Get the right cleaning service and they’ll SAVE you a fortune

Cleaning team with Halo
Real cleaning includes getting rid of germs – push-button easy with a Hypersteriliser like this one

Getting it right means choosing a service that does more than mop and sponge.

It’s your duty of care to provide a secure working environment for staff – and that should include protection from germs.

For example, you wouldn’t expect them to work in surroundings with mould damage. Nor would you want to expose them to legionella – in fact by law, you have to safeguard them against it.

Which underlines the basic business rule about cleaning services: cheap is expensive.

Make that VERY expensive.

Unwell at work – the high cost of presenteeism

Because having staff out of action from a bug they picked up at work has a knock-on effect way beyond paying for sick leave or replacement staff.

Your hero types will drag themselves to their desks even if they’re not 100%. And nobody performs at their best if they’re unwell at work. Things get missed, service levels slip and critical deadlines go for a ball of chalk.

Big bucks, you’re right – the perils of presenteeism.

So while a quick run-round with vacuum cleaner and sponge might make the place look tidy, it’s unlikely to do the job you really need – to get rid of germs.

No, that doesn’t mean the doom and gloom scenario of a deep clean every night. Or the place reeking of bleach so that your head spins.

As any top-line cleaning service can tell you, eliminating germs can be quick, easy and safe. Just mist the place up with ionised hydrogen peroxide and the germ count drops to zero.

Well to 99.9999% at least – a 6-Log Sterility Assurance Level.

No viruses, no bacteria, no fungi, no mould – they’re all oxidised to nothing.

Checking for proof

How can you tell?

Well you can’t see germs, they’re too small. But sample testing at various locations around your premises should all prove germ-free.

Your nose will confirm it too. Germs smell when they’re at work, the key giveaway that they’re there. Treat the place with hydrogen peroxide and smells disappear – instead there’s a neutral freshness.

The other giveaway is mould – if you’re unfortunate to have any. Around the air conditioner maybe, where water drips from the condenser. After treatment, those black shadow marks turn grey. The stuff is dead and easily brushed away.

Best of all though, is that your staff are safe. Their health is protected and they know you’ve gone out of your way to do it. Much more significant than feng shui treatment with colour schemes and furniture.

Better even than gym membership or medical care. You’ve taken steps to PREVENT illness before it happens – putting their health first.

The upbeat power of health

That does things to their morale and psyche. Activates the feel-good of being actively healthy and WANTING to get cracking. They’re committed, full of energy and busting to achieve.

It’s motivation not possible any other way. The kind that fuels commitment and voluntarily going for best. A competitive edge that happens literally overnight.

Not bad for a lowly cleaning service, hey? Though they’re not exactly lowly.

As the right choice, they provide the right facilities at the right time. And it doesn’t get righter than keeping germs out of the workplace.

It all adds up – being right.

Saving money because staff don’t go off sick so often. They’re at their desks with their finger on the pulse.

No downside costs from being unwell at work either. They’re in control and at full strength, delivering everything you pay them for.

And MAKING money from positive vibes. A bunch of professionals healthy and well – fully motivated and going for it.

Ready to take on the world.

Picture Copyright: andreypopov / 123RF Stock Photo

Originally posted on 28 March 2017 @ 12:49 pm

Stop workplace germs – and buy a whole new NHS (twice over)

Twin doctors
Double value. More time, more beds, better treatment – make workplace germs go away and NHS problems go away too

Relax, stop worrying. We really can have a whole new NHS twice over – just by eliminating workplace germs.

Big numbers?

Sure.

Which just shows you how much money leaks away when germs get the upper hand.

Get ready for some jaw-dropping math.

According to the NHS’s own figures, planned expenditure for 2016/17 is £120.611bn.  On top of which is the current deficit – a whopping £2.45 billion.

Black hole, about to go away

Put the two together, and you get £123.061 billion.

Double it, and that comes to £246.122 billion.

OK, so putting the NHS to one side for a moment, how about this?

