Should daily cleaning go further? And how far keeps you safe?

Hazmat girl
Yes, you CAN get better protection than from just mop and bucket

Yeah, yeah, we do daily cleaning to get rid of the dirt. The place would be a mess otherwise – a breeding ground for germs.

Which uncovers the real reason for all the rubbing and scrubbing. We’re doing it for our health.

But most times just LOOKING clean is not enough. We need to know we’re safe.

Rub and scrub needs more

Which means somehow mop and sponge need more oomph – without making the place stink of bleach. Finding a way of getting into all the nooks and crannies. Because even scrubbing with a toothbrush will not reach everywhere. Those germs are microscopic – they look at us and laugh.

OK, so first germ-killing requirement – clean everything as usual, THEN disinfect. And whatever we’re using has to reach everywhere.

Especially underneath things, on top of them, down the back, and all the way behind. Places that don’t usually get cleaned.  Too difficult to reach by hand. Unused or forgotten corners. Out of sight, out of mind.

And how about the space we move around in – the air?

Most germs are tiny, less than 3 microns across. At that size, bacteria, viruses and fungal spores can ride the air – lighter than smoke. They’re up there, so almost weightless they may never come down. Waiting to settle on your skin, on the food you’re about to nosh – or for you to breathe in.

Impossible by hand

Uh huh. If your cleaning job has to get rid of germs, it has to do the air too.  That’s around 80% of the space in an average room. Never usually gets a look at, does it?

No chance ordinary 9-to-5 cleaning can hack it. And there’s even less chance if it’s done by hand.

Better by smart machine. Clean the place as usual to get rid of visible dirt. Then press one button and Bob’s your uncle.

Fortunately there are such jobbies – all of them designed to disinfect the air as well as surfaces.

Ultraviolet generators kill germs by exposure to UV light. Wheel the unit in, make sure everybody’s out, shut the doors and windows, press the button.  The thing emits UV rays in all directions for about 5 minutes, killing 99.99% of bacteria and viruses – a Sterility Assurance Level of Log 4.

The problem is though, that only germs in direct line of sight from the machine are destroyed. Anything behind or under something gets missed. Either the machine gets repositioned for another go, or that “shadow” area goes unprocessed.

Other machines fog the room out with airborne disinfectant – usually a spray of hydrogen peroxide. This kills bacteria and viruses by oxidising – shoving oxygen atoms at them, ripping apart their cell structure. Very effective, if done right.

Exactly how they disperse the fog – and how effective they are at nailing the germs, is critical.

Call in the air force

Hydrogen peroxide vapour for instance, needs a strong concentration to be effective – 32% or more. This makes it a hazardous substance to work with, harmful to body tissue.

Its droplets are also heavier, more full of moisture and less able to ride the air. Dispersal is patchy and a drying process is necessary afterwards – a bit iffy with electrical cables and corrosive with some materials.

What’s needed is a low concentration of low temperature dry mist. Eco-friendly stuff that spreads evenly everywhere. No moisture. No damage to metal or plastics. No danger to cables and connections. Only mildly irritant to eyes and throat – but then folks should be out of there anyway.

The difference comes in IONISING the hydrogen peroxide.

Remember how boiling changes the state of water into steam? So ionising changes the state of ultra-fine hydrogen peroxide vapour into a plasma.

Super-gas, gas, gas

What’s a plasma? A kind of super-gas in which all the particles are charged. And because they all carry the same charge, they actively repel each other, jostling strongly, thrusting to get away.

This forces them out, driving in all directions. All through the air. Hard up against walls, floors and ceilings. Deep into cracks and crevices, wherever they can push to escape each other.

Bad news for viruses and bacteria because they are charged too. But with opposite polarity – so the rapidly dispersing hydrogen peroxide particles grab at them like a magnet.

Clutched in a vice-grip, unable to escape, they’re dead within seconds.

They never have a chance anyway. Ionising the hydrogen peroxide releases other antimicrobials as well – boosting the potency of the plasma. Hydroxyl radicals, oxygen species, nitrogen species, ozone and ultraviolet. No way any germs are coming back from that.

OK, so how’s it done?

The machine we like is a nifty thing called a Hypersteriliser. Wheel it in, hit the button, give it 40 minutes for the stuff to disperse and activate. Easy-peasy.

