Daniel Took, Head of Professional Product Marketing at Kärcher UK talks touchpoint areas and the importance of keeping washrooms clean to prevent the spread of germs and bacteria.
During the ongoing pandemic washroom cleanliness has dominated public consciousness due to the increased awareness of germs and diseases. Tackling the build-up of dirt whilst ensuring overall disinfection has swiftly become a focal point for facilities managers to protect the health and safety of those using the facilities.
Ensuring that high-frequent touch points are cleaned effectively is a must. For cleaning washroom furnishing and appliances, selecting the correct cleaning agents is required to avoid damage. For instance, toilet lids and seats should be cleaned with an all-purpose or alcohol-based cleaner, as acid-based cleaners can dissolve dye pigments and leave stains. Toilet doors and separating walls should also be cleaned with all-purpose or alcohol-based cleaner using scratch-free pad sponges.
For washrooms with changing facilities, it is imperative that items such as benches and coat racks are cleaned, as these surfaces often come into contact with skin, they can carry harmful bacteria if not treated correctly. During cleaning, a light alkaline cleaning agent or everyday cleaner should be used before the surface is rinsed and dried with a yellow cleaning cloth.
With changing and washrooms being frequented by numerous people, they can become breeding grounds for germs if left unmaintained, as moisture and heat helps unwanted microorganisms thrive and multiply. Consequently, it is imperative that fittings, flooring, and tiles are cleaned alongside frequent touch points for an overall clean that keeps users safe.
Wall tiles should be cleaned using acidic deep cleaners prior to being rinsed with clean water. During the indicated contact time, the surface should be scrubbed with a green manual pad, to assist with the removal of dirt and oils. Tiles should be wiped with a rubber squeegee after rinsing for a professional finish.
For large surfaces, a high-pressure cleaner on cold operation with a foam device attachment is an economical solution. In the event of stubborn limescale deposit build-up, it should be treated with products containing phosphoric acid which will aid the breakdown of the unwanted material.
To clean taps, shower heads, and mixing valves limescale-dissolving cleaning agents, usually including citric acid and/or amidosulphuric acid, are ideal. To protect the fittings, the cleaner should be applied to a non-abrasive cleaning cloth or pad sponge rather than sprayed directly on to the surface. After application, the acidic cleaning agent should also be rinsed thoroughly to prevent permanent damage. Calcified aerators on water outlet valves should be unscrewed and placed in an appropriate acidic solution overnight.
Non-slip textured or rough fine stone tiles are often present in shower and toilet areas and can be best cleaned using a scrubber dyer with a roller brush head, this will carefully penetrate the gaps in the flooring to remove any unwanted particles. Used alongside acidic deep cleaners, facilities managers can achieve a highly effective overall clean. Once cleaned, the flooring should be rinsed with clean water to remove any residue acidic solution that may have remained.
Once the floor has been thoroughly cleaned, the second step is to disinfect using a misting machine. Misting machines are ideal for large surfaces as they provide an even coverage reaching inaccessible nooks where wiping would struggle to achieve the desired result. It is important to remember, that no disinfection can take place before an object or flooring has been cleaned first. For maintenance cleaning, a cleaning agent with both a fungicidal and an antibacterial effect is recommended to keep the number of microorganisms at bay long term.
The cleaning measures outlined here are effective for ensuring that changing rooms, showers, and fitness facilities are hygienic to support the wellbeing of visitors, a non-negotiable in the ongoing pandemic.
Important note: cleaning agents must be used as directed and in accordance with accident prevention guidelines – including the use of protective gloves and eye protection if necessary. Never mix cleaning agents, pay attention to the prescribed dosage, do not use warm or very hot water and rinse well with clear water.