Corona-virus Cleaning-Fighting the Corona Virus
The CDC, the World health organisation and other health authorities have emphasised that as well as washing ones hand , cleaning and disinfecting of frequently touched surfaces are key in preventing COVID-19 spread
Some studies on other Coronaviruses, including SARS found they can survive on metal, glass and plastic for as long as 9 days and as long as 28 days in low temperatures unless they are properly disinfected. (BBC.com)
The good news is that Coronaviruses can be inactivated within a minute by disinfecting surfaces with 62-71% alcohol or 0.5% hydrogen peroxide bleach or bleach containing 0.1% sodium hyperchlorite.( A substance stocked and used frequently by many exterior cleaning companies)
Research has also shown that a related corona virus that causes SARS could be killed at temperatures above 56 degrees Celsius, a useful fact for companies able to provide hot pressure washing/ steam cleaning services.
It’s important to understand a Virus before you can best plan to kill it
According to Americanchemistry.com the COVID-19 Virus falls under the category of viruses that by structure are easier to kill than other viruses.
Viruses can be generally categorised into three groups by their structure. This affects the effectiveness of disinfectants in killing the viruses.
- Enveloped viruses are easiest to kill ( E.G Influenza)
- Large, non enveloped viruses are more difficult to kill ( E.G Rotavirus)
- Small, non enveloped viruses are hardest to kill ( Rhinovirus)
What Products kill Viruses?
The EPA have released a list of disinfectants that they say can kill the corona virus –https://www.epa.gov/pesticide-registration/list-n-disinfectants-use-against-sars-cov-2
Although there has not been enough time to effectively test and qualify products as killing the COVID 19 virus, the EPA can recommend such a product list as these products are known and approved in killing similar viruses which by structure are even harder to kill..
What is the Difference between Cleaning and Disinfecting?
While many people are researching Coronavirus Cleaning, Cleaning alone is not effective against fighting viruses.
It’s vitally important to understand the difference between cleaning, sanitising and disinfecting;
Cleaning– Removes dirt and impurities from surfaces or objects but it does not kill germs
Sanitising– Lowers the number of germs on a surface by reducing the germs to levels considered safe by public health standard
Disinfecting– Kills germs by using antimicrobials directly on surfaces and objects
Sterilisation– Extreme physical or chemical process that kills all types of life
The US centre for disease control and prevention recommends the use of detergent or soap and water on dirty surfaces prior to disinfection.
What is an Antimicrobial?
An antimicrobial is an agent that kills microorganisms or stops their growth, this can be bacteria or fungi but its important that we use an antimicrobial that specifically kills viruses ( a Viruscide).
What kills Viruses?
A Viruscide is any physical or chemical agent that deactivates or destroys viruses.
The most commonly known viruscides are ethanol and bleach. The active ingredient in many disinfectants which are recommended in the killing of viruses is bleach.
According to world economic forum ‘bleach can be diluted with cold water to make an effective disinfectant against bacteria, fungi and many viruses including Coronaviruses.
Bleach is made from sodium hyperchlorite, sodium hyperchlorite is used in food processing to sanitize food preparation equipment.
How Exterior Cleaning companies can help fight the Coronavirus……….
As an exterior cleaning company we have been sanitising and disinfecting objects since we formed back in 2012.
Disinfecting is part of our every day service when it comes to bins and bin stores.We also keep a stock of
Disinfectants, Biocides and Sodium Hyperchlorite which can all be used to kill viruses.
Regularly, we use sodium hyperchlorite diluted with water and mixed with a soaping agent to clean roofs and surfaces as it is great for killing moss, algae and removing dirt.
We also use biocides for control of moss and algaes on roofs and renders and specific biocides can be used to kill viruses.
To summarise, the findings from my research on viruses and the control of viruses in outdoor spaces;
the key to killing the virus is in disinfecting areas where the virus may be present with products that kill viruses.
Products known to kill viruses include bleach (sodium hyperchlorite) specific biocides (disinfectants) and also hot water. As an exterior cleaning company we are fortunate that we already stock and have extensive experience using these products. Our fleet also consists of several vehicles with the capability of producing hot water or steam for mobile cleaning.
We will look to adapt where we can and help by investing in fogging equipment to disinfect and sanitise internal spaces.