2.0 Cleaning Training

1.0 Introduction to Microorganisms

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A microorganism is an organism that is too small to be seen by the naked eye. In other words, it is "microscopic". Microorganisms include bacteria, viruses, fungi, parasites, and prions, among others. But when a microorganism has the potential to be harmful, it is often referred to as a "germ". There are different types of common germs that can be controlled through basic hygiene and cleaning practices. These include:

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  • Bacteria
  • Viruses
  • Fungi (mould and mildew)

1.1 About Germs

Germs live in soil, air, water, food, animals, plants, and people. Even most germs with a potential to cause illness can often be helpful. For example, many bacteria that live in the human body are beneficial, and exposure to other germs can help humans build up their immune systems and stay healthy.

But in some instances, exposure to harmful germs can cause conditions like food-borne illness, diarrhoea, and other diseases. Some are easily managed and can go away on their own; others are more serious and can lead to severe illness. It's important to practise healthy habits and prevent the spread of these germs.

Germs can be spread via:

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Microscope view

  • Direct contact: Like touching the hand of someone sick
  • Indirect contact: Like touching a surface that held raw food, or was contaminated by someone sick
  • Air: Like when someone coughs into the air
  • Contaminated food and water
  • Contact with animals or by a bite or scratch

1.2 How and Where Germs Survive

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The Horrible Smell

THE HORRIBLE SMELL THAT AN OLD MOP HAS IS THE BACTERIA AND GERMS IT IS GROWING.

Germs thrive in wet conditions. In some cases, germs can live on surfaces for hours—and even days. For example, flu germs can live on surfaces for up to 48 hours... 

The important thing to note is that while surfaces may look clean, it can contain many infectious germs. You, therefore, need to disinfect to reduce germs on surfaces.

If a surface is often wet, it is likely to harbour germs and bacteria. For example, sinks, sponges and mops.
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This sponge is gross

A sponge that is this old and dirty will be harbouring a lot of germs.


1.3 Cleaning Versus Disinfection

Cleaning and disinfecting are not the same thing.

Cleaning removes germs from surfaces, whereas disinfecting actually destroys them. Disinfectants contain ingredients that destroy bacteria and other germs.

There are different categories of germ reduction products, as well:

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  • Disinfectant: Kills pathogenic germs (but not spores)
  • Sanitiser: Kills 99.9% of pathogenic germs
  • Antiseptic: Kills germs on the skin (such as an alcohol-based hand sanitiser)

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Always check the product label to make sure it says "Disinfectant".

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1.4 Viruses are Very Challenging Germs

Viruses are different from bacteria and mold/mildew. They are extremely small — only 1/100th of the size of bacteria or mold/mildew. A virus makes you sick. But viruses need a host to infect in order to reproduce. 

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One of the best way to stop the spread of viruses is to wash your hands regularly. 

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2.0 Room-by-Room Reference Guide

2.1 Cleaning in waves

All rooms can be cleaned using a three-wave system. 

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Wave 1 involves tidying, removing items that don't belong in that room, and preparing to clean. 

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Wave 2 is the actual cleaning of the surfaces in the room and any finishing touches the room needs. 

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Wave 3  is when you go through and vacuum & mop all floors. 

 

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  • Once you start working in a room you are not to leave it. Items which do not belong in the room need to be stacked by the door in a basket.       
  • You should plan to check washing cycles between room cleans (not during).
  • You should have everything that you would need to clean/tidy a room before you start cleaning it. For example, if the room is a bedroom which needs new sheets you should have those sheets with you before you start cleaning the room.

Example of How to Clean a Kitchen Using Wave Method

Wave 1 - Tidy and Prepare to Clean

  • Empty dishwasher or drying rack
  • Gather dishes, wash by hand or put in dishwasher and start dishwasher
  • Gather and throw away rubbish and items for recycling
  • Tidy away anything that does not belong on the bench top
  • Place items that do not belong in the kitchen by the door to be dealt with later

Wave 2 - Cleaning

  • Spray and disinfect bench tops - lift up items, clean underneath them, and arrange neatly
  • Clean microwave—both inside and outside
  • Clean and polish stove top
  • Clean and polish outsides of appliances
  • Wipe inside and outside of refrigerator and throw away expired food
  • Wipe fingerprints off cupboards and front of drawers
  • Clean the inside of the oven
  • Spray and disinfect sink
  • Put away clean dishes

Wave 3 - End of shift

  • Vacuum and mop floors
  • Take out rubbish and items for recycling

How to Clean a Bathroom Using the Wave Method

Wave 1 - Tidy and Prepare to Clean

  • Remove dirty clothes and towels (during session scope)
  • Tidy away anything that does not belong on the bench tops
  • Spray cleaner in shower and tub
  • Put toilet cleaner in toilet
  • Empty bins
  • Place items that do not belong in the kitchen by the door to be dealt with later

Wave 2 - Cleaning

  • Spray and disinfect bench tops—lifting up items and cleaning underneath them, arrange items neatly
  • Clean shower—wash tiles, scrub floor, scrub grout, clean and polish fixtures
  • Tidy shower—arrange bottles and shower items neatly, hang up face cloths and shower puffs
  • Clean tub—polish fixtures
  • Clean toilet—spray outside, top, seat, and lid with cleaner and wipe.  Scrub inside toilet with toilet brush (chemicals are already in bowl from Wave 1)
  • Dust surfaces—walls, window sills, blinds, shelves, baseboards, fan, etc.
  • Dust skirting boards
  • Replace towels and floor mats
  • Refill soap dispenser
  • Replace toilet paper, if needed

Wave 3 - End of shift

  • Vacuum and mop floors

How to Clean a Bedroom Using the Wave Method

Wave 1 - Tidy and Prepare to Clean

  • Remove dirty laundry (during session scope)
  • Strip beds (during session scope)
  • Remove all dishes (during session scope)
  • Empty bins and remove rubbish
  • Tidy and place items back where they belong
  • Tidy away toys—putting like with like
  • Place items that do not belong in the bedroom by the door to be dealt with later

Wave 2 - Clean and Change Beds

  • Dust and tidy all surfaces
  • Clean and polish picture frames, mirrors, power points, lamps, window sills, blinds, etc.
  • Dust skirting boards
  • Dust under the bed and behind night stands
  • Straighten covers and make bed, or re-make bed using clean sheets if the bed linen is to be changed that day

Wave 3 - End of shift

  • Vacuum and mop floors

How to Clean a Living Area Using Wave Method

Wave 1 - Tidy and Prepare to Clean

  • Remove all dishes (during session scope)
  • Empty bins and remove rubbish
  • Tidy and place items back where they belong
  • Place items that do not belong in the room by the door to be dealt with later

Wave 2 - Clean Surfaces

  • Dust and tidy all surfaces. Lift up items, dust underneath and replace the items
  • Dust TV and electrical items
  • Clean and polish picture frames, mirrors, power points, lamps, window sills, blinds, etc.
  • Dust skirting boards
  • Neatly arrange cushions on couches
  • Fold and neatly arrange throws and blankets
  • Empty vases and replace flowers (if needed)

Wave 3 - End of Shift

  • Vacuum and mop floors
  • Move furniture and vacuum underneath and re-position furniture

3.0 Product Guide

When you are working in your client's home, you will be expected to recognise common household chemicals and know how to correctly use them.  The link below contains a guide to the most commonly used products in Australia.  It tells you what they are, and how to use them.   Download the document and review it. Make sure you know what to use and how to correctly apply the product.

Download the link below: