Five steps for success

James White, Managing Director of Denis Rawlins, shares his five top tips for eliminating infection risks in retail and leisure settings.

Not long ago we saw the return of retail, with many shops reopening their doors following months of lockdown, and the government has also started to reopen the leisure industry. If we continue to control the virus and avoid mass breakouts, restrictions will continue to ease, bringing back some much-loved pastimes.

However, despite much encouragement from the government to start reinvesting in such activities, retail figures are still down and leisure venues are yet to see a huge surge in footfall.

It seems that some parts of society are nervous about the health risks posed outside their homes. If businesses are to entice customers back through their doors, they must do all they can to reassure them that it’s safe to do so, and will come down to cleaning and hygiene.

Historically, the cleaning and hygiene industry has been invisible, sadly going unnoticed and unappreciated. Since the coronavirus outbreak however, it has come into the spotlight as the main line of defence against the virus. Never before has there been such importance placed on these measures. In fact, in today’s climate, they are lifesaving.

The days of the mop and bucket have long been numbered, but as we continue to live alongside COVID-19, it’s vital that we don’t fall back on traditional sub-standard cleaning methods. We need to commit to robust, results-driven practices that can stand up to this invisible threat.

Here are our top five cleaning tips to ensure retail and leisure environments are COVID-19 secure:

1. Stop relying on disinfectant: What many people don’t realise is that – like the losing battle of antibiotics against superbugs – disinfectants become increasingly ineffective over time. Although the solution may kill most bacteria it doesn’t remove them, leaving dead microbes, along with any surviving germs, spread across the surface. Dead or alive, these microbes serve as a food source for the next wave of bugs. Some bacteria also produce biofilms that can effectively defend them from cleaning agents. There’s a real danger that disinfectant only increases bacterial resistance, rendering it ineffective after consistent use.

2. Remove dirt: It sounds obvious, but that’s the whole point of cleaning, isn’t it? All too often we see people simply spreading the germs around with a mop or cloth, not actually extracting the bacteria from surfaces. It’s crucial that any traces are removed by adding water,


and the correct chemistry in the form of a pure cleaning solution that’s uncontaminated by previous use. With some dwell time and agitation where necessary, high- flow fluid extraction can then be used to take away the used solution, storing it separately for disposal.

3. Constantly improve processes: There’s never been a better time to invest in improved cleaning methods. Cleaning with the above process will show remarkable results, even from first use. Then, every time the process is followed, it further improves the cleanliness of any hard surface.

4. Test cleanliness: Cleaning process effectiveness can be proven by taking ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate) measurements before and after cleaning. ATP is the energy molecule found in all living and once-living things, making it a perfect indicator when trying to determine if a surface is clean or not. Following up cleaning with this measurement test ensures that floors and surfaces are not just clean, but also germ free.

5. Protect surfaces: Once all dirt has been removed, the final step should always be to protect surfaces with a microbial shield like Zoono Z-71 – a cost-effective, residual polymer-based antimicrobial protection. The solution provides prolonged protection for any treated surface, significantly reducing the spread of harmful bacteria and viruses, and providing unique, proven long-lasting protection. The solution can be applied to a surface by spraying, wiping or ‘fogging’, leaving behind a mono-molecular layer that permanently bonds to the surface, forming a protective barrier.

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