The fact that being sick off work costs British employers a monumental £29 billion, according to business experts PWC.

And even worse, that “presenteeism” – when people are unwell but come to work anyway – costs TEN TIMES that – a mind-boggling £290 billion.

More than double present NHS bankroll needs – with around £44 billion in change – about what British businesses pay in corporation tax.

Uh huh.

Reaching for the impossible

So what kind of magic wand would it take to disappear Britain’s combined off sick and unwell at work costs? Impossible, right?

Not exactly.

Sure, it’s not just germs that make people take off sick – or struggle through the working day. There’s musculoskeletal problems, like back pain and neck ache. Stress, depression and mental anguish. All medical, but not germ-related.

But around 85% of us agree that the major cause of working life grief is minor ailments. Colds, flu, tummy bugs, that sort of thing.

And 85% of £290 billion is..?

You guessed it, £246 billion. The cost of launching a whole new NHS twice over – all caused by germs.

Which says, stop the germs – and we stop £246 billion every year going down the plughole.

Basically impossible, right?

WRONG!

All hyped up, safe and secure

By misting up workplaces daily with ionised hydrogen peroxide after staff have gone home – all viruses and bacteria are eliminated, oxidised to nothing.

Next morning, when staff come in, the whole place is sterile. To a Log-6 Sterility Assurance Level – 99.9999% germs gone.

Yeah OK, people bring in fresh germs with them. On their skin and clothing, from whatever they might have wrong with them – and their own personal germ cloud.

But the germ threshold is zero at start the day, so any cross-contamination is minimised. Fewer germs to catch, less chance of feeling off colour – productivity nudges closer to 100%.

Press button easy

And the miracle machine that does all this?

It’s not a miracle at all, it’s a Hypersteriliser. A wheelie-bin sized automatic unit that ensures maximum dispersal of safe, low concentration, germ-killing hydrogen peroxide – the same stuff our own bodies produce to fight infection.

And it spreads across all surfaces and behind them, into all cracks and crevices, and throughout all airspace. Actively forced there by electrostatic charge.

Contact time for destroying germs is only seconds, though dispersal does take time, depending on room size. Forty minutes usually, and you’re done. The whole place is sterile.

Clawing money back from germs

Which neatly plugs productivity losses caused by absenteeism and presenteeism together. Effectively releasing one-third more work capability without extra cost.

The trick now of course is to persuade employers to donate all this money to the NHS.

They can certainly afford it.

And with sick leave absences down by 85%, the demands on the system will be so much less too. Shorter waiting times in A&E. More beds available. Adequate time for intricate surgery. Generous time for recovery under care.

So if a staff member does go down with something, they’ll be treated quicker and back sooner.  And that goes for all the other ailments too. The musculoskeletal jobbies and that lot. Because we’re all of us susceptible.

Including that heavyweight MD with the bad back that puts her out of action three days in ten. There’s a whole new NHS waiting ready to look after her. In fact, two for the price of one.

And hello, hello, the doctor WILL see her now.

Picture Copyright: citalliance / 123RF Stock Photo

Your biggest enterprise risk ever – glossing over employee health

Heart attack woman
Unwell at work – massive risk to productivity, reputation and the health of other staff

Employees are your biggest asset – as long as they’re on song.

They might be motivated and committed to the eyeballs. But when breathing is a challenge because their chest is all blocked up, they’re about as useful as a fresh-out-of-school first-day rookie.

Worse really, because they try to do their job and fail.

Yet they’ve dragged themselves into work, insisting nothing is wrong. A losing battle with a vicious respiratory bug, picked up right in the office. Germs lingering on a keypad and circulating through the air-con. A hovering risk most of us never think about.

Well-meaning wreckers

Sick at work, we’ve all been there. Super-patriotic, staying with the job – people made of steel.

Until you calculate the risk. Do the math properly, no holding back.

