01 March 2021
The announcement that schools will be opening in England on 8 March has brought the safety of students and staff in schools back into focus. Many schools have used the closure time to do a deep clean, ready to re-open when the time comes. And so it was that Acorn Commercials came in to do what we do best for our local Waddesdon Village Primary School.
We took this on like we do every other job, by focusing on cleaning and disinfecting the premises to ensure everyone’s safe return. We sent in one of our teams to deep clean all classrooms, staff rooms, offices and communal areas.
Our vans pulled up to the school gates first thing, ready for action. Our team, decked out in their white hazmat suits, got straight to work. They started out in the communal areas before moving on to the classrooms and offices.
This is how we tackled the challenge.
By their nature, primary schools are full of things – furniture, equipment and materials for both students and adults. Every corner is crammed with something useful. It could be a stand of lockers, a stack of bookshelves or tables with computers. There is little free wall space either. Most of it is taken up with whiteboards, maps and drawings – those that don't already have bookshelves, that is.
All these are touchpoints, ones that are frequently used by both staff and students. This is in addition to doors, desks and light switches, to name a few. These are the more commonly thought of touchpoints and ones that are used the most.
To overcome the challenge of disinfecting every surface and every space in between, we used our new electrostatic guns. Using a negative charge, they spray a fine disinfectant mist which will wrap around any surface. This means that it will find its way around handles, in between keyboard keys and spray evenly across flat surfaces.
Those doors handles and light switches we mentioned? We went over those one more time to be absolutely sure that they were clean and disinfected. This is part of our enhanced cleaning technique as we know that they are heavily used throughout the day.
Using a technique widely used in the healthcare sector, we swabbed key touchpoints to monitor how effective our deep clean was. While swabbing does not specifically check for Covid-19, it does pick up any bacteria or pathogens which may linger on surfaces. It works by using Adenosine Triphosphate or ATP bioluminescence levels (what carries energy in all living things) to determine the level of contamination on a surface.
Using relative light units (RLU) to measure bioluminescence, we operate a strict pass/fail system. An RLU measurement of 0–24 is a pass, and anything above 25 RLU is a fail. The surfaces swabbed at Waddesdon Village Primary School registered readings of zero. This indicates that they are clean and free from bacteria and pathogens.
With a team of three, we were able to clean and disinfect the school premises within a few hours. It is a job that is easily done after hours or over the weekend at any school where Covid-19 is a concern. It can also be part of a more regular deep clean routine.
Waddesdon Village Primary is now ready to welcome back its full complement of staff and students as soon as it can do so.
With teams spread across the country, Acorn Commercials can respond to any call-out in England and Wales within a couple of hours. We have a variety of disinfection tools in our arsenal, suitable for all types of premises, vehicles and industry sectors.
To find out more about how we can help your business stay open or get back to business after a Covid-19 case, call us on 0800 772 3424 or email us at email@example.com.
31 January 2021
This week we added a new tool to our Covid-19 disinfection arsenal – two Victory Innovations cordless electrostatic handheld sprayers. It’s a bit of a mouthful, so we call them the electrostatic sprayers. We’re excited about them because they add a new option for our clients to choose from. They can be used for all situations, types of premises or vehicles, but are particularly useful for:
They work by using an electrostatic charge to spray liquid evenly on surfaces. This is why they work so well on those spots and surfaces that may otherwise be awkward to reach. The charge ensures that the liquid droplets will coat a surface evenly. Unlike a spray nozzle that is not charged – such as for regular housecleaning products – which will spray a single splodge onto a surface.
The principle is similar to that which is used by the car industry to spray paint vehicles. By creating opposing charges between the liquid and surface to be coated, a more even application is possible. When it comes to disinfection, the benefits of the electrostatic sprayers include:
We like it because we can take it anywhere and cover large areas without hassle. It’s cordless, so we don’t worry about how far we can go. It’s light, so we can complete areas to be cleaned quickly. It has a long run time, so we can finish up a job in one go.
Seb, our director, had this to say:
“We are delighted to be able to add the Victory electrostatic devices to our toolkit. It’s yet another option that we can offer our clients and one more way that we can help keep their premises and vehicles disinfected and stop the spread of Covid.”
This is just our newest tool in our toolbox to help keep your premises and vehicles safe, and your business running with minimal interruptions. Get in touch if you have any questions or to book an appointment.
14 January 2021
Until recently, the words cleaning and sanitising were only used occasionally in conversation outside the commercial cleaning industry. Now, with Covid-19 in full swing, they are on everyone’s lips daily. Nearly a year into the pandemic, we look back at the past few months, examining how our industry has changed and adapted to this new reality. In other words, how has the commercial cleaning industry responded to Covid-19?
