Post-COVID Pandemic: Sanitizing & Cleaning Protocols for Offices | Waste Wise Products

Post-COVID Pandemic: Sanitizing & Cleaning Protocols for Offices

Post-COVID Pandemic: Sanitizing & Cleaning Protocols for Offices

In a world heavily affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, sanitizing offices has become the new normal. Sanitizing refers to the practice of cleaning and disinfecting your property to lower the number of germs. A regular sanitization routine helps to keep the workplace safe for employees and customers.

The chilling effects of COVID-19 are vast, potentially seeping into every surface, every crevice, and every corner of your office. According to recent research, COVID-19 can remain infectious in airborne droplets for 3 hours. The disease stays active on hard shiny surfaces, which include door handles, phones, and keyboards, for up to 72 hours. It also remains on porous surfaces (like cardboard) for up to 24 hours.

As businesses prepare for a post-pandemic routine, sanitization should continue to be a top priority for facility managers and purchasing managers alike. Using the right sanitization products, along with implementing waste disposal and recycling bins, can halt the spread of viruses in the workplace.

Follow these pandemic cleaning protocols and best practices on how to sanitize an office:

Using Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Personal protective equipment (PPE) is an excellent way to keep workers safe from COVID-19 in an office environment. Facility managers and purchasing managers should ensure that employees are provided with the appropriate PPE, such as disposable gloves and face masks. Disposable gloves will minimize germs’ spread when interacting with surfaces, while the face masks will prevent the scatter of airborne droplets.

Eye protection, boot covers, and Tyvek suits are other types of PPE that may be necessary in certain office settings. All employees should be trained on how to wear and dispose of their protective equipment properly. The latter is especially important, as proper disposal of personal protective equipment helps to lower the infection spread.

Consider adding PPE disposable bins around the office, allowing employees to discard used equipment in easily accessible locations. These bins feature distinctive labeling for masks and gloves disposal. They make an excellent addition to any commercial waste and recycling program.

Cleaning Products vs. Disinfectant Products

Many people have been stocking up on cleaning and disinfectant products in their offices. You may be well-equipped with a variety of disinfectant wipes, hand sanitizers, and floor detergents. However, it is important to understand the distinct difference between cleaning products and disinfectant products.

Cleaning products may remove dirt, impurities, and germs from the surfaces, but they won’t kill the germs. Instead, the products simply reduce the number of germs that are present on surfaces, which in turn minimizes the risk of infection. Meanwhile, disinfectant products use chemicals to kill the germs on surfaces, but they won’t necessarily clean these surfaces.

As a pandemic cleaning protocol, you should ensure both cleaning and disinfectant products are present in the office. Alternatively, you may opt for a convenient two-in-one solution with combined cleaning and disinfecting properties.

How to Sanitize an Office

When sanitizing an office, the order in which you apply the products is important. Cleaning products should be applied before disinfectant products. In fact, the best practice is to always clean dirty surfaces before using a disinfectant. This is because dirt and grime can overpower the disinfectant, weakening its effects to kill germs.

Make sure you clean all hard surfaces and porous surfaces around the office thoroughly. Remove any visible dirt, debris, and contamination from the surfaces before applying the disinfectant. Afterward, allow time for the surfaces to dry and avoid the pooling of liquids around the office.

It would be best if you took diligent care when sanitizing any office electronics, such as keyboards, tablets, and remote controls. Many electronics have specific cleaning instructions. When manufacturer guidance is available, follow the instructions closely to ensure the integrity of proper cleaning and disinfecting. When no manufacturer guidance is available, consider using alcohol-based sprays or disinfectant wipes that contain a minimum of 70% alcohol for sanitizing.

When to Clean and Sanitize Surfaces

Some surfaces are more likely to remain infectious because these areas have more traffic than others. You may need to adapt a more frequent sanitization schedule within certain parts of the office.

Clean twice a day: Washrooms need regular sanitizing, especially the faucets, soap dispensers, toilet seats, door handles, and door touchpoints. It would also help if you also sanitized elevators and escalators, conference rooms, photocopier rooms, and kitchens and lunchrooms frequently. Focus on disinfecting the commonly used surfaces, like handrails, table surfaces, door handles, and buttons.

Clean once a day: At a minimum, the office and other common areas should be cleaned once a day, including doors, light switches, thermostats, public waiting areas, and public telephones. In the kitchenette and lunchrooms, sweep and wash the floors daily. You should also clean the stairs and landing, while spot cleaning the walls, doors, partitions, and handrails.

Clean once a week: You should empty the wastebaskets, recycling bins, and PPE disposal bins every week. Also, the offices and the equipment rooms should be cleaned thoroughly.

Clean once a month: Monthly, do a full cleaning of the office, the common areas, the stairs, and the landing. These areas should be swept, vacuumed, and washed. Make sure all meeting and conference rooms are vacuumed as well.

The above pandemic cleaning protocols are flexible and should be revised as you see necessary. With the risks of COVID-19 still mostly unknown, many offices can benefit from the extra precaution of a more frequent sanitization schedule.

Follow the Pandemic Cleaning Protocols

Everyone plays a part in keeping the office clean and safe. In a post-pandemic environment, the office staff should be encouraged to clean up after themselves and sanitize high-touch areas regularly. Keep plenty of personal protection equipment, virus-killing hand sanitizer, and disinfectant wipes in stock. Make sure the PPE disposable bins are placed in strategic and visible locations throughout the office.

These sanitizing protocols and products can help make your office safer for everyone, including the cleaners, workers, and customers. No one should feel anxious about returning to the workplace, and these protocols can bring peace of mind to those who enter the building. Be a champion of a great work experience and keep the employees safe!

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