AGAINST VIRUSES 24/7 With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the focus on decontamination, deep cleaning, general cleaning and hourly top-up cleans have become a mainstay of daily routines for care homes. Irrespective of whether you use a contract cleaning company or your own in-house team, the time needed to clean effectively is not inconsiderable, nor is the disruption to the residents.

Advice on cleaning solutions in the past has leant towards chlorine-based chemicals, but there has always been the issue that they can cause damage to soſt furnishing, carpets and furniture. In public spaces, the Government has now added the option that “if an alternative disinfectant is used within the organisation, ensure that it is effective against enveloped viruses.”

So, what are the other options to chlorine that are also certified to be effective against enveloped viruses, such as coronavirus and influenza? One option that is oſten not considered because it does not fall in the traditional ‘spray disinfectant’ category, is an antimicrobial nano-coating called Liquid Guard which, at its launch in December 2019, won a German innovation award.

This antimicrobial nano-coating utilises a combination of silicon dioxide polymer and antimicrobial technology to produce a ‘glass-like’, permanent bonded, self-disinfecting finish. It can be used on substrates such as door handles, remote controls, tables and everyday textiles, such as curtains, upholstery and uniforms.

The antimicrobial activity of the coating has been extensively tested on a broad range of microbes including MRSA, E. coli, Listeria and, recently, on variants of coronavirus and influenza (all certificates are available here). The antimicrobial active ingredient forms a layer of ‘nano-spikes’ within the permanently bonded coating that are positively charged and draw the microbes towards them due to their negatively charged cell membrane. The result is that the microbe is impaled on the nano-spike and ‘killed’. The physical nature of the ‘kill’ ensures that the microbes are rendered harmless straight away and will not mutate, therefore breaking the chain of infection.

The coating’s abrasion resistance has been tested and certified, under ISO - 15 -

11998, illustrating resistance of, for example, up to 40k wipe cycles on glass and ceramics. This resistance to everyday use and wear and tear means that it only needs to be applied once a year.

Application is easily achieved and can be incorporated into a care home’s deep cleaning cycle, as it can be applied by misting and fogging in large spaces or by hand with a simple spray and wipe application for smaller areas. Aſter a curing time of six hours, surfaces are ready to be used.

Whilst Liquid Guard treated surfaces will still need to be cleaned on an on-going basis to remove dust, dirt and debris, the need for frequent deep cleans is avoided, saving time and upheaval to residents and staff as well as the need for external contractors to visit site, thereby reducing possible exposure to SARS CoV-2.

At a time when all resources are stretched, Liquid Guards’ antimicrobial technology provides the opportunity to make all high-touch surfaces, actively self-disinfecting. Therefore, it kills any microbes contained in aerosol droplets, coughs and sneezes and those transferred to the surface from hands, pens, phones and other belongings that they come into contact with, continually disinfecting between cleans.

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