Author: <span>Ruth Warwick</span>
How do you clean and decontaminate a new strain of Coronavirus?
With a new, more virulent strain of Covid-19 now quickly infecting the British population ( read more at the BBC – https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-55388846 ), the big question is, “how do we protect ourselves?”.
Hydrogen Peroxide fogging is the most effective way of cleaning, sanitising and decontaminating small or large areas. Because it works beyond the reach of traditional cleaning and kills 99.9999% of germs, bacteria, pathogens and viruses this is the method used in hospitals around the world, including the NHS.
- Turn it upside down and give it a shake. I mean, a very good shake!
- Simply, wipe it over with a cloth. Don’t forget between the keys!
- Lastly: use our SaniGuard Surface Spray which is dry on contact and kills germs in seconds. A few light sprays across your keyboard and then you can go back to typing away. It can also be used on a mouse and phone systems, even computer screens.
However, hundreds of children congregating into an area, along with teachers and other staff, five days a week, creates a massive risk of infection, simply due to the amount of people in one place at one time.
Another factor which contributes to the risk is the sharing of equipment i.e. desks, keyboards and door handles.
When a local school found that several of their pupils were becoming rapidly ill, they knew they had a huge problem on their hands. As a result, our company was called in to provide them with a whole room disinfection service.
First of all, we conducted a site visit. This was to determine the number of classrooms, along with the size of them. Once we had this information, our team set off to begin the fogging process at the school. First, the classrooms were hand fogged. Afterwards, our disinfection expert placed the larger fogging machines into the classrooms and fogged again. Then, the team allowed some time for the dry mist hydrogen peroxide to settle, which is known as contact time. Once the allotted time had finished, the classrooms were vented until the level of hydrogen peroxide level had dropped below 1ppm which is the safe level.
This simple two-step process ensured the harmful germs had no chance of surviving and causing infection to anyone else in the school.
There have been no reports of illness since, so it’s a job well done. However, we do recommend an annual disinfection service as a preventative measure.
We launched Vardar in 2017. They sanitise and deodorise and are proven to kill 99.999% of bacteria, fungi and viruses including Norovirus, Influenza, E. Coli, Salmonella and Staphylococcus aerus (MRSA).
These 50ml foggers are compact and have a light concentration. They can sanitise vehicles or rooms of up to 100 square feet and are incredibly useful for smaller areas such as cupboards and safety cabinets. They can also be used in cars, offices, waiting rooms, changing rooms, toilet facilities etc. Some valeter’s use them quite regularly as part of their normal valet service, for cars, vans and ambulances.
Using Vardar is easy; simply place the fogger at the lowest point in the vehicle or room, press down the button and it will release the contents. You must vacate the area whilst the fogger begins to spray and leave it for at least 30 minutes. After this time, you can re-enter the area and open all windows and/or doors for a further 15 minutes. Then, remove the fogger from the room, recycle it and enjoy the lemon fresh scent and germ-free surroundings.
Vardar doesn’t require any training at all and comes complete with instructions.
They may say they kill 99.9% of germs but in reality, this only amounts to approximately 3 or 4 bacteria on one surface. Fogging kills 99.9999% of bacteria, fungi and viruses, which means that there will only be approximately 1 bacteria left on the surface.
On reflection, one bacteria left behind is a whole lot better than having several still lurking around to cause harm.
Conventional cleaning may clean the common cold or influenza virus but it wouldn’t kill MRSA, which is what is known as antibiotic resistant bacteria, which is present within healthcare settings. Fogging effectively kills all of these pathogens and more that we are happy to provide a list of upon request.
Also, not all disinfectants are created equally, so may not all kill the same germs as each other and some are not recommended for certain surfaces such as steel. Many cleaning products can irritate or flare up allergies that a user may have when they have been applied whereas fogging causes fewer allergic reactions and is safe for use on every surface, including electronics and fabrics.
Whilst wiping the surfaces over with a cloth is the option most of the population would turn to, the traditional cleaning method is only effective at getting rid of 11%* of harmful bacteria and viruses. Wiping down surfaces can actually spread germs, especially when only one cloth is used to clean all surfaces.
Whilst conventional cleaning may get rid of the germs that lie upon the surfaces we can see, it will not target areas which could be missed or hard to reach by cleaners, such as underneath tables and within the spaces between cupboards. This leads to hotspots, where there is a large volume of bacteria.
