A Three Step Approach To Cleaning And Disinfection
CDC guidelines recommend cleaning all potentially contaminated surfaces prior to applying a disinfectant. This approach has been supported by leading authorities in the janitorial and medical fields because of the following reason: pathogenic organisms (i.e. bacteria, viruses, etc. that cause disease) cannot be disinfected (i.e. killed) in the presence of soil. That’s why disinfection has to be a two-step process: clean first, then disinfect.
Disinfectant Sprays Are Ineffective If the Surface Hasn’t Been Cleaned First
We do not recommend or support one-step disinfectant processes (e.g. just applying a spray to an area without cleaning it thoroughly first) because it cannot produce the level of disinfection that is desired.
Our ATP Test Results Are Conclusive: Surfaces Must Be Cleaned Prior To Applying a Disinfectant
We have run pre-and post contamination tests on surfaces that were only sprayed with disinfectant and those that were cleaned first and then disinfected. We found that significant amounts of bio-contaminants were still present when surfaces weren’t cleaned prior to applying a disinfectant.
Our Goal: Achieve Target ATP Levels
We have established target ATP levels for different surfaces in accordance with accepted industry standards. We use the following spray-wipe-spray system to achieve these levels:
The surface is sprayed with a cleaner/disinfectant.
The surface is wiped with a microfiber towel to remove any visible soil and dirt. The microfiber towel is discarded after a single use.
The cleaned area is sprayed with a hospital grade disinfectant in sufficient quantity to achieve the required dwell time (i.e. the time needed for the disinfectant to kill any pathogens present)
This process has been tested over and over (ATP measurements) and has shown that it reduces microbial loads while preventing cross contamination.
Controlling Costs Without Sacrificing Results:
We have tested each stage of the cleaning and disinfection process to ensure the best results possible. However, we are cognizant of the costs involved and are doing everything we can to streamline the cleaning and disinfection process. We have compared several different cleaning protocols and have adopted the most efficient procedures.
Ace's Standard Cleaning Process Reduces Cross Contamination (i.e the spread of pathogens):
When cleaning your facility, it’s important that you thoroughly remove any pathogenic organisms that are present. However, once they’re removed, it’s just as important that you don’t spread those pathogens to other surfaces.
Reduce cross contamination and aerosolization (i.e. re-suspension of viral particles from a surface into the air) with the following equipment, supplies and processes:
Ace's Processes, Supplies and Equipment:
High quality microfiber cloths and mop heads with the following specs:
80% polyester/20% polyamide composition;
Microfibers split to a diameter of .1 denier to trap more soil and germs
GSM weight of 300 grams per meter squared (or more) for maximum absorption;
Color coded system to prevent the use of the same towel in more than one area;
Cleaning sequences are followed to reduce the chance of cross contamination:
Clean from high to low (e.g. high dusting first)
Clean the dirtiest areas last (e.g. bathrooms cleaned last);
Mop heads changed frequently; different mop heads used in each area of your facility;
Microfiber flat mopping systems that apply a continuous stream of fresh cleaning solution (no string mops and buckets because they become contaminated quickly);
Janitor’s change gloves frequently (to prevent the spread of germs that can accumulate on gloves);
Our technicians use no touch spray systems to apply a disinfectant;
Vacuums with HEPA filtration systems to remove small dust particles and prevent the re-suspension of viral particles and other bio-contaminants that can occur with less effective filtration systems.
Electrostatic spray and fogging systems to apply disinfectants without causing aerosolization (i.e. respiratory droplets and other bio-contaminants can become airborne with some systems).
I. EPA Registered Disinfectants Approved For Use Against Coronavirus
After the surfaces have been cleaned, we apply hospital grade disinfectants that are approved by the EPA for use against the Coronavirus.
Oxivir, an accelerated hydrogen peroxide formulation that is a broad spectrum, EPA approved disinfectant and can be safely used in personal work areas, on soft and or porous materials.
II. Electrostatic Spray Disinfection:
We use a combination of electrostatic spray disinfection and fogging for the application of disinfectants. Electrostatic spray systems work by producing charged disinfectant particles that cling to the surfaces they are applied to. They are extremely effective when applied to touch points, hard to reach areas or on irregularly shaped objects.
III. Fogging system:
Fogging can provide coverage for larger surface areas, such as desks, doors and other types of touch points. Electrostatic spraying and fogging processes are effective at applying disinfectants with minimal aerosolization (re-suspension of viral particles into the air when they are applied to a surface).