Start with focus and concentration. But how much of that is grabs for the Ventolin every five minutes and a pounding head that won’t let up? Productivity maybe 25% or less, operating on autopilot.

Working the laptop from finger-memory because the head’s not  functioning. Going through the motions, not really there at all. Not seeing, not hearing, not perceiving, not assessing.

Not understanding either. Making mistakes, skipping over detail, doing more damage than a competition spy.

And all without question too. Key staff member, super-skilled and dedicated, doggedly determined, unswerving loyalty. Super risk, disguised as security.

Invisible risks

So if things start going wrong, they’re just accepted. Nothing comes easy. Setbacks happen.

If business flies out the door, shrug it off. Deadlines get missed, be sympathetic. Sales falter, chalk it up to experience. All misplaced devotion that’s costing big bucks. Huge uncontrolled risk.

Everybody too involved to insist: STAY HOME, GET BETTER, YOU’RE MORE USE OUT OF IT.

Counted the cost yet?

Hours and hours of big-ticket expertise without the performance. Unnecessary expenses, cost over-runs, lost revenue. One person playing martyr and you’ve lost thousands.

All indirect losses, out of sight, out of mind. Loss of use, lost productivity, loss of brand image, penalties, lost contracts…

Time for damage control – to stop taking risks.

Because where there’s one, there’ll be others. More people struggling to work unwell because they’ve “got to”. Too much to do, letting colleagues down, worried about deadlines, worried about having a job to come back to.

Prevention and avoidance

But what if they didn’t get sick in the first place?

What if the workplace was a secure, germ-neutral haven?

No germs to catch, no infections to pass on, nobody going off ill, no loss of productivity, no risk?

Of course people could still catch bugs outside. In the Great Wide World anything can happen.

But here in the workplace – SAFE.

Easier than you think too. In 40 minutes or so, all bacteria and viruses can be gone, the germ threshold down to zero . 99.9999% eliminated, a 6-log Sterility Assurance Level.

The machine that does it is easy too. Hit the button on the Hypersteriliser and the place mists up with ionised hydrogen peroxide that spreads everywhere. Germs are oxidised to nothing, the stuff reverts to oxygen and water – which evaporates.

Prevention, not a cure. The most effective health protection system in the world. Not a risk at all. Possibly the best safeguard for human assets you can get. Risk gone.

So think of your options. What it costs in pence, you’ll save in thousands of pounds.

Still want to risk things the old way?

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.

Time to take an axe to unnecessary overheads

Woman with Stop Staff Sickness sign
Add up the cost of staff being off – you’re right, it’s a small fortune

Enough already. No business needs  overheads like staff sickness dragging it down.

Not when most ailments can be avoided.

No staff absences, everybody on full song – why live with such problems?

It’s not a dream either, but doable now.

A major cost expense – gone

Take away all of the germs that lurk in any workplace – and there’s no illnesses for anyone to catch. No viruses, no bacteria, no mould, no nothing – the place is sterilised.

Better still, it’s not difficult. More push-button easy. A simple add-on routine as soon as regular cleaning is done.

One press, once – and a mobile Hypersteriliser machine mists up the place with ionised hydrogen peroxide.  That’s the same stuff your own body makes to fight germs. Released into the air from a mild, non-hazardous 6% solution, the same as you might buy from the chemist.

The ionising does three things.

It makes the stuff disperse everywhere very efficiently. Through the air, hard up against all surfaces, deep into cracks and crevices.

It multiplies the effectiveness of that 6% solution by changing into a plasma, producing a whole slew of MORE antimicrobials – hydroxyl radicals, oxygen species, nitrogen species, ozone and ultraviolet.

Together, these actively reach out and grab at germs as they spread. Locking on to them and tearing them apart by thrusting oxygen atoms at them.

Sterile and safe

40 minutes or so for the average room  and ALL germs are destroyed. That is, 99.9999% of them, down to 1 germ particle in a million – about as small as it’s possible to measure. The room now has a Sterility Assurance Level of Log 6.

