Gordon McVean, International Sales and Marketing Director of Truvox International, suggests how hospitals and care homes can achieve both hygiene and high efficiency in floor cleaning.

In any healthcare setting, levels of cleanliness are all- important. But the challenges in delivering consistently reliable hygienic cleaning are considerable. Budgets are limited, spillages and emergencies occur, food is prepared and consumed, vulnerable patients are close by, and staff and visitors constantly come and go. Meanwhile, some areas such as floors in non-clinical areas may receive less attention than other surfaces.

While visible cleanliness may be reassuring to patients and public, an effective healthcare cleaning regime can’t be judged on appearances alone. The invisible microbes and toxins that can harm the health of patients and care home residents must also be eliminated. Again, this matters on floors too as feet and trolley wheels not only track soils around a building, there are also many transmission routes to clothes, hands and surfaces we touch.

Sustaining this standard of cleaning performance requires operatives who are well-trained and equipped with the most efficient and effective cleaning technology. While there are various combinations of equipment types available, the experience of our clients in the healthcare sector shows that scrubber dryers often become the indispensable players in the cleaning team.

From corridors to theatres, and waiting rooms to wards, a scrubber dryer can be the most productive weapon in the healthcare cleaning team’s armoury.

This is mainly down to the versatility of a multi-purpose floor cleaning machine that washes, mops, scrubs and dries floors in a single pass. The right machine can perform to the same high standard across a wide range of types of flooring – including safety flooring, now common in hospitals and clinics.

Yet hand mops are still used, and not only in toilets and wet rooms. While microfibre mop-heads are an advance on string mops, cleanliness is still compromised when soiled solutions in buckets are re-applied to a floor. Embedded dirt, which can provide a fertile breeding ground for micro-organisms in crevices and the grout lines of tiled floors, also defeats mopping. As hand-mopping is also time consuming, even in cramped spaces and cubicles a compact scrubber dryer is a more cost-effective alternative.

Scrubber dryers, like the Multiwash range, apply only clean solution to the floor, and remove soils and used solution, leaving a surface that’s dry and safe to walk on in minutes. Their counter-rotating cylindrical brushes clean deep into grout lines where bacteria can easily multiply.

Many healthcare facilities have policies that preclude powerful disinfectants that may be allergenic. Infection control rules tend to favour the use of natural detergents and taurine-based products. To be effective, these cleaning agents must be applied with consistent pressure and brush agitation, especially on safety floors.

Fitting the appropriate brushes for normal, maintenance cleaning or intensive scrubbing – and the type of surface – ensures effective cleaning without causing wear. Scrubber dryers should also come with side brushes to clean safety flooring that curves up the wall. An ergonomically designed machine is easy and comfortable to operate, even on long shifts.

Brushes should be easy to exchange and sterilise – unlike natural fibres, polypropylene does not encourage bacterial growth – while colour-coding helps prevent cross-contamination. Efficiency is boosted further when a scrubber dryer not only economises on use of water and solutions, but can also clean entrance matting and low-pile carpets in communal areas or family rooms.

Noise and disruption need to be minimised so cleaning can be carried out at any time of day or night. Cordless, battery- powered models carry out this work even more quietly and flexibly, with outputs up to 350m2

/hour for the Multiwash

340 Pump/Battery, while avoiding trips risks. Thus equipped, cleaning teams can deliver consistently high standards of efficiency as well as hygiene when cleaning floors. 44 | HEALTHCARE HYGIENE

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