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Cleaning during Coronavirus: the essentials

Keeping your boutique clean has never been more important. We’ve rounded up the government guidelines on how to safely clean your shop.

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There’s a lot of conversation and debate over the cleaning of bridal boutiques. To help direct your thinking, we have pulled together the government’s guidelines for businesses. This information offers advice for daily cleaning alongside what to do if you think an infected individual has entered your premises.

Key need to knows:

  • Cleaning an area with normal household disinfectant will reduce the risk of passing the infection on to other people
  • Wear disposable or washing-up gloves and aprons for cleaning. These should be double-bagged, then stored securely for 72 hours then thrown away in the regular rubbish after cleaning is finished
  • Using a disposable cloth, first clean hard surfaces with warm soapy water. Then disinfect these surfaces with the cleaning products you normally use. Pay particular attention to frequently touched areas and surfaces, such as bathrooms, grab-rails in corridors and stairwells and door handles
  • If you believe an area has been contaminated, such as with visible bodily fluids, from a person with coronavirus (COVID-19), use protection for the eyes, mouth and nose, as well as wearing gloves and an apron when cleaning this area
  • All employees should wash hands regularly with soap and water for 20 seconds, and after removing gloves, aprons and other protection used while cleaning

Good to know

The infection risk from coronavirus (COVID-19) following contamination of the environment decreases over time. It is not yet clear at what point there is no risk. However, studies of other viruses in the same family suggest that, in most circumstances, the risk is likely to be reduced significantly after 72 hours.

PPE

General:

The minimum PPE to be worn for cleaning an area is disposable gloves and an apron. Hands should be washed with soap and water for 20 seconds after all PPE has been removed.

Potential infection:

Additional PPE to protect the cleaner’s eyes, mouth and nose might be necessary.

Cleaning and disinfecting

General:

Areas where individuals pass through and spent minimal time, such as corridors can be cleaned thoroughly as normal.

Potential infection:

Use disposable cloths or paper roll and disposable mop heads, to clean all hard surfaces, floors, chairs, door handles and sanitary fittings, following one of the options below:

  • use either a combined detergent disinfectant solution at a dilution of 1,000 parts per million available chlorine
    or
  • a household detergent followed by disinfection (1000 ppm av.cl.). Follow manufacturer’s instructions for dilution, application and contact times for all detergents and disinfectants
    or
  • if an alternative disinfectant is used within the organisation, this should be checked and ensure that it is effective against enveloped viruses

Avoid creating splashes and spray when cleaning

Any cloths and mop heads used must be disposed of and should be put into waste bags as outlined below.

When items cannot be cleaned using detergents or laundered, for example, upholstered furniture and mattresses, steam cleaning should be used (Key point for the bridal industry)

Any items that are heavily contaminated with body fluids and cannot be cleaned by washing should be disposed of.

Laundry

Wash items in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. Use the warmest water setting and dry items completely. Dirty laundry that has been in contact with an unwell person can be washed with other people’s items.

Do not shake dirty laundry, this minimises the possibility of dispersing virus through the air.

Clean and disinfect anything used for transporting laundry with your usual products, in line with the cleaning guidance above.

Waste

Potential infection:

Waste from possible cases and cleaning of areas where possible cases have been (including disposable cloths and tissues):

  • Should be put in a plastic rubbish bag and tied when full.
  • The plastic bag should then be placed in a second bin bag and tied.
  • It should be put in a suitable and secure place and marked for storage until the individual’s test results are known.

Waste should be stored safely and kept away from children. You should not put your waste in communal waste areas until negative test results are known or the waste has been stored for at least 72 hours.

  • if the individual tests negative, this can be put in with the normal waste
  • if the individual tests positive, then store it for at least 72 hours and put in with the normal waste
  • if storage for at least 72 hours is not appropriate, arrange for collection as a Category B infectious waste either by your local waste collection authority if they currently collect your waste or otherwise by a specialist clinical waste contractor. They will supply you with orange clinical waste bags for you to place your bags into so the waste can be sent for appropriate treatment.
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