With more and more of us returning to work, we need to be extra careful in keeping ourselves hygienically clean and germ-free. To help, Zoflora the UK’s number one disinfectant, gives their top tips on guarding against germ hotspots at your place of work, specifically the areas and situations to beware of, and how to keep yourself protected.
You’re likely to be regularly cleaning the more obvious hotspots, such as your office phone. However, bacteria and viruses can often be lurking on more unusual surfaces that are often overlooked.
Sarah Fozzard, Head of Home Hygiene for Zoflora, shares her expert advice.
1. Look after your clean team!
Although they’re our go to tag-team when we clean, cloths and sponges are the perfect environment for bacteria to live and breed. If not regularly disinfected, this bacteria can be spread to other areas of the kitchen every time you use the cloth. Dilute 2 capfuls of Zoflora in 800ml of water in the sink, and leave your dishcloths to soak to give your trusty cleaning partners a much needed freshen up, with the added bonus of a beautifully smelling kitchen!
2. Keep the kitchen out of your keyboard
We are all guilty of eating and working, however with continuous typing, bacteria from your hands can spread and manifest all across your keyboard. So, when eating at your desk you may be tempted to reply to that new email in your inbox, meaning that you’re transferring the germs from your keyboard onto your food and ingesting them.
To combat this, shake your keyboard to dislodge any crumbs and mix 1 capful of your favourite Zoflora fragrance with 400ml of water inside a trigger spray. Spray onto a clean piece of kitchen paper and then use to wipe down. A quick and easy way to make sure there aren’t any germs leftover from lunch! Don’t forget your mouse mat and wrist supports too!
3. Don’t chew your pen!
Although it can be tempting, and sometimes you don’t even realise you’re doing it… do not chew your pen.
You’ve probably left your pen lying around, in the bottom of your bag or even borrowed it from your co-worker. Therefore, an inordinate amount of germs can be present!
This can lead to ingesting a whole range of bacteria and viruses. If possible, keep to your own set of stationary so that you are not passing any germs around the office, in turn, reducing the number of hard surfaces that you touch and share.
4. Keep your hands clean
You have just washed your hands thoroughly for 20 seconds with an anti-bacterial hand soap, removing dirt, viruses and bacteria. However, whilst they appear innocent, hand towels are a breeding ground for bacteria and viruses. Where possible use a disposable option, or make sure that you wash your hand towels every day.
5. Make sure your welcome mat is actually welcome!
You step on it every morning and night, without giving it a second thought. Floor surfaces receive a high amount of traffic on a daily basis. If outdoor shoes aren't removed, there is the added risk of bringing in bacteria from the outside, therefore it is vital that you not only clean your welcome mat, but also disinfect it correctly. Mix 1 capful of your favourite Zoflora fragrance with 400ml of water inside a trigger spray, then spray directly onto the mat and allow to dry. Not only does this kill any potentially nasty bacteria and viruses, but it also fills the entrance to your office with a beautiful and long-lasting fragrance!
6. Bring your own cuppa!
Whether you’re a tea or coffee person, sharing office mugs is a common way to spread bacteria and germs. Rinsing your mug isn’t always enough to remove your own or your co-worker’s germs. If possible, bring in your own mug and wash daily, preferably in a dishwasher or at least in hot water with a washing up detergent.
7. Freshen up your fridge
With a whole array of lunches being stored in your communal fridge, bacteria can thrive here. Give your fridge a deep clean by removing all the food, wiping the drawers with diluted Zoflora, then leave for at least 5 minutes before giving everything a final rinse with clean water. Make sure you clear out your office fridge every few days to avoid those forgotten, mouldy leftovers.
8. Show some TLC to your printer
A popular office device can also be a top hangout for germs. The touchpad and buttons are an unavoidable hotbed for bacteria and viruses, which people often overlook cleaning. Spray a little diluted Zoflora onto a dry cloth and use to gently wipe, killing 99.9% of bacteria and viruses.
9. Stay hydrated and safe!
Many workspaces have a watercooler, and it’s a good excuse to get away from your desk and go top up your water bottle; however, as this is touched by lots of people, ensure to disinfect the operating buttons / handles regularly with diluted Zoflora.
10. Disinfect your devices
We all know that mobile phones are a hotspot for germs, with the average phone likely to have more germs living on it than a toilet seat! By bringing it into your work environment, where you’re likely to leave it on your desk, or maybe when you pass it to your co-worker to show a funny social post, you significantly increase the chances of bringing home unwanted bacteria and germs. Spray a little diluted Zoflora onto a dry cloth and use to gently wipe around your mobile phone, killing 99.9% of bacteria and viruses.
