Want to learn how you can sanitize and disinfect high-touch surfaces? High touch areas usually recognized as reservoirs that may contain infectious agents, therefore they can pose a health risk to you. It is recommended that you clean and disinfect these areas frequently compared to other touch areas that kill any pathogens which may be present.
What are some of the high touch areas?
- Doorknobs on both sides of locks
- Light switches
- Toilets especially flushers.
- Toiletries such as makeup brushes, bottles, toothpaste, toothbrush
- Car items such as gearshift, mirrors, steering wheels, doorknobs and radio dials
- Remote controls for your television and woofer
- Computer/ laptop keyboard and mouse.
- Home telephone and your mobile phone.
- Microwave handles, fridge handles, and cooking gas knobs.
- Lift buttons
- Pantry area such as water cooler
What is the difference between disinfecting and cleaning?
Cleaning is the process of removing impurities, dirt, germs from surfaces. This process does not kill any viruses or germs rather it removes them thereby lowering their numbers and also the risk of spreading. On the other hand disinfecting is when you use chemical solutions to kill viruses or germs found on surfaces.
However, the process of disinfecting does not remove germs or clean dirty surfaces. It kills germs and therefore is very effective after cleaning so that you can prevent them from spreading. It is important to sanitize and disinfect high-touch surfaces in your home and office.
Tips for disinfecting and sanitizing the high touch areas
i) Consider the kind of surface which you wish to clean and disinfect. Some of the surfaces are highlighted above.
ii) Consider the shape of the surface. In this case, you will realize that a flat tabletop will be easy to clean compared to a doorknob which has many places where bacteria or germs can hide.
iii) Study the product well since every virus or bacteria which you wish to eradicate is different.
How to clean high touch areas
i) Ensure you wash frequently your touch areas using a disposable towel or a clean and reusable cloth that you can dip in warm water mixed with a cleaning detergent.
ii) Scrub the surface vigorously to remove any dust, dirt, soil, or any other debris which may be available. If necessary you can use a brush.
iii) Rinse your surfaces using lukewarm or hot water(depending on the surface) to remove debris and cleaning products.
In many cases, disposable towels are recommended for cleaning high touch areas. However, if you choose to use reusable cloths, you can soak them in your laundry cleaning machine as you continue using them. This can help in sanitize disinfect high-touch surfaces.
How to disinfect the high touch areas
After cleaning the high touch areas you can start disinfecting them so that you can kill any bacteria, germs or viruses which may be available. However, in this case, you must follow the instructions written on the label of the disinfectant solution that you are using.
Ensure you use the disinfectant which is suitable for the kind of high touch surface you wish to disinfectant. This is because if you use a wrong disinfectant you may damage your surfaces. You should not mix your disinfectant with your cleaning solutions unless it is indicated on the label.
i) Prepare the disinfecting solution as recommended by the manufacturer.
ii) You can use a clean disposable or reusable towel to apply the disinfectant solution onto the surfaces.
iii) Leave the solution on the surfaces for the contact time indicated on the label so that it can effectively kill all germs, bacteria and viruses. You must also ensure that you apply enough solution.
Cleaning and disinfecting electronic items
You must know that you cannot clean and disinfect your electronic equipment the same way that you do other items. In this case, you must use different disinfectants and strategies.
i) In this case you can use a blower to blow off any dust before you disinfect your equipment.
ii) Use only electronic disinfecting chemicals.
iii) Ensure you wipe the entire surface of your equipment but you should pay special attention to buttons, keyboards and ports.
iv) You can wipe your equipment more than once while keeping the recommended contact time.
Viruses can survive for about one month on both non-porous and hard high touch areas. This is why high touch areas have been found to play a major role in the transmission of pathogens indirectly through contamination of hand and also directly through the surface to mouth contact.
It is good that you properly clean the high touch areas daily so that you can minimize the spread of pathogens As highlighted above cleaning and disinfecting will prevent the build-up of dust, soil, and other materials that carry pathogens and also support their growth. If you follow the above you will find to easier when you are sanitizing the high touch areas.