Hand Hygiene: Are You Doing It Right?

Studies suggest around 80 per cent of all infectious diseases – including Influenza and the common cold – are spread by touch. Stopping those infections before they have a chance to spread is critical. The simplest way is through basic hand hygiene.

This should not be difficult. And yet, despite the fact we all do it (or at least should do it) several times a day, it seems we don’t always get it right. Let’s break it down a bit.

Are you washing your hands at the right time?

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has developed a highly effective set of guidelines to help improve hand hygiene in healthcare settings. These “five moments of hand hygiene” recommend healthcare workers should wash their hands:

  • before touching a patient
  • before clean/aseptic procedures
  • after body fluid exposure/risk
  • after touching a patient
  • after touching patient surroundings

The same principles can be applied to almost any setting. From this it follows that we should all wash our hands:

  • before handling food
  • after going to the toilet
  • after coughing, sneezing or using a tissue
  • when switching between handling raw food ingredients meat and ready-to-eat or cooked foods
  • after handling money
  • after handling waste or litter
  • after touching dirty surfaces
  • after picking up something from the floor
  • after any other activity that contaminates hands

Are you doing it right?

We all think we know how to wash our hands properly, but studies show that we generally do not. Most of the time we don’t spend enough time to let soaps or sanitisers to do their job. Or we don’t apply soap or sanitiser to the whole hand. That means the pathogens that cause illnesses can remain on our hands and spread to other people or contaminate new surfaces. The NHS has a useful video that shows how to wash hands properly.

Are you using effective products?

In many situations, using soap and water will be good enough to clean the hands. In other settings, such as health care and food service, a suitable hand disinfectant can provide additional protection and assurance. Diversey offers a complete range of products including soaps, sanitisers and creams that can be used in different settings and industries to provide the right level of hygiene, protection and infection prevention.

Are these products readily available?

Whatever products are used, it is important to ensure they are available whenever they are needed. That means providing a suitable product at the point of use, checking bottles or dispensers regularly throughout the day and topping up as necessary.

Diversey’s IntelliCare system helps to improve hand hygiene convenience and compliance. The dispenser can be used with a wide range of hand care products – soaps, sanitisers and creams – so that operators can choose the one most suited to their specific requirement.

Each product is supplied in the same design and size of pouch to enable complete interchangeability and flexibility. The pouches are larger than average which, combined with the dispenser’s excellent dosing control, ensures the maximum interval between refills. The dispenser usually operates in contactless mode but switches automatically to manual mode if its battery becomes depleted. It also issues alerts when product or battery levels are getting low so that they can be replaced before they run out. All of this helps to ensure hand hygiene products are always available.

You can learn more about IntelliCare in our introductory video:

Moonbeam Makes Light Work of Infection Prevention

Moonbeam3 delivers powerful UV-C light to provide fast broad area disinfection of high-touch surfaces in care homes and hospitals in as little as three minutes. This is much faster than fogging and almost twice as effective as traditional cleaning and disinfection alone in destroying the pathogens that cause healthcare-associated infections (HAIs).

UV-C penetrates and destroys the DNA in the cells of pathogens such as viruses, bacteria and spores. This stops these pathogens multiplying and causing infections. Moonbeam3 therefore offers facilities an alternative and completely hands, chemical and fume-free way to complement existing processes with safer high-performance disinfection.

The device is ideal for adjunct cleaning surfaces accidentally missed during regular disinfection processes and for frequently-touched, hard-to-clean surfaces and intricate equipment. It can be used in patient rooms, bathrooms, treatment rooms, and on patient care equipment, keyboards, monitors, and workstations.

Moonbeam3’s three articulating, light-producing arms can be positioned independently to direct light efficiently and closely onto the target surface. This ensures the maximum amount of light hits surfaces perpendicularly to maximise infection prevention results.

The device is easy to use with push-button activation and short operating cycles. The unique design of Moonbeam3 with its articulating arms, small size and portability allows it to be used in more places than alternative solutions. Its high-efficiency dosing increases disinfection speed which reduces labour and operating costs.

Simple but effective failsafe features including motion detection sensors prevent accidental exposure to UV-C. Periodic maintenance is limited to bulb replacement, with no tools required.