And that means everywhere, including all the places regular cleaning cannot reach. The place is as safe behind cupboards and under tables, or in coils of computer cables, as it is sitting in the open at the reception desk.

Which means when staff arrive for work in the morning, the place is sterile. It has a zero germ threshold, there are no illnesses around for them to catch.

It doesn’t stay like that of course. Just like your mouth doesn’t stay fresh and clean after toothpaste. All of us bring in germs in a cloud around us – our own personal microbiome, plus a few tag-alongs we might have picked up on the way.

Risk reduced, cost reduced

So yes, it’s still possible that somebody could be carrying a bug and they pass it on to somebody else. But there’s not the same no-restrictions environment though, those germs have got a desert to cross. Cross-contamination is possible, but far less likely.

Which is where chopping unnecessary overheads comes in. With everybody at their desks more of the time, there’s less downtime or interruptive events to  provide for.

Productivity stays up, deadlines get met , everybody stays motivated. Nobody feels miserable, nursing a headache and wishing they were somewhere else.

Least of all you. You’ve just avoided a major issue which collectively costs Britain a whacking £29 billion a year. Lost productivity snatched away because people are not feeling well.

OK, so you know your business, how much does that translate to YOUR bottom line?

A bob or two, right? Possibly the equivalent of a couple of salaries. More, if you get hit in the wrong place at the wrong time. Sod’s Law, right? Always as critical projects get to the tricky bits.

And all of them costs unnecessary to the business. Simply because until now, we all just accepted that people get ill, what can you do?

Not any more.

Welcome to a whole new profitable future.

What! Losing business to a germ? Can you really afford to let that happen?

Amazed accountant
Start adding the figures and you’re in for a shock – all from one little germ

It happens, and you know it. Always at the worst time. Somebody goes down with a bug, their whole department follows – and suddenly you’re losing business hand over fist.

So what’s it going to cost? Thousands? Millions? How many tight-deadline jobs have you got riding on that team? And how about the penalty clauses?

Yeah, well – you bite the bullet because you have to. Fact of life, right? People get sick, it’s that time of year, you were just unlucky.

Getting sick is NOT the norm

Actually, no. A lot of the time it’s preventable.

And you’re not unlucky, just in the dark about how to prevent sickness most of the time. Unaware you could save thousands, avoiding sick pay and enforced downtime costs – simply by deploying the right health protection.

Makes you mad though, doesn’t it? Mad and helpless.

How can you let one tiny microbe – so small you can’t even see it – cause an on-the-ball, successful organisation like yours into a tight financial squeeze, when you should be raking in the pounds?

Well the good news is, you’re not entirely helpless.

You can’t stop a sickness that somebody brings in from outside.  But you CAN minimise its effect – and reduce the chances of staff cross-infecting each other.

Sterilise and save

All it needs is to sterilise your place so no germs can survive. Generate a zero threshold so that staff walk in tomorrow morning to a GERM-FREE environment. No viruses, no bacteria, no mould, no fungi – right throughout their workplace. No more losing business either

It’s easily done too. And quick.

Wheel in a Hypersteriliser and you’re looking at around 40 minutes  to make the average room safe and secure.

It works by misting up the place with a mild, 6% preparation of hydrogen peroxide, the same germ-fighter our own bodies produce, but ionised to boost performance.

The ionising does three things:

  • Causes the stuff to disperse rapidly in all directions. Electrostatically charged so it tries to get away from itself. Spreading right throughout the empty air in the room. Fetching hard up against all surfaces, behind and underneath them. Penetrating deep into cracks.
  • Makes the stuff work like a magnet against germs. Its static charge reaching out to grab oppositely charged viruses and bacteria, clutching them in a vice grip.
  • Triggers the release of other antimicrobials in addition to hydrogen peroxide. Hydroxyl radicals, oxygen species, nitrogen species, ozone and ultraviolet – every one an efficient germ-killer.

