Cleaning hard surfaces, especially non-porous hard surfaces, has been relatively easy for many years. Soft surfaces, such as chairs, couches, pillows, beds, curtains, rugs and carpet continue to be a challenge.
Glo-Germ Study Reveals How Infection Spreads Via Soft Surfaces
The Glo Germ Study was an infection control visual that revealed how things can be transferred within a patient’s room.
The Patient’s Bed is the Epicenter of Infection
The patient is the source of the contamination, and of course, their bed is the main hub of infectious activity.
In this study, it reveals how a patient’s visitor may sit on the bed briefly, then sits on a chair in the room, transferring whatever they picked up from the bed, onto the chair. The nurse comes in to check the patient’s vitals and closes the curtain, transferring whatever was picked up from the patient to the curtain. And it goes from there…
What Can Be Done to Help Prevent the Spread of Infectious Disease on Soft Surfaces?
There are hands-on methods, using chemicals and extraction. There are also hands-off methods, using ultraviolet (UV) light and other techniques.
Hands-On Methods of Cleaning Soft Surfaces
In many instances, this has to be the primary method used to clean any surface. Any visible contaminants must be removed. Wearing disposable gloves is a must! Other Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) should be worn as deemed necessary.
High-quality industrial disposable wipers work well to remove large debris, such as vomit, feces, food, etc.
Douse the surface (try a small test area first) with a hospital-grade disinfectant cleaning chemical (follow manufacturer’s directions), let it dwell and wipe the surface with a high-quality microfiber cloth. For really stubborn cases, use extraction equipment (i.e., commercial-grade carpet cleaning machine and/or hospital-grade wet-dry vacuum).
Finally, apply a sanitizer chemical (again, try a small test area first and follow manufacturer’s directions) and let it dry.
Hands-Off Methods of Cleaning Soft Surfaces
Ultra-violet light can be used to help disinfect surfaces.
Air-assisted electrostatic sprayers will uniformly apply disinfectant and/or sanitizer while changing the “charge” on the surface it is spraying onto. Untreated surfaces have a neutral “charge”. Electrostatic sprayers have a positive “charge” that allows the disinfectant to stick better to the surface.
Hydrogen peroxide vapor systems bio-decontaminate by depositing an even layer of hydrogen peroxide, which changes to oxygen and water when it is done working, leaving no residue behind. This system works well, but cannot be used while the patient is in the room.
An ATP Meter is a Must in Healthcare Facilities
It is estimated that only 20% of healthcare facilities use an ATP meter!
The ATP test is a process of rapidly measuring actively growing microorganisms through detection of adenosine triphosphate, or ATP. ATP is a molecule found in and around living cells, and it gives a direct measure of biological concentration and health. ATP is quantified by measuring the light produced through its reaction with the naturally occurring firefly enzyme luciferase using a luminometer. The amount of light produced is directly proportional to the amount of ATP present in the sample.
ATP tests can be used to control biological treatment reactors, as a guide to biocide dosing programs, help determine drinking water cleanliness, manage fermentation processes, assess soil activity, determine corrosion and measure equipment or product sanitation.
Contact us to discuss your soft surface cleaning situation. We can help!