James White, Managing Director of Denis Rawlins, shares his insights on a new approach to floor hygiene to achieve exemplary cleaning standards during the winter months.

We are now compelled to ensure that all our hard surfaces, including our floors, are scrupulously clean and at no time is this more urgent than in the winter months. As well as COVID-19, our health threats include other seasonal illnesses like the flu and norovirus, that spread with ease.

We think at Rawlins, that the trick is to be smart and scientific about cleaning, to get exemplary results.

Abandon the mop, get the

chemicals right Just as Coronavirus can be defeated through science, we seek improvement of hygiene performance with proven scientific and measurable methods.

Floor cleanliness and care have not changed for decades, usually entailing water, cleaning fluid and a mop. Through analysis, it has been shown that mops spread contaminants around the floor, despite water changes, which are often infrequent.

The first go-to is usually the application of disinfectants. However, much like the crisis of growing ineffectiveness of antibiotics, overuse of disinfectants isn’t the answer. Most of the dead bacteria are left behind to nourish the next wave and promote resistance to chemical agents. (Many bacteria – including E coli, salmonella, listeria, and campylobacter – already have a protective bio-film to keep disinfectant at bay.)

Be smarter – remove, improve,

and protect The three-step approach of ‘remove improve and protect’ ensures any floor is completely clean, quite possibly even to the point of sterile, for prolonged periods of time, according to laboratory testing. For facilities managers in the health and care sectors, this could be transformative. For businesses that need to get staff back into the work premises, this may bring them one step closer to safe re-instalment.

Remove: utilise a pure cleaning solution, that is uncontaminated by what’s been used before. Use the recommended amounts and ditch the habit of over- disinfecting. The result is an instant improvement in the level of cleanliness because a fresh solution dose is being used at each stage.

Improve: automation can provide faster, easier, and more consistent results with minimal use of chemicals. Floor cleaners with fluid extraction to remove dirt is the sensible, scientific, and more effective way of cleaning. Soils are removed, and held for disposal later, rather than being


spread around on a dirty mop. This approach also minimises the risk of slips and falls and is certified by the National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI) for its high traction. Operating costs are also lower as cleaning takes less staff time.

Data from tests carried out by TURI (Toxics Use Reduction Institute) Surface Solutions and Clinical and Nutritional Laboratories clearly show that a machine using high flow fluid extraction has the necessary capability to remove more than 99% of bacterial soils. This compares with just 51% at best for a microfibre mop, which drops further to 24% when the mop is replaced in the water and then re- applied to the floor.

Protect: finally, protection using a microbial shield can keep surfaces hygienically clean for days following the first two steps of ‘remove and improve’. The unique and effective water-based Zoono Z-71 antimicrobial shield makes an excellent finish to the process. Recent new data has confirmed its ultra-efficacy in laboratory and practical application tests, performing at 99.999% over 30-day periods, repelling pathogens on properly cleaned surfaces.

It is possible to achieve superior results, quickly and efficiently. It just means embracing change, technology and being prepared to progress. We know what it looks like to have lost control over a global health crisis; now it’s possible to adapt and prevail safely in our built environment with proven, scientific approaches to cleaning.

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