A million times safer

Vent the room as a precaution afterwards, though there should be no residues. The action of oxidising germs turns the hydrogen peroxide back to harmless oxygen and water – which immediately evaporates. A microscopic layer of colloidal silver remains on all surfaces – a protective antimicrobial barrier that lasts up to a week.

Result? All germs are dead down to just 1 in a million – 99.9999% destroyed, to a Sterility Assurance Level of Log 6. Reckon you can say you’re safe.

Certainly way safer than mop and bucket, which probably gets rid of only 90% – around 1 in 100,000. Not good if that 100,00 includes this year’s flu virus – or a stomach-twisting dose of norovirus.

So yes, you can take daily cleaning routines a lot further – just by pressing a button.

No need for the hazmat suit. You’re up to a million times safer.

Picture Copyright: stockasso / 123RF Stock Photo

Originally posted on 5 April 2019 @ 3:07 am

Cleaning customers pushing you to add germ control?

Serious business
Companies lose a lot of money when germs strike – sick pay, temp staff, overtime, lost sales, late penalties – you could save them a fortune

It’s in all the papers. Norovirus. E.coli. Colds and flu. Businesses leaking cash with staff taking off. And rules are rules – customers are always right, yeah?

Besides, there’s money in it, if you take the step.

Your customers save on paying out for temps, overtime, lost sales and project over-runs.

You make a bob or two, making it possible for them to save all that dough. Not just germ-proofing their premises, but protecting their profits too.

In fact the money you save them could pay for your service several times over. Everybody wins.

But if you’re going to do it, do it right.

The right tools for the job

Like if you were going to buy a vehicle for hauling heavy goods, you might well start by looking at a Mercedes. Buy the best – it’s the best economy of all. The thing’s always on the job, never lets you down, affordable to run, perfect.

It’s the same with fighting germs.

Buy the Mercedes. The best in the world.

And frankly the best in the world is the American Halo machine – a thing called a Hypersteriliser.

Machine?

You bet. Germs are everywhere and microscopically small. You won’t win against them with bucket and bleach and hand-work.

On surfaces maybe. But how about under and behind things? Inaccessible spaces or cracks and crevices? Or the air itself, which is around 80% of the average room space – full of invisible floating nasties?

Never touched by ordinary cleaning processes are they?

Efficiency, or else

But that’s where you’ve got reach to take down germs effectively. Because if you don’t, those bugs will be back. Which is how all those repeat outbreaks of norovirus keep happening.

Disaster, right? Businesses closed, customers sick and suing, staff off as well, money down the drain.

Because if you don’t clobber EVERYWHERE, the job isn’t done. And that’s why you choose a Hypersteriliser – the high performance, germ-killing follow-up to your regular cleaning procedure.

The thing works by misting up the place with a dry, ultra-fine mist of hydrogen peroxide. Your own body makes the same stuff to fight germs inside you, it’s Nature’s choice.

The mist spreads everywhere, destroying germs by oxidising them. Physically shoving oxygen atoms at them and ripping them apart. Microbes like viruses, bacteria, fungi  and protozoa  have no defence against it. THEY ARE ALL DESTROYED.

You can check this by smell. Stuff stinks because bacteria is eating it up. It either ferments or putrefies. Kill the bacteria and the smell goes.

You can also check by sight. Mould is creeping blackness, living on damp surfaces. It smells too. But oxidising kills it, turning it grey. The smell goes – and the residue can be easily swept off with a brush.

Super performance

OK, so how can you be sure the hydrogen peroxide gets everywhere?

The Hypersteriliser IONISES it, as it leaves the nozzle.

Amazing process this – and it changes the rules completely.

Every tiny particle of hydrogen peroxide now has an electrostatic charge. And like when you play with magnets, because every charge is the same, the particles repel each other. They jostle and push – fighting to get away from each other.

Result – the stuff disperses everywhere. In a POWER SURGE, not like an ordinary spray.

Forcibly shoved hard in all directions until it fetches up against something – a wall, a table, a coils of cables, anything. It presses up hard against that too, still trying to escape itself. Pushing deep into every nook and cranny. Exactly where germs lurk after an ordinary cleaning operation.