On the other hand, fogging kills the germs where they lie and also prevents them being transferred from one place to another (known as cross contamination) due to its automated process.
With fogging, there are no places for the germs to shelter.
*Source: British Medical Journal
We recommend calling in a whole room disinfection service every six to twelve months for hospitals, workplaces, nurseries and offices. IC Solutions 24/7 Limited are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week so will always be on hand to carry out a fogging service whenever a company requires it. This includes emergency disinfections and responses to outbreaks.
All of our technicians are fully trained and DBS checked, using the correct personal protective equipment when the fogging in progress.
We always aim to work efficiently and swiftly when carrying out the fogging process on site.
Total Release Foggers are used by valeter’s and other businesses which require a quick turnaround time, such as holiday parks. This is due to the dry on contact feature that some of the Total Release Foggers have, which means that they don’t have to wipe away any residue that all other cleaning products have. They are safe to use on electronic equipment and fabrics, reducing time wasted having to move out all furniture and computers, televisions etc. before cleaning can begin. Like the handheld units, the Total Release Foggers don’t require training before they can be used but we do provide instructions when purchased.
The Cobra and Levanto units are used by individuals for spraying hydrogen peroxide into areas that are small and hard to reach which the Sentinel Halo Disinfection Unit would not be recommended for i.e. nurseries. The handheld units are also used by plenty of our customers for spraying water based insecticides, pesticides for spraying crops and using other disinfectants, which is down to the durable plastic tanks they have.
The first type is whole room disinfection, which is a service IC Solutions 24/7 Limited take pride in offering. This uses the Sentinel Halo Disinfection Unit; operators must be trained before they can begin the process of fogging. This unit is used to spray a dry mist of hydrogen peroxide into the room, no one is permitted to enter whilst the process is on-going. This type of fogging is mainly used in larger areas such as hospitals, cruise ships and workplaces which have a higher concentration of people.
The next type is fogging through the use of handheld foggers such as our Cobra and Levanto units. We always provide user manuals when someone purchases one of these, as these units don’t require any training before use and they don’t necessarily need to be used with hydrogen peroxide. This type of fogging is mainly used in smaller settings such as nurseries, smaller offices and commercial vehicles.
We also sell Total Release Foggers, Saniguard and Vardar which are sold in various sizes and are easy to use. They sanitise and deodorise simultaneously, killing 99.99% of bacteria, fungi and viruses along stagnant odours that may be present. They can sanitise a room or vehicle in under an hour and don’t require any after wiping, as they leave behind no residue. Total Release Foggers are for commercial use i.e. valeting and lodges, as well as in the home as they can be easily set off in bedrooms, living room and kitchens for a quick cleaning solution. Therefore, anyone can use them and they are provided with instructions.
When the machine sprays the dry mist of hydrogen peroxide in the air, it immediately attacks the outer frame of any micro-organisms which cause illnesses within the room. This weakens the frame, allowing the silver to slip inside and begin the process.
When inside the cell, the hydrogen peroxide and silver compromises its structure and damages the cell’s functions. It then puts a stop to regeneration by sticking to the organism’s DNA before finally sticking to the cell’s enzymes to halt the energy source, thereby bringing a rapid demise.
After completing its job, the hydrogen peroxide breaks down into water and oxygen so there is no need to worry about there being any harmful chemicals left behind.
People must not enter the room again until it has been cleared as safe to do so. We always allow 1 hour for the solution to settle, which is known as ‘contact time’ and we vent the rooms afterwards until the Hydrogen Peroxide level has dropped below 1ppm, the safe level for people to re-enter the room after disinfection.
Well, by disinfecting your workspace, you can wave goodbye to all of the unpleasant germs that are living on the desk, door handles and even between the keys of your keyboard. You can prevent yourself and your employees from getting ill; allowing you to carry on with the day job without any hesitation. You can create an environment that is safe for both you and others to enter.
Primarily, it’s a preventative method.
Think of the work lost due to absent workers. The time that could be used helping grow your business that was wasted hiring temporary staff to cover their jobs.
An annual disinfection service costs a lot less than it does when staff are absent. You could be saving yourself from unnecessary costs by utilising this process within your workspace.
So, the next time someone you know is absent due to illness, think of fogging and the benefits it could provide.
*Source: HSE Website