The killing is done by oxygen. Storming atoms of it released on contact that rip apart germ cells and send them to oblivion. All that’s left is oxygen and water, in such small quantities it evaporates before it touches anything.

Germs down, margins up

The result?

99,9999% of ALL germs destroyed. A Sterility Assurance Level of Log 6. Your workplace is a desert – devoid of germs, pathogens, bugs or whatever you like to call them.

Of course when your staff breeze in next morning with their flat whites and Danishes, they’ll bring all their usual germs with them. Because each of us has our own germ cloud in tow all the time. And yes, one of them could transfer some germs to others.

Except that happens all the time, especially on the bus or tube on the way to work. And our immune systems just take it in their stride. Same old, same old, everyday stuff. No problem.

And in the zero threshold of your newly sterile workplace, any incoming germs have to work from scratch to repopulate the place – not add to the teeming billions still there from the last several days. Who’s losing business to sickness now?

But what if…

Yeah, OK. So your top sales performer comes back from Dubai with a first class case of MERS. If you haven’t packed her off to bed for a few days quarantine, there’s still less chance for her germs to spread because the threshold is low.

And any lingering possibilities will be zapped by the nightly mist-up anyway. Back to zero in the morning – less exposure, less risk. Still less chance of losing business.

Sure people get sick for all kinds of reasons. You’ve just never thought about it before. Or about the money you’re losing without thinking about it either.

But now people don’t need to get sick. Not on your watch. And not in your workplace.

Not when you can chop a whole load of costs to nothing by protecting their health.

Picture Copyright: Elnur / 123RF Stock Photo

But does your cleaning service get rid of germs?

Biz exec on phone
Germ-free in the workplace – the BIG difference between clean and safe

You’ve seen your cleaning service in action, right?

Working late, in comes the swamp-out team, embroidered polo shirts and latex gloves – all very efficient.

And sure thing, cleaning is what they do. Harry vacuum cleaner on a long lead, waste bins emptied into black plastic bags, desks wiped down with a J-cloth.

An hour tops, and they’re out of there – wham, bam, thank you ma’am.

Oh yes, and once a month they clean the windows, wipe the sills and straighten all the pictures.

Looks clean, but germs are invisible

OK, so the place looks clean, but appearances aren’t everything. And doing anything further is outside their remit. You want clean, you get clean.

Except that wall where the busted rainwater pipe cascades down the outside bricks?

There’s damp coming through and mould beginning to show – right next to where the top customer service team hit the phones all day. Experienced experts with heavy pay cheques, but always one of them down with a cough or sniffle.

Call facilities management, right. But they never answer the phone. No joy anyway, with the manager always off in Lanzarote, Ibiza, or wherever. Nice for some.

Meantime you have to wonder. Windows shut against the cold, warm air gusting down from the air-con duct. Stirring up the germs and everybody breathing the same stuff. How safe are your people anyway?

OK, there’s two of them expecting and most have had their flu jabs. But how about the tummy bug that floored  six of them last week? Not a good time to be off, and the office is still playing catch-up. A big dip in the figures when you least expect it.

Germs everywhere – a business hazard

Oh sure, the cleaning service do their job.

But by now the realisation’s hitting home that clean does not necessarily mean safe. Maybe it LOOKS clean, but there is a duty of care to all staff. And nobody wants illness to punch holes in their bottom line.

So, germs. Where do you start?

Google it, and you’ll find the average desk has over 10 million germs at any one time.

And there’s more in the air. Together with our own personal germ clouds that all of us have. That’s 80% of the room space teeming with potential health hazards. Invisible of course because they’re too small to see. But you’ll know all about it when absentees start happening.

Fortunately, there is immediate protection you can ensure. And easy enough for your cleaning service to bolt on as part of their regular package.

First they tidy up and clean like normal. Then they let fly with their germ-busting kit.

If you want to work late now, better take it home with you. It’s not harmful and that stuff that’s used is mild, but getting rid of germs requires eye protection and a breathing kit. No need to suffer irritation unnecessarily.