Unlucky for them, germs have the opposite charge to the particles of hydrogen peroxide. Like playing with magnets again, the unlike charges attract. The hydrogen peroxide particles actively grab and clamp onto any germs around them. The oxygen atoms attack – and the germs are GONE.

Actually, they never stood a chance. Because in addition to its death clutch, ionising multiplies the hydrogen peroxide’s potency.

It changes its state from a vapour to a plasma, producing even more oxidising germ-killers. Hydroxyl radicals, oxygen species, nitrogen species, ozone and ultraviolet all home in on the germs, destroying EVERY SINGLE ONE.

Safe, secure and GERM-FREE

Well, not quite every one – because it’s impossible to measure down that small. So the boffins and eggheads put it down to just 1 germ cell per million, a 99.9999% kill rate. This is known as a Sterility Assurance Level of Log 6 (count the 9s) – and for sure, that room is sterile.

Time taken, around 40 minutes – and the only action necessary is press the start button. Aside from measuring the room first and dialling up the dose, it all happens by itself.

Like we said, buy the best. It performs the best and gives the best economy.

Better still, you can assure your cleaning customers that there’s nary a germ anywhere. So if somebody goes down with an illness after that, they either already had it. Or brought it in with them on their skin or clothing.

As final proof, you can check the test strips put up around the room before you start. A quick BEFORE/AFTER verification that germs are gone at each of the strip sites.

OK, your customers’ workplaces are now free of germs and good to go.

THEY avoid heavy expenses, YOU make income from your extra service.

With performance like that, you should clean up.

Back Off, Bacteria! is the blog of Hyper Hygiene Ltd, supplier of what we’re convinced is the most effective health protection system in the world. A fully mobile, all-automatic Hypersteriliser machine mists up workplaces with ionised hydrogen peroxide, spreading everywhere and eliminating all bacteria, viruses and fungi.

Hypersteriliser units are supplied to businesses and institutions across the UK, notably the haematology and other critical units at Salford Royal Hospital, Greater Manchester; Doncaster & Bassetlaw Hospital; South Warwickshire Hospital; Coventry & Warwickshire Hospital; and Queen Victoria Hospital, East Grinstead.

The Halo Hypersteriliser system achieves 6-log Sterility Assurance Level – 99.9999% of germs destroyed. It is the only EPA-registered dry mist fogging system – EPA No 84526-6. It is also EU Biocide Article 95 Compliant.

Originally posted on 18 April 2019 @ 8:04 am

Originally posted on 18 April 2019 @ 8:04 am

Productivity boost: our £290 billon antidote for presenteeism

Chasing profits
£290 billion – the cost to UK of being unwell at work. Make that go away and you’re chasing big bucks

It’s ours, and it’s right in front of us. A whole £290 billion worth.

Unwell at work costs out the door. Everybody up and going flat out. About as efficient as it’s ever going to get. Every penny of everyone’s salary working for you.

Not actually the end of presenteeism – that dicey compulsion to be at work instead of staying sick in bed. More like a sidestep – an effective way to avoid it.

Germ avoidance – Workplace Hygiene 101

Antidote, yes.

Because you can’t be unwell at work if you don’t get sick in the first place.

Yeah, right. So where does the £290 billion come in? If that’s the kind of money we’re saving, how come every business in the country isn’t bankrupt already?

Because all the time, they’re absorbing that cost. The invisible overhead disguised as part of salary appropriations. Like absentee costs but worse – the sick costs which business experts PwC calculate at £29 million a year.

The CIPD spell it out further – reckoning on a median cost for absence due to sickness of £522 per employee over 6 days per year – depending on the activity sector. Basically £87 per staff member per  day.

Ah, but absenteeism is a small fraction.

Unwell at work – the biggest money drain

The real overhead is in presenteeism – paying out for all those days that staff underperform by coming to work unwell. Ten times more according to a GCC study validated by the World Health Organization. A staggering 57.5 days a year – almost three working months.

OK, so ten times £29 billion is £290 billion – the cost to the nation of all those days struggling through the work day at half-power. The all-up sickness cost is even more if you add absenteeism – £319 billion. But with this kind of saving to make, who’s counting?