We set ourselves the challenge of looking at our industry and our own practices to determine how we have collectively responded to the Covid-19 challenge. Are there things we could be doing differently or more effectively for our clients? How can we better serve them, to help companies remain open and in business?
When Covid-19 first started spreading more widely and lockdowns and restrictions were put in place, uncertainty reigned. Businesses closed, some permanently, and staff were furloughed or laid off. Cleaning became a greater need while demand dropped as businesses shut their doors and staff worked from home.
Initially, the spotlight focused on the health care sector. However, with stringent measures already in place for cleaning and disinfection, that focus shifted to all other sectors. Attention turned to everything that we touched. We became aware of how much and how often our hands came into contact with surfaces and then our faces.
It quickly became apparent that washing our hands or using sanitiser are effective for protecting ourselves. But what of all the surfaces that a potentially infected person comes into contact with?
Clients have premises or vehicle fleets that need cleaning and disinfection quickly to keep their business moving. The drop in demand from the retail, leisure and transport sectors has been offset by a rise in demand from schools, hospitals and commercial vehicles.
The commercial cleaning industry also had to contend with a fall in staff availability. Illness and quarantining affected staff levels. The chain effect of business closures meant cleaning companies had to furlough staff.
Advice from government and global agencies was scant when it came to commercial cleaning techniques and processes. In the absence of guidance, the industry mobilised quickly to meet clients’ needs.
Those needs changed on a daily basis as clients struggled to determine what was required, when and how. New products came on to the market, promising to neutralise the Covid-19 threat lingering in the air and on surfaces.
Some commercial cleaning companies have posted information on their Covid-19 procedures on their websites. Of those, some include evidence of why their chosen methods and standards are appropriate to deal with Covid-19.
But what is real and what is good marketing without much substance?
The lack of official guidelines or standards for Covid-19 disinfection meant that commercial cleaning companies set their own. This may or may not be available for scrutiny by clients. For businesses looking for information quickly, there may not always be enough available to make an informed decision.
Organisations such as the British Cleaning Council filled part of that gap by publishing a guide on:
While this is helpful, it is only available to members of the British Cleaning Council. It is also primarily aimed at organisations operating in office buildings and the health care sector – those that make up its membership base. Since not every commercial cleaning company is a member, there are still gaps in how many have access to it.
The Cleaning and Hygiene Suppliers Association launched an accreditation scheme for chemical manufacturers in September 2020. However, this is only applicable to its members. As it operates in the UK only, other well-established, global manufacturers are not covered.
Experienced manufacturers whose products have a strong track record of safety and reliability are excluded. To compound this, there is little scrutiny of companies making claims about their products before they go on the market. You need only look at the unfortunate incident Transport for London experienced with a chemical used to disinfect bus stations for an example of this.
The problem remains: What are the standards to meet and how can businesses choose a commercial cleaning provider who will help them stay operational?
At Acorn Commercials we continue to adhere to the stringent procedures we set ourselves when we began operating. The two-step cleaning and disinfection process that has been standard for our health care and patient transport vehicle clients throughout is applied across the board.
We have our own in-house infection control specialist who has over 15 years’ experience creating policies and procedures in infection control and sanitation. We work closely with him to analyse and determine the best approach for each client. This way, you can be sure that the cleaning and disinfection regime we propose is tailor-made for you.
We mobilise fast, so that we can contain any further spread. Our staff can be on clients’ premises within an hour of a confirmed or suspected Covid-19 case. We offer a variety of disinfection options to suit different businesses as well as budgets.
We developed an app, installed in all our vans and carried on site by our staff. It provides a digital record of the work undertaken for each job and each client. Reports can be printed on demand, providing evidence of cleaning and disinfection procedures for each site.
We encourage all our existing and prospective clients to ask questions. We know that at a crucial time, you want to get someone on site quickly to clean and disinfect it. It’s easier to be swayed by a shiny website and product disinfection claims during a time of high stress.
However, a few moments on the phone asking the right questions could save you a lot of time and potential hassle. We recommend asking the following:
Armed with this information you can then make an informed choice about the best company to employ.
For more information on what Acorn Commercials is doing to meet the Covid-19 challenge for our clients, please visit our dedicated Covid-19 page This includes full details of the process we follow. It also includes the options available to you for additional disinfection suitable for your business needs and budget. You will also find information on the standards we work to and the evidence to support them.
Alternatively, give us a call on 0800 772 3424 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We would be happy to talk to you about how we work to keep your business safe and open.