Sustainable Cleaning for the New School Year

School children are often found at the forefront of new ways of looking at the world. Nowhere is this truer at the moment than with sustainability and the environment: some of the biggest campaigns are being inspired by a new generation of vocal leaders still in their teens. These campaigns, and the greater awareness they produce, are driving demands from pupils for schools to operate with greater sustainability, including in cleaning and building care.

Diversey’s SURE range of innovative range of plant-based, 100 per cent biodegradable cleaning products can help schools reduce the environmental impact of their operations. They can be introduced quickly and easily to replace existing products which means schools can start making a real and demonstrable difference at the beginning of the new year in September. 

Products in the SURE range cover all routine and daily cleaning requirements in kitchens and washrooms including personal care. Each has been formulated to deliver superior professional results while maximising safety and gentleness for people and the environment. They meet typical eco-certification criteria and where applicable are all EU Ecolabel certified or have approval pending.

The entire SURE range is manufactured from environmentally-responsible plant-based ingredients from renewable resources. These ingredients are typically derived from by-products of the agri-food industry. They contain no artificial dyes, perfumes, quats, chlorine, phosphates or oxide compounds. Using ingredients like this means that SURE products generally have lower safety classifications than conventional alternatives. This helps make them safer for cleaning teams and bystanders, ideal in schools and similar organisations which have a very high duty of care. 

Diversey enhances the sustainability of the range even further by offering many SURE products in its ultra-concentrate platforms including SmartDose and QuattroSelect. Water is only added at the point of use which means smaller packs are required to support the same cleaning operation. This reduces packaging requirements as well as minimising transport, handling, storage and recycling burdens.

SURE offers schools a simple and effective way to introduce cleaning products with proven and demonstrable sustainability credentials. Adopting these products can also allow schools to discuss their decision in the classroom as part of their wider curriculum covering sustainability, social responsibility and hygiene.

To find out more about the SURE range, please visit the dedicated website or download the brochure below.

Make Time for the Little Things

School buildings can take a bit of a bashing during the year and keeping them clean can be pretty tricky. Daily cleaning is key but alongside their usual tasks, school cleaning teams will need to deal with a whole range of other problems caused by accidents, deliberate acts or the sheer volume and throughput of pupils and students. Fortunately, Diversey has a complete range of specialist products designed to deal with all manner of cleaning problems and make the life of the hard-pressed cleaning team just a little bit easier:

Sprint Spitfire: a powerful ready-to-use heavy duty spray cleaner that is ideal for removing graffiti and other stains from most alkaline resistant hard surfaces. Its powerful formulation is based on a mix of detergents and solvents that quickly and efficiently removes mineral and vegetable oils. It is particularly efficient for removing stains such as ink, marker, pencil, lipstick, black heel marks, smoke films, greasy food and other tenacious marks.

Tapi Gum: a fast and effective ready-to-use aerosol freeze spray. It quickly freezes the gum and allows safe and easy removal from most hard surfaces, carpets and upholstery. 

Sani Mould Out: a powerful ready-to-use grout cleaner that removes mould, mildew and fungus from ceramic and tiled areas in cloakrooms, washrooms and changing rooms. Its highly alkaline formulation also removes body fat and soap scum which helps to prevent bad odours and promotes better hygiene.

Good Sense Breakdown: removes unsightly organic residues and sources of smells in washrooms and similar areas. Can be used dilute for regular preventative cleaning or poured neat down sinks and drains for rapid results. Suitable for carpets and upholstery. Contains ONT Odour Neutralising Technology. Available in 5 litre and (coming soon) 1 litre containers.

These are just a few of Diversey’s problem-solvers and specialist products. School cleaning teams can use them alongside their daily cleaning products, tools and equipment to keep their facilities clean, hygienic and safe for pupils, staff and visitors.

Summer Carpet Care

Schools and colleges often have carpets in meeting rooms, corridors, libraries, staff rooms, or offices. A three-stage approach to keeping these areas clean – daily vacuuming, intermittent encapsulation cleaning and periodic deep extraction cleaning – will pay dividends in the long run. It can protect and refresh the carpet and prolong its life to avoid the need for expensive replacements.  

Intermittent and deep cleaning are essential because – even with daily vacuuming – schools and colleges are busy places so soiling will inevitably work its way into the fabric of the carpet. Interim cleaning helps keep carpets looking better for longer and extends the interval between deep cleaning which generally requires more drying time. Summer is the ideal time for schools and colleges to undertake these vital tasks because there is more time to remove furniture and other obstructions to get the work done efficiently.