Measuring Our Cleaning and Disinfection Processes:
ATP Meter Measurements
A surface may look clean, but it can still contain dangerous microbes that are not visible to the naked eye. That’s why we measure our cleaning and disinfection processes with an ATP meter; a quantitative measurement of surface bio-contaminants. While ATP can detect and quantify organic matter on surfaces, it can’t test for the presence of specific bacteria or viruses (there are no commercially available tests that can detect specific viruses). However, ATP meters have been used for years to measure sanitization levels in hospitals, restaurants and schools. Leading authorities have developed cleaning standards based on ATP measurements (e.g. ISSA K-12 cleaning standard for schools).
Our ATP Measurement Process:
Our cleaning and disinfection processes are designed to reduce the level of bio-contamination in your facility to safe levels (no facility can be completely germ free). We will measure surface ATP levels in the facility during and after the cleaning and disinfection process. When our cleaning and disinfection process is complete, we will provide a report of our findings.
PPE That Protects Your Employees and Ours:
We are committed to the safety of our own employees as well as yours. That’s why our technicians will be equipped with PPE that is appropriate for the risk level of the facility we are cleaning. This can include goggles/face shields, N95 rated (or above) respiratory masks, nitrile gloves, coveralls and more.
Our Cleaning and Disinfection Equipment and Supplies:
The following is a list of the essential equipment and supplies we use to provide a covid-19 cleaning and disinfection service in your facility. I have added links for more information on the certified and approved products we use.
1) Vacuum with HEPA Filtration Certified by the Carpet and Rug Institute:
2) Protexus Electrostatic Spray Disinfection Unit for Wide Coverage:
3) Oxivir TB accelerated hydrogen peroxide disinfectant approved for use against coronavirus.
Here’s a link to list N: EPA’s approved disinfectants for use against coronavirus:
4) Disposable microfiber towels to prevent cross contamination. Read this to see why we use disposable towels.
Ace's 3-step approach to cleaning and disinfection is based on recommendations made by leading authorities in the janitorial and medical field. Here is a partial list of the references we’ve used to develop our protocols:
1. Otter J, Yezli, S, Salkeld J, French G. Evidence that contaminated surfaces contribute to the transmission of hospital pathogens and an overview of strategies to address contaminated surfaces in hospital settings. Am J Infect Control. May 2013.
2. Otani S and Fujita K. Contaminated gloves increase risks of cross-transmission of pathogens. American Society for Microbiology. June 2016.
3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Standard Precautions for Patient Care. January 2017. Accessible at: https://www.cdc.gov/infectioncontrol/basics/standard-precautions.html. 4. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Guidelines for Environmental Infection Control in Health-Care Facilities. Feb. 2017. Accessible at:
5. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Guidelines for the Selection and Use of Personal Protective Equipment in Healthcare Settings. October 2016. Accessible at: https://www.cdc.gov/hai/pdfs/ppe/ppeslides6-29-04.pdf
6. Westwood JC, Mitchell MA and Legacé S. Hospital sanitation: the massive bacterial contamination of the wet mop. Appl Microbiol. 1971 Apr;21(4):693-7.
7. Global Bio-risk Advisory Council recommendations for Covid-19 response:
8. ISSA Clean Standard K-12: https://www.issa.com/certification-standards/issa-clean-standards/clean-standard-k-12
9. CDC guidelines for cleaning and disinfection: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/guidance-business-response.html
10. ATP Measurement System by Hygiena:
11. Academy of Cleaning Excellence: Infection Prevention Expert Certification.
12. NIDS: National Institute of Decontamination Specialists: Course on Environmental Disinfection
13. Boyce JM, Havill NL, Dumigan DG,
Golebiewski M, Balogun O, Rizvani R. Monitoring the effectiveness of hospital cleaning practices by use of an adenosine triphosphate bioluminescence assay. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 2009;30,7:678-84.
14. CDC Comments on ATP bioluminescence:
15. Resuspension and Tracking of Particulate Matter From Carpet Due to Human Activity: Error! Hyperlink reference not valid.
16. Resuspension of Biological Particles From Indoor Surfaces: Effects Of Humidity and Air Swirl https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28117152
17. Morrison, Matt, How to Stop Custodian-Induced Cross Contamination. March 2020. https://www.cmmonline.com/articles/how-to-stop-custodian-induced-contamination
18. Shor, Robert, Janitor Induced Cross-Contamination: Infection Control Today. March 2019. https://www.infectioncontroltoday.com/environmental-hygiene/janitor-induced-cross-contamination-causes-and-cures
19. Shor, Zachary, Improve Janitorial Bids By Focusing on Efficiency. March 2019. CleanLink. https://www.cleanlink.com/cp/article/Improve-Janitorial-Bids-By-Focusing-On-Product-Efficiency--23546
Ace Cleaning Systems follows CDC protocols for cleaning and disinfection of SARS-CoV-2 in commercial facilities. However, Ace Cleaning Systems cannot guarantee that the coronavirus has been completely removed from your facility. Ace’s cleaning and disinfection services do not provide future protection against the Coronavirus.
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