So now we have your attention with these megabuck figures, what’s the big breakthrough solution?

Like we said, avoidance. Protecting staff from becoming ill in the first place. An antidote.

Up front we have to say that nothing can be done outside business. People will pick up bugs wherever their lives take them and there’s not a lot we can do about it out there.

Indoor health protection

It’s a different story at work. Because it’s indoors, the whole environment is enclosed. A double-edged sword if you think about it. Staff all share the same space, breathe the same air. If any one of them goes down with something – they all can.

But you don’t let them.

Every night when the cleaning crew come in, you add a new element to the schedule.

Sterilising.

On top of cleaning desks, emptying bins and vacuuming, the whole place is rendered germ-free. Viruses, bacteria, mould and fungi eliminated by oxidising with hydrogen peroxide.

Next morning, when staff come in, the workplace is safe and sterile. No germs to catch or pass around. No chance to fall ill. Part of your duty of care – like making sure they’re warm and dry, with proper ventilation, and light to work by.

Required by law

Part of your legal commitment too, if you consider legionnaire’s disease – just one bacteria out of billions, but a potentially lethal one. As an employer, you are responsible for protecting staff from this nasty under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 – which makes you liable should any of them fall ill.

You can relax though. As a bacteria, airborne legionnaire’s disease is destroyed just as thoroughly as all others. To a 6-Log Sterility Assurance Level – 99.9999% of all germs obliterated. The antidote in action.

Your staff might still fall ill – but not at work. With the germ threshold reduced to zero every night, there’s not much chance to. Nor will they sit there battling with ailments =- aches and pains and tummy cramps and stuff. They’re back to being 100%, pretty well all of the time.

Laughing all the way…

57.5 days of under-powered output that will save you – almost three working months. Which if we’ve done our sums right restores a third more productivity out of nowhere, all on the same salary.

Not bad for an antidote, hey?

Now what will you do with your share of £290 billion?

Picture Copyright: alphaspirit / 123RF Stock Photo

Back Off, Bacteria! is the blog of Hyper Hygiene Ltd, supplier of what we’re convinced is the most effective health protection system in the world. A fully mobile, all-automatic Hypersteriliser machine mists up workplaces with ionised hydrogen peroxide, spreading everywhere and eliminating all bacteria, viruses and fungi.

Hypersteriliser units are supplied to businesses and institutions across the UK, notably the haematology and other critical units at Salford Royal Hospital, Greater Manchester; Doncaster & Bassetlaw Hospital; South Warwickshire Hospital; Coventry & Warwickshire Hospital; and Queen Victoria Hospital, East Grinstead.

The Halo Hypersteriliser system achieves 6-log Sterility Assurance Level – 99.9999% of germs destroyed. It is the only EPA-registered dry mist fogging system – EPA No 84526-6. It is also EU Biocide Article 95 Compliant.

Originally posted on 3 June 2019 @ 11:15 am

Originally posted on 3 June 2019 @ 11:15 am

Charge more for cleaning – make your clients rich

Show me the money
Charge your clients a few hundred more – and help them recover thousands

Yes of course, charge more.

Not just for the same thing though, obviously.

For extra added oomph.

The same top-level service you give at the moment. Plus the chance for your clients to claw back costs they’re maybe not even aware they’re paying.

£2,000 per employee per year – possibly 10 times that.

Value for money plus

Worth a bob or two if they’re going to recover that kind of money don’t you think? And as you’ll see, worth every penny.

Because you’re not just going to clean the place, you’re going to eliminate all the germs as well. Make your clients’ workplaces sterile – protecting staff, customers and suppliers from any kind of virus or bacteria. Genuinely worth it to charge more.

No, no – not with a deep clean. You’ve been that road before and it’s just hard work.

Yes, a deep clean is more than you usually do, but with lots of rubbing and scrubbing. It doesn’t really take out ALL germs though, does it? Despite the strong smell of bleach, there’s still germs lurking, waiting to come back. And if you haven’t experienced that, you’ve never dealt with norovirus.

Besides, with the best will in the world, rubbing and scrubbing cannot reach every single nook and cranny to be sure the place is safe. Nor does it touch the air, which is 80% of most room spaces. Plenty of germs floating around in it though, remember how you caught your last bout of flu?

