While infection prevention should always be top of mind, the spotlight is never brighter than with the current COVID-19 pandemic.

There are several steps housekeeping management can take to create a clean and hygienic environment for guests and staff.

  • Educate and train staff – Staff should also be educated on the difference between cleaning and disinfecting and how these processes impact the spread of infection. Cleaning is the process of removing soil from a surface as soil can harbour germs, such as influenza. Disinfecting is the process of killing the germs. Cleaning well allows disinfecting agents to work more effectively. 
  • Multi-purpose products clean and disinfect – To simplify cleaning and disinfecting tasks while increasing efficiencies, use DIN-registered multipurpose products designed to clean a broad range of task areas and disinfect in one step. Product labels should indicate what bacteria and viruses a multi-purpose product or standalone disinfectant is effective against. Train staff to follow label instructions for proper usage and dwell times. Multi-purpose products:
  • Tackle a broad range of soils/task areas
  • Reduce rework/errors
  • Balance performance with user safety
  • Simplify cleaning and training
  • Hard-surface disinfectants for use against coronavirus (COVID-19)

Refer to Health Canada’s list of authorized disinfectants that may be used against SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

Mr. Clean Disinfecting Floor and Surface Cleaner meets Health Canada’s requirements for emerging viral pathogens and is authorized to be used against SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, when used as a disinfectant in accordance with the directions for use on hard non-porous surfaces.

  • Clean high-touch areas – Germs are pervasive in our environment and are easily spread through surfaces and contact with others. In fact, the aging population is at the highest risk from germs, which kill more people than any other cause globally.
    • Clean and disinfect rooms, restrooms, dining rooms and other common areas daily.
    • Pay added attention to high-touch surfaces that are often missed, such as door handles, sink faucets, food trays, countertops, chairs, tables, light switches, toilet handles, handrails and elevator buttons.
    • Consistently clean and disinfect these areas throughout the day to help get rid of germs. Sticky surfaces can indicate dirt could still be there.
    • Additionally, staff should clean and sanitize mops and other cleaning tools to prevent cross contamination.
  • Promote hand washing – Hand washing is one of the most-important steps that staff and guests can take to help fight the spread of germs, bacteria and disease. Create and enforce proper hand-washing protocols to reduce germs and keep staff accountable. Post hand-washing reminders throughout the property for staff and guests to follow. Also, ensure hand soap dispensers are well-stocked and accessible for everyone.
  • Laundry – There is potential for contamination of the laundry wash rooms during an outbreak.

Sample disinfection for the interior of the washing machine: The machine must be empty:

  • Add 1/2 to 1 cup of liquid bleach to the washing machine and run on hot for the longest cycle. Add an extra rinse cycle. This will reduce the risk of cross contamination.
  • Safe, simple and effective – A safe, simple and effective cleaning routine is part of helping avoid exposure to harmful germs that can lead to illness.
    • Safe – Avoid corrosive or harmful chemicals that are hard on the skin or air and can pose respiratory challenges to someone with an already weakened system. Utilize closed-loop packaging for concentrates to avoid chemical contact with employees.
    • Simple – Use multi-purpose cleaners that clean and disinfect in one step, cutting out extra steps and reducing chemical-training costs
    • Effective – Get the job done right the first time. Avoid rewashes, reduce exposure to both cleaning chemicals and soils.

Properly cleaning and disinfecting guestrooms and common areas can help reduce disease transmission, and housekeeping management should always be vigilant in their cleaning efforts and staff training. By promoting good hand-washing practices, identifying high-touch surfaces and regularly cleaning and disinfecting, housekeeping managers can help keep all areas clean and hygienic. This, in turn, can help curb outbreaks and illnesses in your properties.


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