The professional cleaning industry is currently embroiled in a debate about which surfaces actually need to be disinfected and how best and frequent to disinfect when it is deemed necessary.
But, why are these issues so important? We now know that many surfaces, which were previously believed to be 'hot beds' for contamination, may actually need less cleaning attention because people infrequently touch these areas. On the other hand, some often overlooked areas that may be neglected could actually be much more likely to prove dangerous to human health. This is why many cleaning professionals are now calling for some good, old-fashioned common sense when it comes to hygienic cleaning and disinfection.
For instance, how much attention really needs to be paid to the inside of a toilet bowl? It is true that a number of pathogens, many of which are health-threatening, can be present inside toilet bowls and that they therefore must be cleaned and disinfected regularly for both safety and appearance reasons. But since the only individuals who touch such areas are generally custodial workers using bowl cleaning tools or wearing gloves, the risk of cross contamination caused by a toilet bowl is actually quite minimal. For these situations, using large amounts of powerful, costly, and potentially environmentally damaging chemicals and disinfectants may not be necessary.
Conversely, one area that usually receives only minimal cleaning and disinfecting attention—probably needing considerable more attention due to the frequency with which it is touched—is desks. Studies indicate that office desks and similar work stations can be 'hot beds' for contamination. They can often be a source of cross contamination as well since people touch these contaminated desks and surfaces and then touch their eyes, nose, mouth, or other surfaces, spreading contaminants from one point of contact to another.
Unfortunately, custodial workers are often unaware of how seriously contaminated desk surfaces can become. The result is that these surfaces are typically cleaned sporadically and without the proper cleaning systems, chemicals, or procedures necessary to hygienically clean them.
One of the most advanced ways cleaning professionals can clean desks and other flat surfaces is through the use of a relatively new technology: a flat-surface cleaning system known as the KaiFly system, developed by Kaivac. These systems combine a chemical injection system, microfiber, and a window squeegee to wipe down surfaces, such as desks.
Although chemical cleaning agents can be used with these systems for desk cleaning, studies by an EPA-approved lab also indicate that they can be classified as sanitizing devices when used as directed even when only water is used. In fact, tests conducted by an independent NELAP-accredited laboratory found that the KaiFly system removed greater than 99.9 percent of targeted bacteria when used with plain tap water only.
In addition to its health benefits, the KaiFly system offers users another benefit. Tests indicate that it can clean desk surfaces in half the time of traditional methods, increasing worker productivity rather dramatically.