Taking control of infection – Good cleaning practice

Thomas Stuecken, chairman of OspreyDeepclean, speaks to Neil Nixon.

With Coronavirus spreading around Europe and the world it is paramount that good cleaning practices are being followed. The government, WHO and healthcare professionals recommend that good hygiene practices are to be adhered to and specifically state that one of the most active ways of reducing the risk of transmission is good hand hygiene using soap and water.

Much of the focus – quite rightly – is about personal and general hygiene. Good hand hygiene practice is all very well but increased frequency of washing can be undermined if a similar approach to decontamination of frequently touched surfaces is not undertaken. Covid-19 is an enveloped virus which is characterised by a fatty outer layer. This layer is susceptible to detergent and exposure to steam vapour which will emulsify the layer and safely remove the virus.

Deep cleaning using dry steam vapour has the advantage of penetration of common healthcare surfaces which characteristically have a non-smooth, textured or rough surface which can harbour dry biolm and soil. Steam vapour deep cleaning will also reach into surface areas where manual cleaning is inhibited. Dry steam equipment is a far more reliable and safer alternative to a broad use of chemicals and one growing in favour with many healthcare environments. Dry steam is superheated to approximately 180°C and works quickly to remove dirt and pathogens, as well as their biolms including (but not limited to) MRSA, Acinetobacter, Klebsiella and C.Dicile via vacuum extraction and/or microbe. Dry steam is also incredibly environmentally friendly, using only water as an alternative weapon against HAis and thus discouraging any antimicrobial resistance. Dry steam has previously been validated by UCLH (UniversityCollege London Hospital) and TNO in Holland. These studies focused specifically on the efficacy and removal of biolm and the microbiological decontamination of risk contact surfaces for the patient and clinical stay in a hospital environment.

The final results demonstrated that dry steam performed equal or better than standard chemical disinfection practices using detergent and chlorine-based compounds. Dry steam can, therefore, be safely used to deep clean, sanitise and disinfect contaminated surfaces in an efficient and environmentally friendly way. Our technology was recognised in 2009 by the Department of Health and NHS Supply Chain, with an award for technology innovation for providing the greatest contribution to the healthcare environment cleanliness. There is no doubt that the cleaning industry’s fight against the Coronavirus will continue for the foreseeable future. The spread of the virus is yet to peak in many countries around the world but the very clear message from OspreyDeepclean is that we have the technology to ensure the highest level of environmental hygiene and, when coupled with good personal hygiene and some appropriate ‘social distancing’, we can always keep one step ahead.