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Part 3: Carpets in medical facilities. Are they really a playground for germs?

June 21st, 2018 | Carpet Cleaning

How often should we be cleaning carpets in medical facilities to reduce the spread of infection?

How often should we be cleaning carpets in medical facilities?

According to government health regulations and recommendations, floor surfaces in healthcare, should be cleaned and disinfected once a day, spills should be cleaned up immediately and the area disinfected. However, the regulations for carpets state that, carpets in public areas and in general patient-care areas should be vacuumed daily with well-maintained equipment, fitted with HEPA filters to minimise dust dispersion. After a spill has been removed as much as possible, the carpet should be cleaned using a hot water extraction method, which is recognised by AS/NZS 3733:1995 to minimise chemical and soil residue.
Carpets should undergo thorough cleaning on a regular basis as set by facility policy, using a method that minimises the production of aerosols, leaves little or no residue and is recommended by Australian Standards and manufacturers recommendations.

The healthcare industry has specifically left this recommendation quite vague, due to the absence of reliable technology for efficiently and effectively, cleaning and sanitising carpets on a regular basis. Carpets and soft furnishings in hospitals and other healthcare institutions, are used in non-critical patient-care areas and public spaces. This eliminates the requirement for daily cleaning of these surfaces.

Carpets in healthcare facilities should be cleaned once per month at a minimum, to ensure that the possibility of fungal and bacterial growth is kept under control. Combining a regular cleaning schedule with potentiated Peroxide solutions, will also ensure the appearance and integrity of the carpet is maintained, and will ensure that soiling in the carpet does not contribute to noxious odours throughout the facility. Actichem’s Potentiated Peroxide systems will also dramatically inhibit the prolific increase in bacteria counts. One of the most significant advantages of the Actichem Peroxide System, is that while sanitising surfaces, it does not contribute to the formation of resistant bacterial strains.

While every facility is different, a sample cleaning program is covered later in this article. Facilities can utilise this system outlined here, by purchasing their own equipment and training staff to carry out the works, or, implement the system as a recommendation to the contract cleaning company.

Hospital Carpet Cleaning Schedule

Daily: Carpets vacuumed using a quality equipment which includes an approved HEPA filter.
Spills are cleaned up using Actichem Conquer O2. Conquer O2 incorporates potentiated Peroxide as well as encapsulation technology. This will remove soiling, remove the stain and sanitize the affected area. (Meets and exceeds requirements for Hospital Grade Disinfectants – Tested to TGA testing approved).

Once per month: Carpets should be cleaned using an encapsulation system carpet cleaning machine, in conjunction with the Actichem Encap Plus and the potentiated peroxide system. This will clean and sanitize the area, quickly and efficiently. (Meets and exceeds requirements for Hospital Grade Disinfectants – Tested to TGA testing approved).

Once per quarter: Carpets should be cleaned using a hot water extraction method, which is recognized to minimise chemical and soil residue. This cleaning process should be undertaken using the Actichem Performance Plus and the potentiated peroxide system. This will clean and sanitize the area, quickly and efficiently. (Meets and exceeds requirements for Hospital Grade Disinfectants – Tested to TGA testing approved).

Having a clearly defined strategy for maintaining the carpets in healthcare facilities, is an important step in limiting the possibility of hospital acquired infections (HAI) spreading. This also maintains the carpets ability to trap dirt and germs before they make their way into critical areas.

Related articles:

Part 1: Are carpets in medical facilities making us sick?
Part 2: How should we be cleaning carpets in medical facilities?

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