Claw back big money

Should give you a clue of how your clients will recover big money though. And why  you can charge more.

Get rid of the germs and you instantly chop a whole load of absentee costs.

People might be off sick, but they’re still on the payroll, even if they don’t receive sick pay. And the hole they leave by their absence has to be paid for as well. Doubling up, or getting in temps, it all costs money. And EVERYBODY goes sick at least once a year.

But that’s not the half of it, as you’ll know from running your own business.

The big costs come with “presenteeism”. Unwell people who drag themselves into work anyway. All in their places, going through the motions – and feeling like the end of the world doing it.

Yeah? Not very productive, is it?

Like having a car that’s off tune. Twice as much fuel to do the same thing, but without any performance. No power, no acceleration, no going up hills. Better off in the garage until it gets fixed. An unreliable resource.

And just think of the costs.

Invisible losses

According to the CIPD  (Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development), absenteeism averages at four days off work a year and costs an employer £522. Presenteeism is reckoned as costing 3 times that, bringing the total to £2,088 per employee per year.

OK, now getting rid of all germs is not going to turn things around completely. Accidents, backache and non-communicable illnesses like IBS account for a large chunk. But colds, flu and all kinds of tummy bugs are par for the course in most workplaces. Mostly accepted as that’s the way life is, you have to live with it.

Except take away the germs and they disappear. Personnel are less likely cross-infect each other. Less likely to get ill. Less likely to be half-well, pretending they’re at full power. Good reason to charge more.

Which suddenly relieves a whole load of productivity costs, doesn’t it?

Especially when the CIPD estimates are more modest than they might be. American experts put typical presenteeism “outages” at 57.5 days a year, almost 3 working months per employee per year. A heck of a whack to pay for something you’re not getting.

Thousands and THOUSANDS

Compare that with research by Oxford Economics that puts the cost of bringing a NEW employee up to speed from nothing at £30,000. That’s from zero productivity to “sort of” knowing the job in anywhere from 23 to 32 weeks. Not far off an experienced veteran, feeling like death, slogging away at 25% of normal capabilities, determined to shrug off a tummy bug.

Those aren’t the only costs either. How many mistakes does that same veteran make, not being able to concentrate properly? How many forgotten contacts? How many missed deadlines? How many cost issues could have been avoided by somebody fully alert and on the ball?

Big bucks, right? Money your clients are ALREADY LOSING, just by being normal. Thousands and thousands. More than off-setting the extra you might charge for getting rid of germs in the first place. And way more effective that just cleaning and making tidy.

So if not labour-intensive rubbing and scrubbing, how’s it done?

You’re going to love this.

Press the button

Just press a button.

Get yourself a Hypersteriliser machine, wheel it in, set the exposure time and as soon as your cleaning team has finished their regular work, hit start.

The place mists up with an ultra-fine spray of ionised hydrogen peroxide. So fine, it’s more gas than vapour – actually a gas plasma. The ionising makes it electrostatically charged – forcibly dispersing it in all directions, deep into cracks and crevices, hard up against all surfaces.

Underneath and behind everything too. The stuff permeates everywhere – that same charge reaching out and grabbing at viruses and bacteria like a magnet. Clamped on tight, oxygen atoms rip the germs’ cell structure to shreds. They are oxidised to nothing, eliminated, gone.

Forty minutes later and the place is sterile. No germs, no effort, no problem. Including the high-touch high-risk “fomite” areas that normal cleaning never reaches – keyboards, touch screens, light switches, lift buttons.

Charge more, it’s OK

Worth it to charge more for your range of services? On the cost recovery alone, how can your clients refuse? Thousands and thousands accepted as unavoidable till now, one of the overheads of doing business. An instant boost to their bottom line.

Yours too, for very little effort. All-automatic and push-button easy. A daily or weekly hygiene routine as essential as brushing your teeth. Good, steady, repeat business you can rely on.

Charge more? Sure, go ahead.

Picture Copyright: andreypopov / 123RF Stock Photo

Back Off, Bacteria! is the blog of Hyper Hygiene Ltd, supplier of what we’re convinced is the most effective health protection system in the world. A fully mobile, all-automatic Hypersteriliser machine mists up workplaces with ionised hydrogen peroxide, spreading everywhere and eliminating all bacteria, viruses and fungi.

