CLEANING FOR HEALTH - Tatjana Ahmed
Date: 15-01-2020

  

For many years, when asked to consider or describe the environment, people would usually visualize it as being mountains, forests, lakes and oceans. However, the indoors qualifies as environment as well. They are interconnected – what we do in the built environment impacts the outside environment, and vice versa. When considering matters of human health, the built environment becomes critically important, as we all spend a considerable amount of time indoors. We need to choose wisely when selecting materials for our interiors, and we also need to choose wisely when determining how we are going to maintain those materials.

Cleaning for appearance is important, but it is not primary. Our primary concern as Housekeeping Managers is to clean for health. We have to consider not only the chemicals used in cleaning and maintaining surfaces, but also the methods we employ to maintain these surfaces in our properties or so called build environments.

The most critical areas are represented in washrooms. Even so, they are often not visibly soiled, there can be high levels of harmful microorganisms. Bacteria and toxins ensconced in crevices contribute to bad odours too. So, special measures are warranted to protect people’s health and present a positive image to building users.

Do away with the old

Traditional cleaning methods such as hand mopping are not effective and compound any problem. The mop is repeatedly dipped into the increasingly dirty water and applied to the floor. The act of mopping breaks up the dirt on the floor’s surface, but does not pick up all or even most of the dirt, which is then left to dry on the floors surface. This is referred to as cross contamination, whereby pathogens are carried from one are to another place by equipment and workers.

Also mop-heads cannot dislodge embedded soil from grout lines or hard to reach areas in and around smaller wash rooms. To effectively remove those hazardous waste and bacteria a different set of basic principles must be applied – pristine cleans, proof of performance, productivity and professionalism.

To perform a pristine clean, an electric or battery operated scrubber dryer is essential in order to avoid spreading the dirt. These machines also increase productivity on a daily basis and have another advantage, deep cleaning is no longer needed to make up for inadequate daily cleaning. A hand-held HACCP monitoring device can easily test on floors and touch points and reassure that the cleaning is done without leaving unwanted bacteria behind.

This so called no-touch cleaning not only makes for a more professional cleaning service. It can raise the status of the cleaning operator, who is no longer expected to scrub around foul-smelling sanitary ware on bent knees. Having the right equipment to do the job properly, cleaners are more productive and motivated and can project a more professional image of our industry.

About the Author:

Tatjana Ahmed is the Chairwoman of the UAE Professional Housekeepers’ Group. She is also the Housekeeping Manager, Grand Hyatt Dubai and a Functional Specialist with the group.