High-Touch Surface Cleaning for Infection Control
Date: 09-04-2017

Housekeeping also involves cleaning frequently touched surfaces that can be the greatest sources of infection. Tatjana Ahmed, Housekeeping Manager, Grand Hyatt Dubai, explores further…

Cleanliness and guest safety are a growing concern in the hospitality industry, even at the highest hotel ‘star’ levels. From lobbies to elevators, guest rooms, fitness centers, spas and public restrooms, each area contains countless high-touch surfaces that can harbor infectious bacteria.

As the hospitality industry faces increased pressure to maintain cleaner environments, we must ensure that we use the right cleaning detergents and disinfectants together with the right cleaning method.

Training is of utmost importance in order to ensure that our employees know why they are cleaning the way they are taught to clean and the impact they have on creating a cleaner and safer environment for guests and colleagues.

High-touch surfaces include:

- Door knobs, push plates and handles
- Cabinet pulls and hardware
- Bathroom fixtures, toilet flush levers, sinks and faucets
- Light switches and plates
- Grab bars, railings and poles
- Fitness weights and attachments
- Touch pad options
- Remote controls and telephone receivers and buttons

Surfaces that are touched frequently must be disinfected several times a day if possible as they are contaminated with bacteria and germs. This might sound like a lot of work for someone working in public areas or in guest rooms. But, studies have shown that Influenza and Staph germs can survive on surfaces for hours, meaning there are plenty of opportunities for guests and staff to contract an illness from these surfaces.

Here, the importance lies in how we train our staff to ensure that surfaces receive a constant and consistent treatment to disinfect the area.

The correct sequence of cleaning as well as the right cleaning equipment is key to an effective cleaning programme. The most efficient cleaning tool is surely the microfibre cloth.

Note: Hotel rooms or hotel restrooms, which carry any sort of odours appear as unclean. Therefore, it is very important to eliminate odours at the source. One way to remove those odours is by using an aerosol, which has active ingredients to remove odours by eliminating the odour-causing molecule itself. Bathrooms with damp surfaces such as tile grout can trap also bacteria, which cause bad odour. Hydrogen-based cleaners are a good choice for breaking down odour-causing substances.