Hypersteriliser units are supplied to businesses and institutions across the UK, notably the haematology and other critical units at Salford Royal Hospital, Greater Manchester; Doncaster & Bassetlaw Hospital; South Warwickshire Hospital; Coventry & Warwickshire Hospital; and Queen Victoria Hospital, East Grinstead.

The Halo Hypersteriliser system achieves 6-log Sterility Assurance Level – 99.9999% of germs destroyed. It is the only EPA-registered dry mist fogging system – EPA No 84526-6. It is also EU Biocide Article 95 Compliant.

Originally posted on 26 April 2019 @ 12:12 pm

Originally posted on 26 April 2019 @ 12:12 pm

How each of your staff already cost you an extra £2,000 a year

Stunned accountant
Paying for germs – costs you don’t see that mount up every day

You read that right. An extra £2,000. £2,088 to be exact.

Money you’re already paying out.

£522 of it in sick costs – actual time taken off work.

And a whopping £1,566 of it in “presenteeism” costs – people feeling ill, but dragging themselves into work anyway.

Sound familiar? We’ve all done it.

Too much work to be done, no-one to back us up. Or worried about still having a job if we don’t pitch.

Nothing but trouble

A major headache. And a major expense that quickly mounts up in winter months, when coughs and sniffles slow everybody down.

Because ordinary sick costs are easy enough to understand. Four days off on average for the UK. Amounting to £522 according to the CIPD – the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development – in their annual survey Absence Management 2016.

Presenteeism though, is a bigger – and more worrying – issue entirely.

The CIPD reckon it costs DOUBLE ordinary sick expenses. An independent survey by Legal & General  puts it higher, at THREE times the cost.

Across the pond, American estimates work on TEN times higher – allowing for stress  and emotional issues.

The money-saving sidestep

Whatever, whatever. £2,000 a head is a lot of money – and a lot of it largely avoidable.

You read that right too.  Avoidable.

Yes, it’s people getting sick but dragging themselves into work at half power. And yes, they make mistakes or forget things because their heads are like boiled knitting.

But these are all costs you can sidestep.

Sidestep by not letting staff get ill in the first place – at least, not in YOUR workplace.

Start by making the sick ones STAY HOME. No point letting them come in and infect everyone else. They’re not up to working anyway, so keep them out of it.

Next, protect the staff who are still on the job. Any one of them could have some kind of bug, maybe still at the incubation stage. Nip it in the bud, and the problem goes away.

Health protection first

Which is why health protection needs to be part of your regular routine.

Because the ordinary cleaning you already pay for doesn’t get rid of germs.

A few pounds extra though, and it can. By misting up the place with hydrogen peroxide and oxidising  all viruses and bacteria to oblivion.

ALL germs in your workplace destroyed with 99.9999% efficiency – a Sterility Assurance Level of Log 6. Your whole workplace – sterile, safe and secure.

OK, it won’t save all of that £2,000 you’re already losing – you can’t protect staff OUTSIDE the workplace. But you can claw back a large chunk of it.

No germs in the air, on surfaces, or lurking in hidey-holes. And with a zero germ-threshold, less chance of cross-infection – even though we each of us carry our own germ cloud around with us wherever we go.

Invisible germs, invisible costs

Didn’t realise you were paying all that money?

They’re costs we can’t see, disguised as something else. Or simply accepted as a cost of doing business. If sometimes people don’t perform at their peak, we just have to live with it.

Uh, huh. Crazy to pay for “off-days” when you don’t have to. £2,000 a year is not chicken-feed.

But easily re-captured at the touch of a button – on the Hypersteriliser machine that makes your place safe in as little as 40 minutes.

Time to get some of your own back. Money in the bank you never had before. A major overhead trimmed back to reasonable size.

Presenteeism? Not on your watch. Your well-being package won’t allow it.

Step One is get rid of germs. Step Two is the feelgood.

And you can bankroll a lot on £2,000 a year.

Per person at that. You’re spoiling them.

Picture Copyright: andreypopov / 123RF Stock Photo

How to catch a plane without catching a bug

Cabin attendant
Welcome aboard our germ-free flight, no norovirus please!

