Spring cleaning is important for businesses every year, but as we work to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s become crucial now more than ever. Although there’s still tons of research to be done on the coronavirus, recent studies have found that it can survive on most surfaces.
Here’s a quick breakdown of how long coronavirus can live on various surfaces:
- Copper: up to 4 hours
- Cardboard: up to 24 hours
- Plastic and stainless steel: up to 2-3 days
While there are still several details to explore — like how the virus survives in different conditions and temperatures — the risk alone is enough to step up your spring cleaning checklist. Here, we’re sharing simple and effective steps you can take to implement and maintain the best cleaning practices on the inside and outside of your business.
1. Create a cleaning schedule
The simplest way to implement and stick to a cleaning plan is to create a schedule. First, determine all the surfaces — indoors and outdoors — that need to be clean. Then, categorize them into hourly, daily, weekly, or monthly tasks. Given the current circumstances, it’s likely that most of your tasks will be carried out hourly and daily, such as:
- Wiping down fuel nozzles, touch screens, monitors, and keypads
- Checking on hand sanitizing stations
- Cleaning the bathroom
- Replenishing soaps, paper products, and squeegee stations
- Sanitizing counters and product displays
To get started, use this CAF Clean & Disinfect Hourly Checklist (PDF). It has a full itemized list of surfaces and areas to clean in forecourts, indoors, and restrooms so you don’t miss anything. It also helps ensure these areas are being inspected and cleaned as often as they should be.
2. Don’t just clean — disinfect
To keep surfaces free from contagious diseases, you shouldn’t just clean them — you should also disinfect them. But what’s the difference between cleaning and disinfecting?
- Cleaning: When you clean something, you’re removing surface-level dirt, germs, and other impurities. While it does lower the risk of spreading infection, cleaning does not kill bacteria entirely.
- Disinfecting: Disinfecting surfaces include the use of chemicals to reduce pathogens to safe levels. You should always disinfect after cleaning, as it stands a better chance at killing germs and even further reducing the risk of an infection spreading.
Keep in mind, though: Disinfecting your business doesn’t mean you should automatically turn to bleach or bleach-based products as a solution. It’s not only harmful to those who use it and to the environment, but it can cause a dangerous chemical reaction if mixed with other cleaners. That’s why we recommend turning to CAF’s environmentally safe products that get the job done while keeping you and your customers safe.
Pro tip: To help with training fellow employees, check out this Outdoor Surface Cleaning and Disinfecting Guide (PDF).
3. Extend cleaning into summer and beyond
We always hear of spring cleaning as an annual event to start fresh and prepare for an influx of summer customers. But spring cleaning shouldn’t be a set-it-and-forget-it routine — pandemic or not. Be sure to keep up with your daily, weekly, and hourly checklists year-round. And for areas or surfaces that need a deeper clean, create a schedule for those as well.
Whether it’s once a month or once a quarter, schedule and time and create a checklist so it becomes part of your entire cleaning regimen. This is a great way to attract summer travelers, too, if they start venturing out.
4. Be transparent
The world is full of a lot of unknowns right now, causing widespread fear and apprehension. And while we don’t have all the answers right now — and may not for months to come — you can be a source of reassurance for customers by sharing with them.
Let them know what extra precautions and steps you’re taking to ensure their safety. Remind them that you’re taking this situation seriously and adhering to the recommendations of the CDC and other health organizations. The short of it? Be transparent.
5. Turn to CAF
While we can’t be sure when things will get back to normal, one thing remains consistent: CAF’s commitment to clean businesses. Use our solution finder to browse our effective indoor and outdoor cleaners, or simply get in touch with us to let us know how we can best help you navigate this situation. For cleaning and disinfecting recommendations and guidelines, give us a call at (888) 737-0025 .