Coronavirus COVID-19, which is still spreading globally, has been stimulating the discussion on how to stay protected from it. Without belittling the effects of the coronavirus, there is seasonal influenza spreading globally every year and proper hand hygiene should not be forgotten even under normal conditions. In addition, hospital bacteria are a constant problem in Finland and elsewhere. The question for everyone in our industry is what we can do differently so that it would have a positive impact on preventing such pandemics today and in the future. Unfortunately, the quality and processes of cleaning vary greatly from country to country, which means that it is very difficult or even impossible to come up with only one "best practice" solution.
The coronavirus mainly spreads from person to person through droplet transmission (coughing and sneezing) in close contact, like many other viruses. The Finnish institute for health and welfare recommends public areas to be disinfected. This kind of activity might involve a risk to service buyers and subsequently producers to respond only to an individual problem and thus the bigger picture may be forgotten. Instead, companies working in the cleaning industry should think about the following questions:
Even now in these struggling times against the COVID-19 virus, cleaning scenarios often tend to revert back to “traditional” chemicals and disinfectants. We do understand the sometimes desperate “let’s play it safe” mentality, but wasn’t that one of the reasons for the emergence of antibiotic-resistance, mutations and cross-contamination? Our products function well with “old” but also with new concepts, which are more focused on the process and the end result as a total, rather than a sum of products.
Nowadays, there are methods, e.g. RFC = residue free cleaning, which simultaneously reduce the physical burden on cleaners as well as the costs for the service provider by facilitating orientation and reducing manual rubbing. The latter in turn can reduce sick leave. All this can be achieved through simple changes in our practises. At the same time, the cleaning result improves and surfaces stay more presentable for a longer time.
Our company's RFC concept is based on the Reflex floor mopping method, which is a combination of a high quality 100% Ultra-microfiber cloth and a squeegee that achieves 80 times higher surface pressure than other manual floor mopping tools. Therefore, this combination obtains the highest level of dirt removal on floor surfaces compared to alternative methods.
Combining the Reflex method with either H2O Ultra clean water or ionized Tersano water, which also acts as disinfectant, results in a very clean residue free surface. As a new product, we are also offering disposable microfiber cloths for floor cleaning. The disposable cloths are also suitable for the RFC process and they work particularly well in the fight against coronavirus, as used and potentially contaminated cloths are disposed of after use. But again, all these products can also be used effectively with traditional chemistry.
The cleaning industry acknowledges the undesired residual deposit of chemicals that remain on hard surfaces and the problems that are caused. However, the reason for this are not the chemicals themselves but the process, how these chemicals are dosed and used. By switching to a RFC process, the actual cleaning work can be simplified, quality level improved, and less or even no residue at all left on the surfaces. It reduces the need for training of the cleaners and increases occupational safety as the chances for error are reduced. The result is more consistent and, above all, more environmentally friendly. From the perspective of cost-cutting for companies, the RFC concept generates significant annual savings already by lowering washing, logistics and training costs.
As it was announced by the Interclean organisation, the show has been rescheduled from spring to autumn. Our company will be there in Amsterdam from the 3 rd until the 6 th of November. At our stand we will introduce the new G3 Reflex product family and an innovative range of cleaning trolleys that enable machine cleaning to be integrated into the daily RFC process. Meanwhile, I encourage everyone in our industry to familiarize themselves with process cleaning and to start discussion on how it enables more hygienic cleaning results.
CEO, Rekola Oy Trolley Systems