Ready for take-off?

Ready for this year’s bout of norovirus, or whatever it is you’re in for?

Happens every year, right?

Bugs on a plane. Every passenger’s holiday nightmare. Cabin crew too.

And it keeps happening. However much the airlines say they decontaminate their planes.

Everybody’s sick of it

Sure, on short-hauls – from here to the Med and back – there’s not much time for more than a lick and a promise. A quick wipe-down maybe, empty the toilets, grab all the rubbish out of the gangway.

Sometimes not even that. Come and gone in under twenty minutes. So on-board germs get a return trip. Twice as many people to infect. Victims of time-table urgency.

Back at home base though, every aircraft is supposed to get a thorough deep clean. Nose to tail scrub-out “with sodium hypochlorite diluted to a strength of 100mg/l and a 5% solution of formalin, which is itself a 40% solution of formaldehyde gas in water” exactly per the official World Health Organisation cleaning of aircraft guide.

Wipe-down procedures are laid in detail in this impressive manual. Yet still people keep coming down with bugs – cabin crew particularly, exposed to it more often.

What’s wrong?

Are airlines skimping on the job, or are these procedures simply not good enough?

From the looks of it, a bit of both. So if your airline is cutting corners, good luck to you.

But what about how it’s done?

Check out this short clip of cleaning under the seats.

It might look the business, but remember, space is really tight when you’re a passenger, so a lot of stuff winds up under the seats – shoes, bags, snacks, food debris from inflight meals, magazines, nappies, inflight blanket – you name it. Not just on the floor itself, but pushed up on the underside of seats, against the wall, wherever it’s possible to squash something.

Half the job

Uh, huh. But only the floor is cleaned. Thorough enough, but missing out any smears there might be elsewhere. Go through the WHO manual and you’ll see that detailed though it is, there’s lots of other places get missed too – behind things, under things, in the cracks in between things.

Easy places for germs to lurk. Like norovirus. Or Ebola if your aircraft is flying that way.

Which means that even though your plane might be cleaned and disinfected several times over, it can still harbour germs that can get you – as this Air New Zealand case showed up in 2009.

So why aren’t these measures enough? There are measures for avoiding bugs like norovirus, why aren’t they working?

One reason is our mind-set.

If we don’t catch a bug by breathing it in, we think of it as being spread by physical contact – touching each other, or touching surfaces like grab handles, seat backs and armrests (fomites) – actually contracting it through the skin.

ALL germs are airborne

Ahem. Ever noticed what happens when you swirl around in a dusty room? Clouds of stuff everywhere, sometimes so thick you can’t see – floating around, taking an age to settle back down.

Germs are like that – floating around in the air, all the time. And they’re millions of times smaller than a dust speck – invisible, riding the air in their billions – often small enough to go right through your aircraft’s HEPA air conditioning filters without stopping.

Which means clean all the surfaces without cleaning the interior air, and the airlines are only doing half the job. In the still moments at the gate before you step aboard, these germs have time to settle – ready for your hand to make contact on the seat back, as you steady yourself to sit down.

Hello, norovirus.

Unless of course, your airline is using a Hypersteriliser – a machine that kills germs by spraying them with hydrogen peroxide. A lot safer than sodium hypochlorite or formaldehyde – a banned substance anyway in European biocides.

Vaporised hydrogen peroxide is already proven to be superior in ridding germs from aircraft. But by ionising the hydrogen peroxide into a plasma, the Hypersteriliser is even more effective.

Plus performance germ-killing

Two things happen with ionisation.

The hydrogen peroxide molecules become actively charged, like magnets with the same poles together, immediately trying to escape each other. This forces them to disperse in all directions, up through the air and hard up against all surfaces, burrowing deep into cracks to avoid each other.

The charged molecules are actively attracted to the opposite charge of viruses and bacteria, latching onto them in mid-air or wherever they happen to be – oxidising them to oblivion.

The stuff doesn’t clean the plane – that job still has to be done first. But it does get rid of the germs – all of them – to a Sterility Assurance Level of Log 6.

Your plane is now sterile. 99.9999% of viruses and bacteria – gone. No norovirus, no anything. (Tweet this)

Just the ticket, eh?

You might like to mention this to your airline next time.

