Tips to Avoid Cross Contamination When Cleaning

What is Cross-Contamination?

Cross-contamination is the act of moving bacteria or soils to areas that could be exposed to humans which could potentially harm the individual(s) involved. In the case of cleaning- cross-contamination can happen when cleaning around a toilet, followed by cleaning the restroom countertop with the same cloth.

Use of Microfiber Cleaning Utensils

Microfiber is a material that is made of synthetic fibers that attract dirt, bacteria, and other pathogens like a magnet. Microfiber tools are made to attract and capture up to 99% of dirt, bacteria and other pathogens, while cotton fiber tools are made to attract 33%- moving bacteria from surface to surface. Therefore, the use of microfiber cloths, mops, and other microfiber tools allows for the removal of bacteria, dirt, and allergens, because microfiber is designed to attract and hold these elements. The image on the right shows the microfiber structure under a microscope in the top image. The bottom image is a regular cotton structure that ultimately pushes dirt & bacteria around, rather than collecting it.

Implementation of a Color Coding System

When several people are responsible for the cleaning, it can become very difficult and almost impossible to ensure everyone knows which microfiber cloth is used for the restroom and which one is used for the lunchroom! Colour coding is a great way to ensure that everyone on the team knows which ones to use for the toilets and which to use for the countertop.  Just be sure that everyone knows the color system which leads us into the next tip- training.