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Five top tips for COVID-secure leisure and event cleaning

08 September 2020

James White, Managing Director of cleaning equipment specialists, Denis Rawlins, shares his five top tips for eliminating infection risks in the leisure and events industry. 

AT THE the time of writing, the UK government had just announced that some leisure venues, such as bowling alleys and indoor play centres, could reopen to the public following months of COVID-19 lockdown. We also learnt that sporting events too can soon welcome crowds back into their premises. 

Whilst this news is positive, and takes us another step closer to pre-pandemic days, it also presents a number of challenges when it comes to managing the spread of infection. After all, there is a reason that these venues were under stricter restrictions than others for some time. 

Not only do venues like soft play centres and football stadiums encourage close contact and house several communal surfaces, allowing bacteria to easily spread, they also present numerous challenges when it comes to regular cleaning – a practice that has become more important than ever as we continue to live alongside COVID-19. 

Take a 40,000 capacity football stadium for example. From the turnstiles and bar areas, to the stadium seating and hospitality boxes. The space is vast and footfall is huge, bringing in high levels of dirt and bacteria on match days. And think of how many children touch and climb on the same surfaces at a soft play centre in between cleans.  

Having cleaning processes in place that can not only remove dirt and bacteria, but can also protect against viruses like coronavirus, is vital to the safe reopening of these venues.  Here are our top five cleaning tips to ensure leisure and events venues are COVID-19 secure:

Stop relying on disinfectant – What many people don’t realise is that - like the losing battle of antibiotics against superbugs - disinfectants become increasingly ineffective over time. Although the solution may kill most bacteria, it doesn’t remove them, leaving dead microbes, along with any surviving germs, spread across the surface. And these microbes, dead or alive, serve as a food source for the next wave of bugs. Some bacteria also produce biofilms that can effectively defend them from cleaning agents. So, there is a real danger that disinfectant only increases the bacterial resistance, rendering it ineffective after consistent use.

Remove dirt – it sounds obvious – that is the whole point of cleaning, isn’t it? But all too often we see people simply spreading the germs around with a mop or cloth. They’re not actually extracting the bacteria from surfaces. It is crucial that any traces are removed by adding water, and the correct chemistry in the form of a pure cleaning solution that is uncontaminated by previous use. With some dwell time and agitation where necessary, high-flow fluid extraction can then be used to take away the used solution, storing it separately for disposal. 

Constantly improve processes – there has never been a better time to invest in improved cleaning methods. Cleaning with the above process will show remarkable results, even from first use. Then, every time the process is followed, it further improves the cleanliness of any hard surface. 

Test cleanliness – the effectiveness of the cleaning process can be proven by taking ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate) measurements before and after cleaning. ATP is the energy molecule found in all living and once-living things, making it a perfect indicator when trying to determine if a surface is clean or not. Following up cleaning with this measurement test ensures that floors and surfaces are not just clean, but also germ free.

Protect surfaces - Once all dirt has been removed, the final step should always be to protect surfaces with a microbial shield like Zoono Z-71 - a cost-effective, residual polymer-based antimicrobial protection. The solution provides prolonged protection for any treated surface, significantly reducing the spread of harmful bacteria and viruses, and providing unique, proven long-lasting protection. The solution can be applied to a surface by spraying, wiping or ‘fogging’, leaving behind a mono-molecular layer that permanently bonds to the surface, forming a protective barrier.

James White is managing director of cleaning equipment specialist, Denis Rawlins. 

 For further information on our equipment and processes visit www.rawlins.co.uk/remove-improve-protect-covid