Don’t forget these more common places too!
1. Not so handy!
You spend most of your day clicking away on your mouse, but germs and bacteria on your hands will transfer there too and vice versa. So, make sure that you wash your hands with an anti-bacterial hand wash for at least 20 seconds before returning to your computer. Again, spray a small amount of diluted Zoflora onto a dry cloth and gently wipe your mouse to kill 99.9% of bacteria and viruses.
2. Don’t touch this
Door handles are a commonly touched area in the office and therefore one of the fastest ways for germs and bacteria to spread. Use a trigger spray of diluted Zoflora to spray your cloth and wipe over any door handles in the workplace
3. Home away from home
Your desk is where you spend the majority of your time, meaning that you could be bringing in and harbouring a large number of germs here.
Get comfy. If your company hot-desks, you have more chance of being infected by other people germs, so always stick to the same spot. You can keep your space clean and fragrantly fresh by wiping down with your favourite diluted Zoflora.
4. Ping…Keep your microwave clean
The perfect appliance for heating up your lunch is also the ideal home for bacteria, thanks to the combination of food particles, warmth and moisture. Make sure that you wipe the inside and outside of your microwave daily with diluted Zoflora, and then wipe down with a damp clean cloth.
Zoflora has also teamed up with GP Doctor Ellie Cannon to provide guidance for small businesses, who are planning to reopen after lockdown. On behalf of Zoflora, Dr Ellie Cannon shares her advice.
If someone has symptoms, how long should they wait before returning to work?
Anyone who has symptoms must stay at home, and get tested. If the coronavirus test is negative, you are able to come back to work, however if the test is positive you must stay at home and isolate for 14 days.
Should I make customers use hand sanitiser when entering my shop and does it kill coronavirus?
Absolutely yes, washing our hands and using an alcohol-based hand sanitiser is one of the best ways to prevent the spread of coronavirus. It is a very good practice to offer a hand sanitiser when a customer enters the shop to protect everybody.
I own a small shop, should I allow customers to browse?
We know that coronavirus does live on hard surfaces, and can be transmitted by people touching those surfaces. You can reduce the chance of spreading the virus by offering your customers an alcohol-based hand sanitiser when they enter your store and by trying to keep browsing and touching to a minimum.
By keeping my windows and doors open, and increasing the ventilation, does this reduce the risk of transmission?
We can certainly see that with coronavirus, the rate of transmission is significantly lower outdoors than indoors. That’s why, when easing lockdown, outdoor activities such as shopping at outdoor markets were allowed first. It’s hard to say that by opening windows, or by having a well-ventilated room that it will have that same effect on reducing the viral transmission. But chances are, it is better than having a closed room, with reduced ventilation.
What advice would you give small businesses that are opening up around the UK?
For any business there are going to be a lot of upcoming changes, but the best way to reduce the risk of coronavirus is going to be wearing face coverings, offering hand sanitiser or the opportunity for people to wash their hands, and to promote social distancing as much as possible by keeping the number of people down and controlled, and by creating a one-way system around the shop.
How do I choose the best cleaning product for my business?
A really good question, first of all it is important to make sure that cleaning products not only clean but also disinfect and kill viruses as well as bacteria. Make sure that you are using disinfectant as regularly and as frequently as possible and concentrated on those high frequency areas, that people are coming into contact with more often, for example door handles.
Zoflora is part of the Thornton and Ross product portfolio which was founded in 1922 and is one of the largest OTC pharmaceutical manufacturers in the UK, exporting to over 80 countries worldwide.
Use disinfectants safely. Always read the instructions before use. Zoflora can be kept for up to two weeks after dilution, whilst still maintaining its germ killing power, both at 1:20 and 1:40 dilutions. When correctly diluted, Zoflora disinfectant may be used where most pets are kept. Do not allow pets to lick or walk on wet treated surfaces. Keep off until dry. Not suitable for use in fish tanks or vivaria.
BS EN Testing
Zoflora is tested to BS EN standards for disinfectants, so you can rest assured that it will keep your workplace safe and hygienically clean. Zoflora meets the requirements for the following;
- EN 1276.2009
- EN 13697.2015
- EN 13623.2010
- EN 1650:2008 + A1 2013
- EN 14476 2013
Zoflora kills 99.9% of viruses & bacteria including: Coronavirus, Human Herpes virus, Influenza -Type A (H1N1), Respiratory Syncytial virus (RSV), Rotavirus, E.coli, MRSA, Listeria, Salmonella.