Germs to oblivion

That’s because the germ-buster of choice is hydrogen peroxide. Ionised to spread evenly as a dry, super-fine mist through the air in all directions – hard up against walls, ceilings and floors, reaching under and behind, deep into cracks and crevices.

Ionising also charges every particle. Causing them to reach and grab viruses and bacteria – all of which are oppositely-charged. The particles clamp to them like magnets, ripping them apart by oxidising them. Shoving oxygen atoms at them that tears apart their cell structure.

Around 40 minutes is all it takes. To generate the mist, disperse and activate – reverting back to harmless oxygen and water afterwards. In that time 99.9999% of ALL germs are annihilated – in the air, on surfaces, around all objects, everywhere.

No viruses, no bacteria, no fungi or mould either – though the landlord will still have to fix that pipe.

The small amount of water quickly evaporates – no risk to electrical connections and computer cables- leaving a microscopic layer of colloidal silver as a lasting germ barrier. The room is now safe to a Sterility Assurance Level of Log 6.

Easy-peasy? You bet.

All it takes with the Hypersteriliser machine is wheel it in, hit the button, and let everything happen automatically. With clever circulating, the cleaning service could clean and sterilise your whole place in not much longer than they do now.

No germs anywhere. Clean, secure, safe.

Your employees ought to like that. So should your balance sheet.

Put it to your cleaning service. How about it?

Picture Copyright: dolgachov / 123RF Stock Photo

How your child can survive iffy kid hygiene

Dirty hands around boy
Kid hygiene – you really don’t want to know

Time to start winning the battle.

Though you may have to concede the “Go, clean your teeth” issue.

A minor setback. Serious Colgate moments will start happening from the first date.

Out of your hands

It’s what you can’t supervise that’s the worry. Out of sight and running free, the last thing on their minds is washing their hands or watching how they eat.

Like the stomach-wrenching bout of gastro after comidas rapidas from that street vendor in Spain?

No es su culpa – that was eating with dirty hands from not finding the loo after watching Darth Vader in Guerra de las Galaxias.

Kid hygiene. Out of sight and out of control.

Where they’re vulnerable

Especially at school.

350 like-minded young terrors all bigging it up, defying authority, avoiding soap and water – ‘cos it’s sissy.

All together under one roof. 30 to a class – all breathing the same air, touching the same things, sharing the same space.

Tough creatures, yes. Cast-iron immune systems from eating dirt as toddlers. But growing up fast – increasingly vulnerable to viruses and bacteria their systems have never confronted before. Or coming down with bugs they somehow got away with last time.

Iffy, all right. Not safe at all.

Because sure, the school gets cleaned every night. Tough regulations, class-rooms vacuumed out, basins and toilets wiped down with bleach, all rubbish taken away.

But what about the things kids touch?

Invisible risk

Pencils, crayons, paper, text books, computer keyboards, door handles, taps, loo flushes – and the favourite, underneath the desk where the used chewing gum gets stuck?

What about the classroom air-space – still lingering with somebody’s coronation chicken stashed away two days ago, and uncontrolled farts from baked beans in that day’s school lunch?

What about the things you can’t see too? Invisible viruses and bacteria – as many as 30 billion to a cubic foot – floating on the air and riding the draughts.

Waiting for the kids to come back tomorrow. Waiting for the two or three who will touch their faces once too often.

Rhinovirus – so tiny, a single cell can drop THROUGH a terra cotta roof tile. Or norovirus, the holiday favourite – highly contagious by the slightest skin contact.

The classrooms might get cleaned, but the germ threshold stays the same. A lurking threat unchecked by iffy kid hygiene. Luck of the draw who gets infected next.

Hospital-grade protection

Unless the school is using a Hypersteriliser.

In just twenty minutes, ionised hydrogen peroxide gas plasma reduces that germ threshold to zero. (Tweet this) Oxidising viruses and bacteria to shreds. Reducing the iffyness somewhere closer to safe. No germs, period.

