Month: June 2022

Closer Look at Cleanrooms

You might hear the term cleanroom get tossed around, but what does it actually mean? Cleanrooms require that contaminants in the air are highly controlled in order to meet specific standards (more details on this in a moment). Without strict monitoring, contaminants can destroy cleanroom processes and equipment in specialized environments. Several industries require controlled environments, including food production, scientific research, pharmaceuticals, biotech, and manufacturers (aerospace, military, medical devices). We’ll take a closer look at types of cleanroom contamination before we dive into helpful best practices to ensure you keep contaminants out. 

How Cleanrooms Get and Stay Clean

Cleanrooms work by using High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters to sift particles out of the air as it enters the room. HEPA filters are 99.97% effective at eliminating contaminants from the air, such as dust, pollen, bacteria, mold, and other airborne particles.

In addition to efficient filters, commercial cleaning services help cleanrooms meet standards. At Joncowest, the cleanroom cleaning program is called TrueClean. Here are the steps we follow:

  • Before starting, the janitorial staff suits up in sterile gowns before entering the cleanroom.
  • Next, any large or visible trash is swept into receptacles and disposed of properly.
  • Staff applies approved disinfectants to counters, walls, and floors and allowed to dry;
  • We use non-shedding cloths on walls and counters and a sterile mop for floors.
  • Staff disinfects ventilation system grates, but we don’t access internal components because some cleanroom ventilation systems are specially related to the function of the cleanroom
  • Outside air is filtered through a HEPA or ULPA system before it’s pumped into the cleanroom. Contaminated air within the cleanroom gets forced outside by registers in the room or it’s recirculated through the filters again.

Cleanroom Classifications

Cleanroom classifications refer to the cleanliness of the air, and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) establishes these standards. ISO 14644-1:2015 specifies the classification of air cleanliness in terms of concentration of airborne particles in cleanrooms and clean zones. A cleanroom has a controlled level of contamination that is specified by the number of particles per cubic meter at a specified particle size. As a reference, typical outside air in a city environment contains 35,000,000 particles per cubic meter that are 0.5 micron and larger in diameter. This level of clean air corresponds to an ISO 9 cleanroom–toward the lowest level of cleanroom standards. 

There are different ISO classes ranging from ISO 1 to ISO 9 with ISO 1 having the least amount of contamination of the smallest particle size and ISO 9 for typical room air. Check out this blog for a detailed table about ISO specifications

Need Cleanroom Help?

If you have a cleanroom that needs professional cleaning, we’re available to help. Contact us for a TrueClean estimate that can meet your cleanroom standards! We’re a leader in cleaning critical environments and can ensure your cleanroom meets your standards.

Hybrid Cleaning: Tips for At-Home Workers

The office environment has changed during the pandemic, and now some employers offer more flexibility in employee schedules. While this is great for employees, it could mean that facilities need to adjust their cleaning for hybrid workers to avoid extra germs and keep employees safe.  We’ll cover some tips to help! 

Cleaning, Sanitizing, Disinfecting, and Sterilizing 

While the terms cleaning, sanitizing, disinfecting, and sterilizing are often used interchangeably, they have different meanings. Here’s a quick summary: 

  • Cleaning removes visible dirt, dust and other debris from facility surfaces.
  • Sanitizing removes surface bacteria.
  • Disinfecting kills harmful surface bacteria and viruses.
  • Sterilizing kills all surface microorganisms.

It’s important to understand the differences between cleaning, sanitizing, disinfecting, and sterilizing so your facility’s needs get met. Disinfecting does not necessarily clean dirty surfaces or remove germs, so it’s best to clean and disinfect. Cleaning alone doesn’t necessarily disinfect or sanitize surfaces. In general, a combination of products and services can help you meet your facility’s needs. 

You can also refer to our blog on this topic if you want more detail

Cleaning to Avoid Cross-Contamination

With employees going back and forth between working at home and at the office, it’s essential to utilize professional cleaners, but there are also ways for your employees to help. Professional cleaners like Joncowest provide cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting because they have strict protocols and extensive task lists to ensure the facility is clean. Plus, professional cleaners have access to effective cleaning products and tools. 

Education for Employees

In addition to using professional cleaners, you can educate your employees about cleaning and disinfecting individual areas and shared workspaces–especially if it’s more of an open workspace setup. Explaining how germs spread within the facility and providing products to mitigate germs is another layer to help reduce risk. 

In addition to educating your employees, promoting good hygiene and providing supplies can also help between cleanings. For example, provide antibacterial wipes and set up hand sanitizing stations for employees and visitors. You can establish a set of “best practices” so employees are aware of what products are available for them to clean and disinfect their work area. You can also inform employees about what steps you’re taking to clean, sanitize and disinfect, such as hiring professional cleaners like Joncowest. 

Facility’s Sick Policy

Sick woman at desk with mug and tissue on nose

Review your facility’s sick policy and ensure employees are aware when they should stay home. Prior to the pandemic, many employees would continue to go into work even if they were sick. These days, more employees are encouraged to stay home if they’re experiencing symptoms to avoid spreading germs unnecessarily. With a hybrid office environment, employees who aren’t feeling well can take a sick day or work from home if they’re allowed per the facility’s sick policy.   

Have Questions? 

No matter what type of cleaning, sanitizing or disinfecting needs are, Joncowest has you covered! Contact us today to discuss how we can help your facility!