Protection from Colds and Flu at the Workplace

By Cameron Bohn, Zep Principal Chemist

Cold and flu season is already upon us. While proper surface cleaning and hand hygiene are always important in the workplace, the stakes increase from November through March.  Fortunately, Zep has the technical expertise and products to develop a customized program for work environments that includes surface cleaning and hand hygiene.


Washing Your Hands Properly

Hand washing is the first and most critical step in preventing infection.  Hand washing helps remove all types of germs from skin, often making it more effective than hand sanitizers at removing certain types of bacteria and viruses.

Did you know that there is a right way and a wrong way to wash your hands? Wetting your hands with clean running water (warm or cold), applying soap, and lathering by rubbing your hands together for at least 20 seconds are all important steps in effective hand washing. Be sure to target the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails when you wash. After washing, dry hands with a clean towel or let air dry. Of course, employees should wash their hands frequently, especially after touching public surfaces and before eating. Learn more about hand hygiene products here.


What's the Difference Between Cleaners, Disinfectants, and Sanitizers?

Many people use these terms interchangeably, but there is a big difference between cleaners, disinfectants, and sanitizers. Cleaners use soap or detergents to physically remove dirt, dust, and other soils from surfaces.  Cleaners are necessary because disinfectants do not work properly on dirty surfaces. Using a cleaner optimizes the effectiveness of the disinfectant.  It is critical to deep clean, porous, and nonporous surfaces to remove built-up grime and soil.

Disinfectants kill bacteria, viruses, mold, mildew, and fungi. Disinfectants are regulated and reviewed by the EPA to validate they are effective against specific germs and safe for their intended purposes.

Sanitizers are typically used for hands and kill 99.9% of bacteria on surfaces, versus disinfectants that kill bacteria and also kill viruses, mold, mildew, fungi, and other pathogens.

When you're trying to prevent the spread of illnesses, like Covid-19 and other viruses, it's important to choose the right combination of products for the job. Some 2-in-1 Zep products, including Spirit II and Aviation, combine deep cleaning and disinfecting in one step. For both cleaning and disinfecting, prioritize Critical Touch Points (CTAs) first. CTAs are high-touch surfaces such as tabletops, chairs and seat backs, door handles, stair rails, faucets, etc.


Zep's Cold and Flu Prevention Program

The Zep Cold and Flu Prevention Program combines easy-to-implement protocols with high-performing products to maximize efficiency and reduce costs.

The Zep Cold and Flu Prevention program helps keep workplaces cleaner and safer by following CDC guidance. Our program includes everything you need to get started, from educational materials to proper signage for your workplace. We can also develop a custom program tailored specifically to your business's needs. When implemented correctly and frequently, Zep’s Cold and Flu prevention program promises to help defend workplace environments against the risk of spreading infection and reduce those overall maintenance costs most associated with cleaning and disinfecting.


Want to find out more? Curious about how to spray, dwell times, chemical formulations, dilution ratios, and cleaning time needed?  Zep experts are here to discuss. Reach out to Cameron or a Sales Rep at Contact – Zep Inc.

Cameron is a Principal Chemist at Zep with over 15 years of industry experience. He is part of the technical Services Team, which helps customers create cleaner, safer, and more efficient business operations. Connect with him about Zep’s Cold and Flu Prevention Program and consultative solutions including best practices.

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