approaches. Over recent weeks, it’s become clear just how much uncertainty exists, out there, around the challenge of ensuring organisations are as safe as possible for employees and customers, as the battle to achieve a ‘new normal’ amidst the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, continues.
As our mission in life is to provide our customers with certainty and peace of mind over all-things hygiene, we’ve decided to capture these queries, and our answers to them, on an ongoing basis, in the hope that they will provide assurance for even more customers who are going through the same, challenging experience, starting with our first 10 questions and answers, below.
1. How do we safely clean or disinfect upholstery and floors?
For upholstery, sadly there is nothing ‘fabric safe/tested’, but our advice mirrors current government guidelines: use hot soapy water made up with washing-up liquid to clean fabrics and soft furnishings.
For floors and larger surfaces, antiviral, ‘ready to use’ chemicals can be an expensive solution for these areas. It’s best to contact us to discuss your specific needs, as certain products with the right germ-killing powers can damage some floor types by taking off the polish or shine.
As a general rule, bleach and chlorine tablets can offer a cost-effective solution for less fragile floor surfaces. Our Evans range of products, on the other hand, can provide gentler cleaning power while achieving the same, virus-killing results. Whichever option proves right for you, we can advise you on how to use it, including appropriate dilution rates and the cleaning equipment you need to apply it appropriately.
2. Do you provide disposable cleaning equipment?
Yes, and in fact we highly recommend using disposable items to help prevent the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus from place to place.
We have a range of wallet-friendly options available. Our lightweight, disposable cloths are available in packs of 50, suitable for individuals to use for cleaning on a smaller scale and easily transported between sites.
We can also provide ‘cloths on a roll’ for larger cleaning areas. With 500 sheets per roll, these will keep your hygiene team going for longer. Our disposable mop heads, with interchangeable handles, also offer a cost-effective way of ensuring that infection isn’t spread from one floor space to another.
3. We are asking guests to strip their own bedding, to ensure our housekeeping team has as little contact with contaminated items as possible. What can we use to keep the laundry contained while they transport it to our washing facilities?
Although it’s believed that COVID-19 can survive on cloth items like linen and clothing for some time, and be transferred through such items from person-to-person, as a so-called ‘envelope virus’, it can be killed by washing our skin and cloth items with soap and water.
Reusable, drawstring laundry sacks are a great way to keep any dirty washing contained until it goes through the washing machine cycle. Available in a variety of colours, you could even choose to implement a colour coding scheme for different items, for further protection against cross-contamination. As these reusable laundry sacks can withstand wash cycle temperatures of up to 95°c and tumble-drying, this should ensure they are fresh and sanitised after each use.
4. We don’t want our team to touch the laundry before it is washed. What other options are there?
Dissolvable-seam laundry sacks are designed to release their contents through the agitation caused by the wash cycle, via the dissolving strip along the edge of the sack.
This minimises contact further, especially if the laundry is placed in the sack by the user (i.e. in hotel environments) or handled with gloves in another setting (i.e. a care home).
5. Do you stock antiviral wipes – and would you recommend them?
As organisations battle to achieve and maintain COVID-security, constantly wiping touchpoints and surfaces is one of the most important steps they can take to keep their employees and customers safe. However, bleach-based, commonly-available products aren’t always a good solution because their COVID-busting antiviral properties are not guaranteed and they can tarnish some surfaces.
After extensive research and contact with a range of manufacturers, we now have stock available of alcohol wipes in tubs – perfect for use in all manner of environments, from manufacturing settings to care homes and easily transported for use on the move. This brand new line of stock to us comes with EN14476 accreditation and is sure to destroy the wide range of harmful germs, from common cold and flu to coronavirus.
6. What products can we use for cleaning and disinfecting safely in food preparation environments?
The EC4 Super Concentrate New Formulation from our supplier Evans is your best bet in this instance. While Evans’ commonly-used Safezone Plus and Super Professional Antiviral Disinfectant products are entirely usable in kitchens and canteen areas, we understand that food preparation areas bring their own challenges and need to meet particularly high standards where cleaning and disinfection are involved. Evans EC4 is a super-concentrated formula and therefore an extremely economical alternative to ready-to-use products. EC4 also meets the EN 1276 standard, by killing germs within a 30-second contact time, as well as the EN 14476 requirement. It is effective against ‘enveloped’ viruses including COVID-19.
7. How can I display food safely?
While buffet and self-service eatery options are currently against government guidelines, there are still options available if you would like to display items such as single cake slices, brownies or cookies. We have a range of sealable packaging available, including cookie bags, tamper-proof, sealable soup pots and sandwich bags.
8. Is there another way to provide hand protection, other than disposable gloves?
We would recommend a reusable glove such as a latex/rubber glove (think Marigolds and washing-up gloves), or, for something with more chemical resistance which is also hypo-allergenic, we can supply single pairs of reusable nitrile gloves. Both options can be safely washed and reused (just as with the recommendation for hand-washing, coronavirus germs can be killed by using soap and water) once left to air dry. We recommend buying several pairs at once to allow for washing and drying time.
9. Should I wear an apron when cleaning?
Yes – if you want to. While there are no stringent guidelines around wearing aprons when carrying out general commercial cleaning or housekeeping, there is nothing to stop you if you would like that extra level of protection. We have single-use aprons available in flat-packed pouches and in blue and white
10. We’ve decided to do takeaway food – what packaging options are available?
We have a vast range of packaging available to suit all needs and requirements. From kraft board burger boxes to chip cones, bagasse fish and chip boxes and three-compartment meal kits, to soup containers and salad boxes, there is something for every meal of the day. For more details on some of the options we have available, see our latest product brochure.
The above represent just a selection of our most frequently-asked questions of the moment. If you would like more detail around any of the above topics, or have questions of your own you would like answered, please get in touch via 01482 327580 or firstname.lastname@example.org.