It’ll keep you out of trouble – and your cabin crew would be glad to know.

Empty desks are just the beginning of what cheap cleaning costs you

Astounded office manager
Surprise, surprise. Cut corners on cleaning costs – and all your expensive  professionals start going off sick

As you’re about to find out, cheap is expensive.

Cut corners on your cleaning budget, and it’s only a matter of time before staff start calling in sick.

Sore throat and streaming nose possibly, or gut-wrenching stomach ache – some bug they picked up at the office.

Sure, why not?

Germs are everywhere

We live our lives surrounded by germs – and there are always more of them where lots of us are together.

Like the office. Or school. Or the workshop.  Or crowded like sardines on the train or bus getting there.

Breathing the same air. Touching the same things. All the kind that never get cleaned – handrails, grab-handles, money, keys, lift buttons, touch screens, door knobs, light switches, coffee pots, keyboards.

All of them covered in germs.

OK, there’s not a lot you can do about the Great World Outside. Get everybody to wash hands when they come in of course. Put wipes or bottles of hand gel on every desk.

And put pressure on your cleaning service to do the other stuff.

On top of the vacuum and quick wipe-down they do already? Don’t hold your breath. There’s only so much anyone is prepared to do for £3.50 an hour.

Which straightaway says that rock-bottom basic is not good enough. Unmotivated cleaning casuals, slaving for a pittance. Those germs are there to stay.

Lurking hazards

And there’s plenty of them too. 10 million on the average desk – including norovirus, the world’s most common vomiting and diarrhoea disaster.  26,000 on coins and banknotes.  Plus mobile touch screens crawling with e.coli, coliforms, staphylococcus aureus and enterobacteria.

But it’s not just staff going sick you have to worry about – a cost to the nation, by the way, of £29 billion a year.

It’s the loyal and committed heroes who come in to work when they’re unwell – feeling like death but determined to get on with the job.

You have to admire their tenacity, but they’re not doing you any favours. Just how well can you work when your head is all over the place, it’s difficult to concentrate and you keep having to dash for the loo?

Not the 100% professional you’re paying good money for, hey? Maybe not even 50%.

Unwell and how capable?

And just how much can they cost you – making mistakes, missing detail, not paying attention and getting grouchy with customers? 10 times more than staying at home is what. More when you calculate all the hiccups they can cause.

Plus of course, there’s the harm they do to OTHER staff members – sneezing all over them, or passing on their germs with every piece of paper that crosses their desk.

So what are we looking at cost-wise, a couple of thousand? A couple of tens of thousand? Hundreds? And all for the “economy” of cleaning at £3.50 per hour?

See what we mean, that cheap is expensive?

Time to chuck it and pay your cleaning service a decent whack. Or hire some serious professionals with the latest technology and know-how. Look around and the top-notchers are up to ISO 9001 standards.

Proper cleaning will reduce your germ exposure and protect your staff assets better. But there’ll still be germs lingering in the air, which is usually 80% of your room space – and more gunk pouring out of the air conditioning ducts. Airborne germs, just waiting to infect somebody.

So you’re still not safe unless you go the whole hog.

Safe and secure

Ask your cleaning service to STERILISE the place too. It’s easy, quick and extremely cost-effective.

After the usual cleaning procedure, they mist the place up with hydrogen peroxide – the same germ-killer our own bodies make to fight infection, but ionised to give it more oomph.

For a start, the stuff is electrostatically charged. Ensuring it disperses everywhere – even inaccessible corners – as each particle tries to escape from itself.

Those same particles use their charge to reach out and grab at germs like a magnet. Locked together, they cannot escape as oxygen atoms rip them apart. Seconds later, they’re oxidised to nothing. Bacteria, viruses, fungi – all sent to oblivion.

Your place is now sterile. Safe and secure from germs when your staff come in next morning.

Better than the germ palace you had before, eh? Admittedly not as cheap – but not expensive either. And when you tot up the money you save, a process that pays for itself several times over – even in the first month.

Not cheap, because it’s the best.

Exactly the same as you probably are. The best operation with the best people – you wouldn’t want to give them away cheap either.

Want to save money? Then spend wisely and well.

No cheap short-cuts – and your balance sheet will look good and healthy too.