October 15, 2020

Avidbots how-to: Cleaning & disinfecting the floors in your facility

Click here to download the “Disinfecting Floors With Neo” guideline.

Prior to the pandemic, businesses may not have considered it crucial to regularly and consistently clean and disinfect their floors. In the wake of COVID-19, with an understanding of the virus and how it’s transmitted (including the role of floors), we recognize how imperative it is that floors are regularly cleaned and disinfected, just like the high-touch 3-D surfaces in your facility.

The Center for Disease Control describes that, in order to slow transmission of the virus, floors should regularly be disinfected with a chemical registered with the Environmental Protection Agency (or equivalent local body in your jurisdiction) to kill SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 (list of chemicals can be referenced here).

It’s important to know the difference between cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting.

avid-bots how-to

How to disinfect the floor with Neo

With your custodial team having to clean more regularly and frequently than pre-pandemic, autonomous solutions are the perfect enhancement to the team to help offset their increased workload. Not only does Neo, the autonomous floor scrubbing robot, deliver a quality, consistent and measurable floor clean, it can also be used to disinfect floors.

While the method applied in each particular circumstance will vary depending on floor type, chemicals available and other factors, the basic workflow and general principles are as follows:

Step 1. Review and apply safety precautions

Review and apply any applicable safety precautions before starting the cleaning and disinfecting process. These often include, but are not limited to:

  • Consulting with product labels to ensure proper use
  • Wearing personal protective equipment
  • Placing “wet floor” signs to eliminate slip hazards
  • Setting up barricades or otherwise temporarily restricting access to areas in question by the public

Step 2. Pre-sweep

Perform a pre-sweep to remove loose debris from the floor. Bacteria and viruses may reside on or in dirt particles. Without removing them, disinfecting chemicals will not be as effective as some germs cannot be reached.

Step 3. Clean

Clean the floor with Neo, the autonomous floor scrubbing robot, and a detergent (typically a neutral pH floor cleaner) to remove stuck-on dirt and stains.

Like a nurse washing their hands with soap and water, Neo scrubbing a floor with soap and water will sanitize by removing germs via mechanical means. Depending on the degree of sanitization required, this may be sufficient without the use of chemicals meant specifically for disinfection. If disinfecting chemicals are in short supply, sanitizing with soap and water is significantly better than nothing.

Step 4. Prepare disinfecting solution

If not pre-mixed, prepare the disinfecting solution according to the manufacturer’s specifications. Ensure that the dilution ratio is correct so that the potency is sufficient to disinfect, but not so strong as to pose a safety risk.

Step 5. Soak

Cover the already-cleaned surface with the disinfecting solution — this can be achieved easily and with minimal labor using a Neo robot whose vacuum suction system has been turned off. The solution must remain on the floor for an appropriate time, as stated on the product label.

Testing performed by Avidbots has determined that Water Flow Setting 2 is generally sufficient to achieve a 10+ minute dwell time (typical of a large number of disinfecting products) at room temperature, with normal indoor ambient humidity levels. This accounts for Neo’s speed and navigational behaviors.

Step 6. Cleanup

Following an appropriate dwell time, fluid may remain on the floor which should be collected to eliminate any slip hazards. Additionally, some disinfecting solutions may leave a sticky residue on the floor. Rinse the floor with Neo (using either water or a neutral pH cleaner) to remove residue and collect any residual fluid.

By following these steps, you can ensure that your facility’s floors are as virus-free as reasonably possible.


Final thoughts

In addition to the steps outlined above, keep in mind the following additional considerations:

  • Sanitization via cleaning takes time — consider setting your Neo robot to a slower speed. Scrubbing may take longer, but your floors will be cleaner and with fewer germs.
  • Some disinfecting chemicals are harsh. Your Avidbots Neo cleaning robot may require additional maintenance if chemicals not rated specifically for use in an auto scrubber are used (see your user manual for a list of prohibited substances).
  • While Neo will disinfect the floor, the cleaning staff should disinfect Neo. Clean the robot thoroughly, let dry completely and then disinfect according to the product label. Always wear PPE, and wash your hands thoroughly after handling the robot.

If you have any further questions regarding your Neo(s) or how to disinfect the floors in your facility, please contact us. Stay tuned for the next article in this series.

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