Diversey’s innovative TASKI procarpet machine is ideal for both these tasks because it incorporates interim encapsulation and deep extraction capabilities in a single design. This removes the need to purchase separate machines for these two core tasks, saving capital, supply chain and storage costs.  Operators also retain the flexibility to undertake the application that best suits their needs based on turnaround time and soil levels.

The machine is available in two versions – the TASKI procarpet 30 and TASKI procarpet 45 – which are simple to use. This promotes productivity and offers lower total cost of ownership while delivering excellent performance and results.

The encapsulation function supports fast and efficient intermediate carpet care. Operators simply add Enhance Foam Shampoo to the built-in solution tank. The machine is then run back and forth over the carpet in its encapsulation mode. Soiling is broken down and captured by the product which dries quickly to form a powder which is picked up using a conventional vacuum cleaner. The carpet is out of commission for a minimal time and can be returned to use as soon as it has dried and vacuuming is complete, typically within around half an hour.

When deeper cleaning is required, the TASKI procarpet is simply switched into its extraction mode. A suitable product from Diversey’s extensive range is added to the tank. Enhance Extraction Cleaner – a low-foaming Woolsafe-approved extraction cleaner with a fresh fragrance – is an ideal choice for schools and colleges because it can be used on all types of carpet. Agitation by the machine promotes soil breakdown and ensures excellent penetration of the product into the pile to reach and remove even the deepest soiling. The machine’s suction pick-up mechanism extracts the soiled solution and the carpet is left to dry before it can be used again the following day.

The three-stage approach to carpet care is always advisable but sometimes a little extra is required. Stubborn stains can be removed with a suitable product such as Enhance Spot and Stain Remover. Chewing gum – which may be a particular problem in schools and colleges – can be removed with Enhance Anti Gum.

Diversey can advise on the right combination of products, tools and equipment to achieve optimum cleaning results. Cleaning floors in schools and colleges should not be overlooked but nor does it need to be onerous. Choosing the right products and equipment and using them correctly will keep processes simple while ensuring carpets remain as good as new for years and delaying the time when a replacement is required.

For more information about how to care for your carpets, please download our comprehensive Guide to Carpet Care below.

Sustainable Summer School Floorcare

Floorcare comes high up the list of summer maintenance tasks in schools and colleges because the long holiday allows enough time to work on large areas without interruptions. Educational facilities increasingly want to reduce reliance on single-use plastics and chemicals as part of their overall sustainability objectives and to meet the expectation of their students. Working without chemicals simplifies cleaning processes, creates a healthier environment for students, staff and cleaners, and reduces routine machine maintenance burdens. Twister by Diversey floorcare pads meet these objectives and offer a highly effective, economical and sustainable alternative to traditional equipment.

Hard floors in schools and colleges are made from a wide range of materials such as vinyl, composites, linoleum, terrazzo, stone, tile and even concrete. These all take a battering during the school year and each day they must deal with a constant barrage of shoes, wheels, desks and chairs and harmful contaminants. Stresses like these can quickly cause wear and premature damage without proper floor care maintenance. Protecting floors throughout their lifetime can pose a real challenge. Yet, school administrators expect a variety of floor surfaces to hold up over time and withstand the impact of day-to-day school activities. 

It is imperative to understand that every type of flooring material requires regular maintenance to ensure longevity. The ideal floor care recipe is a combination of daily cleaning and scheduled restorative cleaning, typically undertaken during the long summer break in schools and colleges. It’s important to find the right products, machines and tools that promote efficiency, cost savings and cleaning consistency.

Twister is a complete set of colour-coded floorcare pads for hard floors.

Twister is an innovative set of colour-coded floor care pads. They can be used with water alone on most types of hard floor, including those found in schools and colleges, for routine and daily cleaning as well as periodic maintenance. Used this way the pads reduce chemical usage by 100%, floor pad costs by 66%, and weight of consumables by 98% (which also saves transport and handling) compared with traditional products.

The pads are ideally used with Diversey’s advanced TASKI swingo scrubber driers or rotary-disc machines but they can, in fact, be used with machines from most leading manufacturers.