Not compensating for unwashed hands after using the loo, of course. Or chewing pencils that have been on the floor. Or any other party tricks of kid hygiene.

Log 6 Sterility Assurance Level

But it is a safety net. A reassurance that your kid’s classroom is sterile to hospital operating room standards when everyone enters in the morning.

After that, it depends on how persuasive you are at encouraging life habits.

Nerve-wracking, yes. But WE got through it.

So will they – with much better odds in their favour.

Whole rooms sterile safe like surgical instruments

Girl student raises hand
Safe from viruses and bacteria – in this room the germ threshold is zero

Hotels know the concept.

It’s why glasses in the bathroom are wrapped in paper – and why there’s a band across the loo.

Sanitised for your protection.

Feel-good reassurance that your room is safe and free from germs.

If only

Wouldn’t that be great?

Thing is though, that “sanitised” only means clean.

And there’s a huge difference between clean and safe.

Sure it smells clean. Except all an air freshener does is mask odours.

But hey, clean is good. It’s the first part of setting your mind at rest.

Because better still and right now, sterile surroundings are possible. With scares like Ebola and MRSA around – they’re rapidly becoming part of our everyday. Real hospital operating-room sterile, the same as a heart surgeon’s instruments.

Hospital safe

Easy too – much simpler than the sterilising autoclaves you’ll find in hospitals – which typically require high temperatures and partial vacuums to make them work.

OK, the business of cleaning still has to be done. Dirt is dirt, that requires physical scrubbing, wiping and vacuuming to be removed.

But microscopically small, germs still remain – less than before, but still a hazard. And because you can’t scrub air, they’re still filling the empty space that is most of a room – lighter than air and able to survive for weeks or more.

Time to bring in the Hypersteriliser – about the size of a small wheelie-bin, and just as manoeuvrable. Ready to sterilise your room to the same Log 6 Sterility Assurance Level that hospitals demand. All at the touch of a button.

Like hospital sterilisers, the Hypersteriliser uses ionised hydrogen peroxide gas plasma that destroys virus and bacteria cells by oxidising them into oblivion.

Low temperature ionisation

The difference is ionisation by electricity instead of heat – kinder to sensitive materials, generating less moisture and leaving no residues. And of course, instead of a small cubby-hole, the entire room becomes the sterilising chamber.

The ionised hydrogen peroxide is released into the room in an ultra-fine mist – a safe and ultra-low 6% solution, the same as you might buy in the chemist to whiten your teeth.

The cloud of molecules disperses rapidly in all directions – repelled from each other by the negative charge they all have – forcing them to the far limits of the enclosed space, hard against furniture, equipment, walls, floor and ceiling or any other objects in the room.

And of course, deep into any cracks or crevices that let them escape each other further.

The charge also energises them, releasing ozone, ultraviolet light, hydroxyl radicals and highly reactive oxygen species – oxidising atoms that actively seize harmful pathogens, attracted by their positive charge – latching onto them and ripping them to shreds.

This action dissipates the charge, the hydrogen peroxide reverts to oxygen and small amounts of water, which immediately evaporate.

How do you know it works?

You can’t see germs anyway, so you can’t see when they’re not there either.

But here’s a clue.

One indication that bacteria are active is the smell caused by infection or their reaction with organic substances. After hydrogen peroxide treatment, all odours should be gone.

The other giveaway is mould.

Dirty black and difficult to remove when active, it subsides to a pale grey as its cells die off with oxidising. Its discolouration is still there of course, but now an easy wipe should take it off – job done. No mould, no germs.

What haven’t we told you?

Ah yes, if you’re worried about using chemicals to make the room sterile, remember that hydrogen peroxide is manufactured by the body as its own germ-fighting defence. It’s a chemical yes, but occurs naturally to do exactly the same thing.

So there you have it. A way to make rooms safely sterile in around 20 – 40 minutes, depending on size.

It doesn’t kill the germs we might carry around on our bodies, or inside us.

