It’s not for want of trying.
Bleach so strong it can take your head off. Scrubbing till fingers ache.
Surfaces spotless, floors gleaming – and STILL infections break through.
All the nasties – norovirus, MRSA, flu. Outbreak after outbreak, all in the same place.
Because the job’s not done until it’s done is why.
80% not good enough
Despite all the effort, conventional wipe-clean methods are just not good enough. Viruses and bacteria survive however hard cleaning teams try. In corners, cracks and crevices where surfaces meet. In the grooves between tiles. Clinging to coils of wire and tubing. Under cupboards, behind consoles, on top of lockers. On walls and ceilings.
And of course, all through the biggest part of any room – the air.
It’s pretty well 80% of any room – the space we move around in. We don’t see anything in it, so we assume nothing is there.
Not like the exhaust pipe of a car. We know that air is dirty – smoky, unburned hydrocarbons and carbon monoxide. It’s bad and we can smell it.
But there’s nothing in this room that’s just been cleaned – just the lingering smell of bleach. It’s clean, right? There’s nothing there.
Deep cleans only touch the surface
Actually, we’d be dead if there was. No oxygen for us to breathe.
No anything else either. No carbon dioxide for plants to breathe. No nitrogen to enrich the soil. No water vapour to keep our skin hydrated. None of those tantalising particles given off by fresh coffee, sizzling bacon, or newly baked bread.
No dust, no lint, no plant spores – hang on a minute! There’s a whole plethora of stuff up there, and we don’t see any of it – all solids suspended in the air.
We don’t see germs either – and they’re up there too. Smaller than pretty well any of them. Like a single particle of oxygen is 0.0005 microns across – half of one-millionth of a millimetre.
Uh huh. And a single cell of rhinovirus, otherwise known as the common cold, is a mere twenty-fifth of that – 20 nanometres or 0.00002 millimetres. Like most germs, small enough and light enough to ride the air without ever coming down. Unaffected by gravity because the other particles surrounding it are denser than it is.
So yeah. The AIR is full of germs, all the time. Good bacteria, bad bacteria – and viruses like you can’t believe. Billions and billions of them.
Which is why your average deep clean doesn’t stand a snowball’s against them.
Sure, the surfaces get cleaned – but that leaves 80% of the room space completely UNTOUCHED!
It’s in the air
So to make a room safe means to clobber viruses and bacteria in the air – as well as on all surfaces. Plus get into all the nooks and crannies that never get attention – the dark underworld of repeat infections.
Which means whatever is doing the cleaning has to have an airborne delivery system.
Exactly why, only back in 2010, that the American Bresslergroup was commissioned to design brand new technology into the award-winning Hypersteriliser – known Stateside as the Halo Fogger.
Hoo boy, now we’re cooking with gas.
Ionised hydrogen peroxide gas plasma to be exact.
Dispersed by an electrically-charged, non-toxic 6% solution of ultra-fine spray mist that attracts germs like magnets – actively grabbing them out of the air and oxidising them to nothing on contact.
That same charge also forces the hydrogen peroxide molecules to try and escape each other – burying deep into cracks and crevices where cleaning sponges can never reach – spreading out hard against walls, ceilings and floors – permeating everywhere.
One button is all you press to start it. Forty minutes is all it takes for the average room to clear. Zero germ threshold to a Sterility Assurance Level of Log 6 – completely sterile, all viruses and bacteria gone.
All that’s left is oxygen and water – in such small quantities it evaporates before settling – safe for keyboards, cables and electrical connections. Oh, and a superfine layer of colloidal silver – for a protective germ-resistant barrier that lasts up to seven days or more.
A new efficiency
Sure hydrogen peroxide fogging is not new – but not to this level of efficiency.
It’s the ionising that does it – allowing a milder, safer 6% solution to be used – which reaches further, disperses better, and performs better too. The hydrogen peroxide changes state from a gas to a plasma, releasing further antipathogenic performers such as hydroxyl radicals, reactive oxygen species, reactive nitrogen species, ozone and ultraviolet.
Other systems are more clunky, using the older vaporised hydrogen peroxide spray – stronger and more hazardous at a 35% solution – necessary to disperse the slower-acting, heavier vapour – which also shortens contact time in the air – and needs a drying period to clear wet surfaces afterwards.
Is it worth it?
Sterilising the whole room, that is.
Well if a room starts sterile, there’s no germs for anyone to catch – only from each other with whatever they bring in on their skin and clothing. If there’s a bug going round, chances are good everyone is protected.
Big bucks cost – from a millionth of a millimetre across
But think of the money – especially if conventional deep cleans fail to stop repeat contamination. And especially if they affect a major investment and revenue-earning machine like a cruise liner.
In 2002, Holland America Line’s Amsterdam was forced to abort four consecutive cruises to norovirus, even with deep cleaning after every voyage. And with fares averaging £1,000 a hit for 1,380 passengers per voyage, that’s £1.38 million in refunds every trip.
Plus how much does it cost to take a cruise liner completely out of service and hand clean the whole ship AGAIN – every item down to TV remotes, bibles – and all the poker chips and currency in the casino?
Deep pockets these cruise lines must have – as the owners of another liner – the Star Princess – are finding out. This week she docked in Vancouver with a second outbreak of norovirus in six months. Big bucks, bad publicity – and how many cancellations?
If you’re going to deep clean, at least make sure it’s a process you can afford.
Originally posted 2015-10-07 15:33:14.