The pads are made from recycled plastics impregnated with billions of microscopic diamonds on the working side. Pads for different applications and types of floor are manufactured by changing the size and combination of the microscopic diamonds. The pads last three times longer than traditional products and significantly reduce the need for periodic maintenance. They are generally less abrasive than corresponding conventional alternatives which helps to protect the floor while giving a smoother and improved appearance. The diamond impregnated side of the pad is coloured and works as a wear indicator.

Twister pads are ideally used with TASKI scrubber driers and rotary disc machines.

Many users find that regular use of Twister pads reduces and even removes the need for periodic maintenance. However, when this is required selecting the right pads from the range can provide the additional abrasion to remove existing finishes and deposits from the floor. Once these residues have been removed, switching to less abrasive pads from the range will – with regular use – maintain a micro-polished surface that is more resistant to soiling. This helps to make ongoing daily cleaning simpler and quicker for hard-pressed school and college cleaning teams.

To find out more about Twister pads, please download the brochure and presentation below.

Fragrance Makes a Difference

We naturally associate bad smells with something being wrong. Smell is part of our built-in defence mechanism and there is some evidence it was the first sense developed millions of years ago by the earliest living creatures from which we all evolved. It is hard-wired into our brains so that we can detect and react quickly to potential dangers. But we also associate pleasant fragrances with nice things, perhaps because our senses also adapted to detect safe environments and good sources of food. No wonder we react so positively and negatively to good and bad smells.

But what does this mean for hotels? Well, it’s clear nobody likes a bad smell so if we detect one in a hotel room we might suspect something is wrong. We could think the room wasn’t cleaned properly or that the hotel doesn’t care about its guests. And nobody likes to see any evidence of a previous occupant, even though we know someone else was using the room last night. Those first impressions can be hard to shake off which is why guests tend to give negative recommendations and reviews if they experience an unclean room.

Research conducted by Diversey with Hotelschool the Hague demonstrated this. It revealed 41 per cent of guests said cleanliness is the most important factor when recommending a hotel. The cleanliness of bathrooms and bedrooms influence guests the most when they form their all-important first impression. Reviews and recommendations – and even cleanliness ratings – are now key parts of online travel, tourist and booking sites which means there is a direct link between cleaning and business performance.

Good cleaning and pleasant smells should go hand in hand. And responsible hotels put a lot of time and effort into making sure they do. So what can cause bad smells and what can housekeepers do about it?

The first, and most obvious, is that there are plenty of things to be found in bedrooms and bathrooms that will immediately smell bad to us. No surprise there, which is why regular cleaning carried out properly should be part of the daily housekeeping routine.

The next step is to remove potential sources of bad smells. Organic deposits left uncleaned in bedrooms and bathrooms can be a source of food for bacteria. As they digest and decompose the deposit, the bacteria emit gases containing sulphur or other compounds that our senses interpret as a potential danger. Regular cleaning should remove most but sometimes a little extra help is required. Drains and plug holes can be a particular problem. Diversey has developed special products containing enzymes that break down deposits in a different way so that bacteria have no food source and cannot produce the bad smells. These products can be used diluted for daily cleaning or undiluted for pouring into sinks, drains and urinals.

Other sources of bad smells can include strong foods and tobacco smoke which can linger in rooms, even if guests are not supposed to have them there. The reason our brains interpret some smells as bad is that the shape of the molecules that cause them can lock perfectly into sockets in our noses known as receptors. In fact, all smells are detected like this and it’s the same principle as a hand and glove, two pieces of a jigsaw puzzle or a nut and bolt fitting together. It follows that changing the shape of a smelly molecule should stop our noses from detecting it. Diversey has some clever products that do just this. We call this Odour Neutralising Technology and it’s included in a number of cleaning and hygiene products.

So, after all that cleaning, what about providing the aromas that make a room smell nice and create a great first impression? Cleaning alone is rarely enough so most products contain fragrances which are released as they are used. Suppliers – including Diversey – go to great lengths to get these fragrances right. Many of them work with specialist “fragrance houses” who develop new perfumes. These fragrances need to be strong enough to do the job but not so much as to be overpowering because that would give the wrong effect. Including the right amount of a similar fragrance in different products can produce a layered effect which works well. Recent advances in technology mean that fragrances are released gradually to provide a longer-lasting effect.