But it does reduce the germ threshold to zero so we can’t catch anything new when we walk in.

Yes, prevention is better than cure. So here’s a hospital-type way to stay out of hospital and stay healthy too.

Should help with all the pressures they’re having right now. Phew!

The difference between clean and safe

Mum and baby hands
Most of the time, clean just isn’t enough

Chores done. Spic and span.

And the floor looks so good you could eat your breakfast off it.

Really?

Prepared to risk a tummy ache for it?

Beyond appearances

For all you know, that floor could be covered in germs. And how would you know? They’re so small you need a microscope to see them.

OK, soap and water does get rid of a lot of stuff . Dirt certainly, you can see that.

And yes, probably a whole stack of germs.

By making that floor – or anything else – clean, you have basically “sanitised” it.

If before you started there were a million germs to a square inch – harmful pathogens, viruses or bacteria – you have now pulled them down to 100,000, a reduction of 90%.

Assuming of course, that you have cleaned thoroughly – not just slopped with a mop and stopped for a coffee.

Personal hygiene

It’s the same with your hands.

A proper clean with soap and water for at least thirty seconds – or with alcohol gel if there’s no facilities – will get rid of 90% of germs.

Medics and science boffins call this a Sterility Assurance Level of Log 1. If you scrub for five minutes or so, like operating staff do, you get rid of 99% – a Sterility Assurance Level of Log 2.

But there’s a catch. All bacteria have the power to divide and multiply. One cell becomes two, two become four, four become sixteen – etcetera.

And since 10% of them are left, they’ll be at it immediately.

Warm, moist conditions accelerate this. So if whatever you’ve just cleaned isn’t dry, those germs will be racing to replace themselves. That 10% of germs can double in 20 minutes. In less than two hours, they could be back to full strength.

And germs like flu viruses can survive on your skin for 24 hours. Other bacteria can survive for weeks. (Tweet this)

Makes you think twice about the towel you use, doesn’t it? If it’s still damp – and it’s likely to be – the next person who comes along is going to pick up whatever you left. That’s why air blade dryers are so much safer – your hands get dry without leaving anything behind.

Thank goodness.

Because out of all the millions and millions of bacteria that might be around (there always are), it only takes 10 cells of something nasty like e.coli to make you very sick indeed.

This means war

So how about if you deliberately set out to kill germs? Use a disinfectant like Domestos or Dettol?

Depending on the strength and preparation of the stuff you’re using, you’ll reduce germ levels – the number of colony forming units of viruses or bacteria – by anything from 99.9% to 99.999%. That’s a Sterility Assurance Level from Log 3 to Log 5. (Just count the number of 9s).

Pretty good, but not really serious if infection is a problem – like when everyone’s come down with norovirus, or flu is spreading like wildfire.

Going the whole hog is to sterilise everything. To destroy all viruses and bacteria completely. Reduce those million germs you started with down to nothing – all non-pathogenic and pathogenic spores, fungi and viruses.

The science boys shake their heads at that, since it’s not always provable. The best they’re prepared to accept is reducing the million down to one, or 99.9999%. This puts us at a Sterility Assurance Level of Log 6.

Making safe

Safe enough?

For sure. And it’s achievable in as little as twenty minutes by misting up the room with ionised hydrogen peroxide.

Ionising makes hydrogen peroxide particles become supercharged – acting far more powerfully than they would otherwise. They kill on contact without needing to saturate the atmosphere. The dry mist reaches everywhere, sterilising the air as well as all surfaces.

Well you don’t get flu by sniffing the table, do you?

And ionised hydrogen peroxide can be used pretty well anywhere in an enclosed space. You just roll in the electronic robot unit – it’s about the size of a small wheelie-bin – close all the doors and windows, hit the button and leave.

Result, a sterilised room with a germ threshold of zero. Your kid’s classroom, your office, your hotel room – anywhere you might be a risk.

Washed your hands?

You’re off to a good start.