British Cleaning Council Launch New Guide to Cleaning Terms

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Posted by Edward Jonkler on July 31, 2020

Now that the world is taking its first steps to the ‘new normal’, in terms of returning to work, school and reopening the economy, it has become clear that a comprehensive guide to effective cleaning to tackle Coronavirus is needed across industries for everything to reopen safely following lockdown. 

Outside the cleaning and hygiene industry there has been relative confusion over the best practises for cleaning and disinfecting to ensure people (staff, customers etc) can stay safe. 

In response to a relative lack of clarity and knowledge outside the industry, this confusion has been amplified by new products that have appeared offering cleaning products and services which may not do all that they claim, aiming simply to capitalise on the public’s growing fears.

In order to tackle this confusion and help improve understanding, as well as raise standards, across the country, The British Cleaning Council (BCC) has published an industry-backed guide to cleaning terms and definitions. 

Unsurprisingly, as the expert body on cleaning in the country, since the pandemic began the BCC has been inundated with questions about cleaning processes and and procedures from a variety of organisations that are reopening premises or looking to design safer, post-pandemic cleaning regimes. 

In response, The BCC has consulted organisations from across the cleaning and hygiene sector and compiled this comprehensive guide to ensure informed decisions are made, high standards are reached and people are reassured. 

The BCC guide aims to demystify terms, clarify any confusion and offer an industry-agreed source of reliable evidence-based information. It will help ensure that the high standard of cleaning and hygiene that are crucial for defeating Coronavirus as the UK economy reopens, and it will help provide the reassurance people need. 

The word ‘decontamination’ in particular has received a lot of media attention and has been been falsely linked, throughout the pandemic, to other terms such as ‘fogging’, ‘misting, ‘spraying’, ‘fumigation’ and ‘bug-bombing’, which are entirely different processes. These terms are also defined within the guide. 

The guide states that in order to ‘decontaminate’ there needs to be a two-stage process: cleaning and disinfecting. In order for surface decontamination to be achieved the first stage is for the ‘soil’ to be removed – known as cleaning, and the second stage is for the pathogenic micro-organisms to be removed – known as disinfecting. 

Other terms defined in the guide include ‘enhanced cleaning’ (‘where the frequency of cleaning has been increased to support the reduction of a specific or contamination problem, sanitary  areas and touch points are the priority’), ‘deep cleaning’ (the removal of soil accumulations) and ‘Thermal Disinfection’ (relies on moist heat to kill bacteria and viruses by exposure to a specific temperature for a set amount of time), which could prove vital if there are further outbreaks of Coronavirus. 

The full guide can be read here.

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