Fragrances also need to be the right type. Apparently, our favourite smell is that of freshly baked bread but that’s not really suitable for a hotel room. Instead, oddly enough, we prefer to be reminded of the great outdoors when we stay in hotels – so many products incorporate fragrances that hint at flowers, plants, forests or oceans.

Efficient Healthcare Trolleys

When we launched the TASKI Trolley we had a simple vision and concept: a modular design and an extensive set of components and accessories would allow an almost infinite variety of configurations.  This approach means cleaning teams can choose their “own” unique trolley layout and it has proved incredibly popular: you’ve probably seen a TASKI Trolley being used in your local hospital, supermarket or airport.

Despite this success, we realised when working with our customers in healthcare that sometimes there can be too much choice. In reality, most healthcare cleaning teams have similar requirements and the facilities they work in are much the same. Different customers often specified trolleys configured in more or less the same way from a relatively small subset of the available components. On top of this many of the larger FM and building service contractors we work with wanted to specify a standard trolley for use across multiple sites and contracts.

To make life simpler for our customers we came up with the concept of the TASKI Healthcare Trolley. It’s still based on the modular concept of the original trolley but we have removed complexity for our customers by devising a version preconfigured to suit the majority of healthcare cleaning teams’ needs. The boxes, buckets, bags, tools and accessories included with this trolley are positioned in the right place for the convenient and ergonomic access that makes cleaning work comfortable, productive and efficient. There’s no wasted space and we haven’t included anything that won’t be needed. That’s allowed to create a trolley that is also compact and mobile, ideal for working in and around busy and congested areas found in many healthcare settings. That’s one of the beauties of the modular design concept behind the trolley – you only need to include the features you want.

You can find out more about the TASKI Healthcare Trolley in our display at the forthcoming Healthcare FM event at the National Conference Centre near Birmingham on 12 June.

Different Approach to Hard Surface Cleaning in Healthcare

Healthcare FM and building care teams often use separate products for cleaning and disinfecting hard surfaces in general and non-critical areas. It’s a tried and tested approach that is accepted practice in many facilities. But recent innovations raise the prospect of using a single cleaner-disinfectant formulation that simplifies processes, saves time and improves productivity without compromising on any infection prevention capability. Replacing conventional products with a cleaner-disinfectant with proven infection prevention properties is easy to do and ensures that most surfaces are disinfected as a matter of routine during daily cleaning.

Oxivir Excel is a fast-acting cleaner-disinfectant that can replace general surface cleaning products for routine tasks and provide affordable ongoing infection protection. Effective against viruses such as Norovirus in just 30 seconds, it is one of a number of Diversey products containing innovative Accelerated Hydrogen Peroxide (AHP) as the active ingredient.

AHP is a patented blend of commonly used, safe ingredients that when combined with low levels of hydrogen peroxide dramatically increase its germicidal potency and cleaning performance. Tested to the latest EN standards, disinfectants containing AHP are highly effective against a wide range of viruses, spores, yeasts, and fungi including Influenza, Norovirus, Clostridium difficile (C. diff), MRSA, E. coli, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. This broad-spectrum efficacy simplifies cleaning processes because just one product is needed.

Diversey also offers disposable ready-to-use Oxivir Excel wipes. Convenient for on-the-spot use, these are also ideal for giving portable or high touch items such as remote controls a quick clean. A ready-to-use Oxivir Spill Kit is also available for acting quickly to contain and remove body spillages. These kits are like first-aid kits for body spillages and also contain a 750ml Oxivir Excel spray, along with absorbent granules and all the personal protection equipment (PPE) needed to deal with spillages.

Products that contain AHP offer an effective alternative to formulations with chlorine compounds as the active ingredient. AHP degrades to oxygen and water alone shortly after use which helps make formulations containing it safer to use on a wider range of surfaces. Chlorine-based products are suspected of aggravating asthma and other respiratory problems and forming chlorine compounds in the atmosphere. This is one of the reasons why these disinfectants are being replaced by alternative products, especially where lots of people may be present. Another is that many AHP-based formulations have no safety classification whereas chlorine-based products usually carry a hazard symbol.

We’ll be highlighting the capabilities of Oxivir Excel at the forthcoming Healthcare FM event at the National Conference Centre near Birmingham on 12 June.