Maintaining a clean workspace is crucial with the spread of the COVID-19 virus. A clean workspace and the proper usage of personal protective equipment (PPE) can help fight the spread of virus pathogens and germs and protect you, your employees, and your customers. U.S. Linen and Uniform cares about the health and safety of Washington and Oregon business owners, employees, and customers, so we have a plethora of COVID-19 related products available for delivery. U.S. Linen and Uniform has masks, gloves, directional mats, disinfectants, and sanitizers for your business to use to maintain a safe environment during the pandemic. U.S. Linen and Uniform also has some tips to help you keep your business open and prevent the spread of the virus! But first, let us quickly define the difference between cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting, as the difference can help you ensure that you and your employees are being as safe as possible!
Clean VS. Sanitized VS. Disinfected
- Cleaning removes the dirt and grime of the day from surfaces and objects. Using soap and hot water will physically clean a surface and reduce the number of germs, but it does not kill the germs living on surfaces.
- Sanitizing surfaces reduces the number of germs by killing them down to a safe level. The level in which you sanitize the objects and surfaces in your business is dependent on the CDC and your public health requirements for your business type. Sanitizers kill germs but not viruses.
- Disinfecting used chemicals to kill germs and viruses on surfaces and objects. Disinfecting will not clean dirt and grime off a surface, but it will kill the germs and viruses that could be living on it. You should always disinfect surfaces because disinfectants are the only EPA approved product that kills both germs and viruses on surfaces.
Knowing the difference between clean, sanitized, and disinfected is important. Cleaning removes the dirt and grime of the day from surfaces, but it only reduces the number of germs on a surface. Sanitizing kills the germs on a surface, but not the virus. Disinfecting means to explicitly remove both with EPA-registered disinfectants. U.S. Linen and Uniform recommends thoroughly cleaning and disinfecting all surfaces to ensure the health and safety of your community! By following the guidelines below, as directed by the World Health Organization and the CDC, you will be more likely to provide your employees and customers with a safe environment and help prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
- Make sure that your employees are washing their hands regularly and thoroughly! The USDA requires workers to wash their hands with hot water and soap for a minimum of 20 seconds. The USDA suggests humming to the full “Happy Birthday” song twice before rinsing and drying your hands. When going to dry your hands, make sure employees have access to clean towels. You should also have hand sanitizer of at least 70% alcohol content available whenever employees and customers need it! Regularly disinfect all surfaces throughout the day.
- When you are cleaning and disinfecting the surfaces in your business, wear disposable gloves, clean all surfaces with soap and hot water, and then use an EPA-recommended disinfectant on the surface. Make sure that you are paying special attention to the surfaces that people are touching often, like light switches, doorknobs, phones, keyboards, faucets, and more. Cleaning and disinfecting these high traffic surfaces frequently can help reduce the spread of COVID-19. U.S. Linen and Uniform have all sizes of disposable gloves for you and your employees, as well as a wide selection of surface disinfectants for you to choose from.
- COVID-19 and other germs are not just found on hard surfaces, but soft ones too! Regularly laundering your towels, aprons, table linens, and uniforms will help protect employees and customers alike. If you are laundering the above items yourself, make sure you are wearing disposable gloves and following the manufactures instructions to properly disinfect for COVID-19. Use the warmest water appropriate for the items you are laundering and always dry them fully. Make sure you are disinfecting the laundry hamper after each use to kill germs and viruses. If you do not want to stress about cleaning and disinfecting these items yourself, U.S. Linen and Uniform understands the value of peace of mind when it comes to your business needs. We ensure that your items are clean, stain-free, disinfected, and ready to roll once we deliver them!
- Provide proper training for your employees! Knowing how to properly use disinfectants and PPE is crucial to making sure you, your employees, and customers are staying safe. Knowing when PPE is essential, how to wear it, and dispose of it is important information for all employees and customers to know. Training employees on excellent disinfectant practices will help keep them safe from the spread of the virus and provide your customers with peace of mind. All chemicals can be very dangerous if not used properly! Ensuring that your employees are trained to properly handle cleaning products that contain chemicals is imperative. Always make sure that you and your employees are complying with OSHA standards on the handling of hazardous cleaning materials 29 CFR 1910.1200, bloodborne pathogens 29 CFR 1910.1030, and proper discarding of PPE and waste materials 29 CFE 1910.132.
- Displaying informational signage around your business can reinforce safe practices that help prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Informational signage can create a comfortable atmosphere for your customers as well! By providing signage, you are showing that you care about their safety and that you and your employees are doing everything you can to provide a safe customer experience. Using mats that instruct them where to stand will help them maintain the 6-foot required distance from each other. Directional mats can help direct people where they need to go to stay socially distanced from others and reduce the amount of person-to-person contact they have with other customers and employees.
Knowing the difference between clean, sanitized, and disinfected while following and implementing these practices can help ensure the safety of you, your employees, and the customers coming to your business. U.S. Linen and Uniform is considered an essential business and we are dedicated to helping our existing clients and non-clients during this challenging time. We are working very hard to support local essential businesses in having the supplies and PPE you need to stay safe and stay open!