Imagine this scenario. Finally, there is an available toilet after waiting for a long time. However, the seat is covered with droplets from the previous user! Do you know that bacteria from contaminated surfaces like the toilet seat takes only a few seconds to be transmitted to the user? Therefore, surface sanitising is important to prevent the spread of viruses.
Viruses live on surfaces around us
Environmental surfaces harbour viruses when contaminated with the body secretions from an infectious person. Examples of body secretions include saliva, mucus, blood and faeces.
Viruses are transmitted through
- Inhalation of contaminated aerosols
- Respiratory droplets of infection that come into contact with the eyes, nose or mouth
- Contact with infected body secretions
For instance, contaminated toilet seats can transmit viruses including:
- E.coli which causes diarrhoea, abdominal pain, fever and vomiting
- Staphylococcus which causes skin infections
- Hepatitis A which infects liver cells and causes inflammation
- Influenza, also known as flu
Toilet seat contamination may not always be visible to the naked eye. However, pathogens adhere to the surfaces in the toilet. Moreover, studies have proven that viruses can stay alive on surfaces for up to several days!
Squatting over the toilet seat is more harmful than you think
We have all been there. No matter how urgently you need to use the toilet, you still hesitate at the sight of a dirty toilet seat.
To avoid contact with the toilet seat, you may resort to squatting over the toilet seat while standing. Health experts have warned against this practice. Pelvic floor muscles are tensed when you squat. Therefore, it is difficult to empty the bladder fully. Over time, this increases the risk of urinary tract infections. To add to that, frequent pushing to urinate can contribute to pelvic organ prolapse.
Alternatively, an easy and effective solution to avoid germs on the toilet seat is to use a toilet seat cleaner. Initial’s range of sleek and compact toilet seat cleaners come in a variety of colours to enhance your washroom aesthetics. The compact dispenser can be mounted on the cubicle wall. Additionally, it dispenses sanitising solution in seconds.
The truth about unseen germs in the toilet
Do you know? Over 1 million bacteria stay alive after a toilet is flushed. Every flush releases tiny water droplets containing urine and faecal matter into the air. Furthermore, viruses aerosolized from flushing the toilet can remain airborne long enough to contaminate surfaces throughout the bathroom.
Initial toilet and urinal sanitiser kills bacteria in toilet bowls and urinals. It injects a dose of anti-bacterial sanitiser into the flush water to prevent the release of bacteria into the air. It also helps to eliminate the build-up of bacteria on the surfaces of toilets and urinals.
Furthermore, dirty shoes can also be the source of contamination and bacteria. Initial hygiene offers a range of germguard floor mats that can be used in indoor wet areas such as the washroom. The mats are ideal for absorbing moisture and preventing falls. In addition, germguard mats also helps to eliminate potential germ growth.
Difference between cleaning, disinfecting and sanitising
- Removes dirt, germs and impurities
- Uses washing agent, detergent and water
- Use of disinfectants to eliminate germs
- Reduces the spread of infections
- Disinfectants have a better capability to kill bacteria compared to sanitisers
- Active ingredients commonly used include bleach, phenols, hydrogen peroxide and silver dihydrogen citrate
- May be potentially harmful or toxic to living organisms
On the contrary, Rentokil provides an all-natural tea tree oil ULV misting and disinfection treatment. It uses tea tree oil derived from the Manuka tree. Unlike chemical disinfectants, Rentokil provides a natural solution that effectively eliminates virus, bacteria and fungi without causing harm. It is manufactured according to accreditations including the ISO 9001 (Quality Assurance System Accreditation) and ISO 140001 (Environmental Management System Accreditation), to ensure the highest standards. The benefits include:
- Natural disinfectant effectively eliminates virus, bacteria and fungi without causing harm
- Reliability to reach inaccessible areas
- No downtime with the use of natural and organic ingredients
- Safe and suitable for a wide variety of locations
- Use of sanitising chemicals to reduce germs to a safe level
- Contain 70% to 90% alcohol diluted with water. Alcohol can be in the form of ethanol, ethyl alcohol, isopropanol or n-propanol
- Non-alcoholic sanitisers may contain an antibiotic compound known as triclosan or triclocarban
Surface sanitising prevents the spread of viruses
Surface sanitation helps to prevent the spread of viruses. The alcohol in sanitisers helps to irreversibly break down the structure of viruses. Moreover, it is important to clean surfaces before disinfecting as organic materials may cause disinfectants to become ineffective.
Rentokil provides a Tea Tree Oil Sanitisation and Disinfectant Service that is derived from manuka trees. It effectively eliminates virus, bacteria and fungi without harming living organisms. Additionally, with its natural anti-bacterial properties, there is no need to evacuate the area after treatment.
Specifically, surfaces that are frequently touched and are at high risk of breeding bacteria include:
- Faucet handles
- Desks and countertops
- Lift buttons
- Hand rails
- Toilet surfaces
Factors that will impact the frequency of sanitisation
- Usage frequency and whether it is a high traffic environment, for instance, commercial offices
- Whether food and drinks are consumed in the area
- Profile of the users including age group and vulnerability
- Type of activity taking place in the area and the associated infection risks
Safe usage of cleaning chemicals
What’s more, it is important to keep reminders and instructions near cleaning areas to prevent the misuse and mishandling of cleaning chemicals. In particular, these are some processes to follow for the safe usage of cleaning chemicals:
- Wear gloves
- Follow product instructions on labels
- Check the dilution, shelf life and contact time before use
- Do not mix cleaners and disinfectants unless indicated on labels
- Throw disposable cleaning supplies in secured garbage bags after use
- Label chemicals correctly
- Store chemicals according to the storage instructions
- Avoid contact with chemicals if you have exposed skin wounds
- Do not fog rooms with disinfectant or sanitizers
- Avoid touching the nose, eyes and mouth when handling chemicals
- Wash hands with soap and water immediately after handing chemicals
- Dispose biohazard bags after disinfection
What can we do to enhance environmental hygiene?
Undoubtedly, routine cleaning is necessary to maintain hygiene level. To illustrate, these are some recommendations to enhance environmental hygiene:
- Develop cleaning checklists
- Conduct regular sanitisation and disinfection of the spaces
- Design a cleaning schedule so all staff know their responsibilities
- Monitor user feedback to identify areas for improvements
- Develop cleaning schedules for different areas depending on its usage
- Ensure adequate hygiene facilities such as hand soap and hand sanitisers are readily available
- Importantly, refer to NEA guidelines for the recommended cleaning procedures for specific working environments
NEA guidelines for cleaning and disinfecting areas exposed to Coronavirus
Last but not least, please refer to the NEA guidelines for the cleaning and disinfecting of areas exposed to the novel coronavirus. Additionally, it is important to educate cleaning staff to ensure that they are familiar with the processes.
- Non-healthcare commercial premises exposed to confirmed cases of the virus
- Residences that may be exposed to the virus
- List of household products and active ingredients for disinfection of the virus
- General sanitation and hygiene advisory for premise owners and operators
Contact our hygiene experts at (65) 6347 8138 to learn more.