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Your Source for Virus Decontamination in your Home or Business! We Service all of South Carolina.

Full Guide and Twelve Easy Tips for Safely Decontaminating Short-Term Rentals, Multi-Use Facilities, and Hotel Rooms

These are challenging times we’re living in, as evidenced by the coronavirus pandemic, statewide quarantines, social distancing, and the rising threat of infection. Now more than ever, it’s crucial to understand safe decontaminating strategies for rentals, community facilities, businesses, homes, etc.

Let’s take a look at a few tips and general health practices that will help you keep yourself and others safe during this uncertain time.

Cleaning Tips for Keeping Your Space Germ-Free

If you own an Airbnb rental property or a vacation home, or if you manage a hotel or a community center, or if you're in charge of any location where people gather or frequent, the risk of infection is high. This is especially true with short term rentals and vacation homes, places where different people from all around the country/world travel in and out of regularly. Such sites are virtual havens for infection. That's why it's so crucial that you take extra steps and precautions to protect your guests.

Given how contagious COVID-19 is, it’s essential to frequently decontaminate and sterilize your rental property or business. And it’s important to use a stringent and detailed cleaning process to do this. Being thorough and methodical can result in the difference between healthy guests and sick guests. Taking on a new approach to disinfection and sanitation may mean more time spent cleaning, but it will be worth it to know you are doing your part to prevent illness.

We Service Columbia, Charleston, Savannah, Myrtle Beach, Beaufort, Florence, Hilton Head, Orangeburg, West Columbia, Conway, Lexington, Mount Pleasant, Summerville, and neighboring cities in South Carolina.

Frequency of Cleaning – How to Determine the Best Cleaning Schedule

The first point to focus on is the frequency of cleaning. Experts recommend that, for short term rentals, Airbnbs, vacation homes, etc., that owners thoroughly clean these spaces between each guest. Every time a guest leaves and before a new guest arrives, owners should disinfect the area. Whether that means cleaning once per day, once per week, or once every other week, it is crucial to perform a thorough cleaning after each guest leaves but before the next guest arrives.

For hotels, gyms, community centers, churches, businesses, and other locales where new people frequent daily, it's critical to adopt a thorough cleaning regimen at the very beginning or end of each day. Daily cleaning is the only way to mitigate risk and ensure your guests remain healthy and illness-free.

How to Be Sure You are Disinfecting a Room Correctly

Most people who clean rental properties or hotel rooms are already pretty well versed in this task. However, cleaning a rental property or sanitizing your rental may have other elements and factors that you might not have considered. With that in mind, here are a few quick suggestions:

  • Deep clean the property's dishwasher to remove germ buildup.
  • Scrub the toilet clean, wash the shower and shower curtain with soap, and wipe down the sink and vanity after each guest.
  • Use homemade disinfectants and home sanitizer wipes to wipe down every surface that others might touch.
  • Clean out candle holders, glassware, coffeemakers, toaster ovens, microwaves, and other utensils and appliances that are often overlooked.
  • Clean out linen closets, utility closets, and storage areas. (Not only can bacteria find its way into closet and storage spaces, but these locations can become havens for mold buildup as well).
  • Use a liquid-based home sanitizer in a misting bottle to gently spray down blankets, upholstery, throw pillows, and drapes.
  • Use a simple solution of hot water and a small amount of bleach to wipe down walls, baseboards, door trim, window trim, and door handles.

Remember, the key is to be thorough in each cleaning cycle. Be mindful of the places in your rental property or multi-use facility where guests sit, stand, sleep, or use the facilities. Pay special attention to these areas, but don’t forget the less-traveled areas. Less-traveled areas can be breeding grounds for germs, mold, mildew, fungi, bacteria, and other pathogens.

The Equipment – Best Cleaning Supplies

One does not need to invest in expensive or high-end cleaning supplies and equipment to do a good job of cleaning. A sturdy vacuum cleaner, mop, broom, spray bottle, and plenty of cleaning rags and disinfectant wipes (like Purell) is usually enough to clean a room thoroughly. It’s more important that you take your time and be thorough than buy all the latest gadgets and fancy tools.

How to Wash Hands

In addition to discussing cleaning tips, let’s also take a look at hygiene tips and basic techniques for protecting your health. You and your cleaning team can apply this advice daily, and you may consider sharing the following tips with your guests.

Hand washing is a proven preventive in halting the spread of disease. Thankfully, hand washing is one of the most common daily hygiene practices in use today. But as it turns out, even something as simple and well-known as hand washing is not being done correctly by many people.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention list straightforward, precise guidelines on handwashing. Here are five steps for washing hands the correct way:

  • First, rinse the hands with clean, running water. The water can be cold or hot, but hot water is preferred. Then, turn off the tap and apply soap.
  • Next, lather the hands by rubbing them together with soap. Make sure to lather the backs of the hands, in between the fingers, and under the fingernails.
  • Hands should be scrubbed for at least twenty seconds.
  • Rinse the hands under clean, running water. Again, the water can be cold or hot, but hot water is preferred.
  • Dry the hands using a clean towel (or air dry).

The CDC recommends hand washing be done several times per day, but especially before and after:

  • Preparing and eating food.
  • Caring for someone who is sick.
  • Treating a cut or wound.

The CDC also recommends hand washing be done after:

  • Using the toilet.
  • Changing diapers.
  • Blowing the nose, coughing into the hands, sneezing into the hands, etc.
  • Touching an animal, animal feed, or animal waste.
  • Handling pet food or treats.
  • Touching or disposing of garbage.
  • Spending time in a public place.
  • Touching objects that are frequently touched by others.

Popular Sanitizer Products

Sanitizing short-term rental properties, hotel rooms, or multi-use facilities requires not only using the right cleaning methods, but also using the right cleaning materials. To show your guests that you care about their health and safety, after you’ve finished sanitizing a room, we recommend placing a complimentary hand sanitizer in the room for them to use. Even simple, affordable, store-brand sanitizers can be a cost-effective means for you to show your guests that you care about their health. Here is a brief list of some of our favorite hand sanitizers:

  • Equate hand sanitizer with aloe
  • Bath and Body Works hand sanitizer
  • CVS hand sanitizer
  • Costco hand sanitizer
  • Clorox hand sanitizer
  • Dr. Bronner's hand sanitizer

Have you found a different sanitizer product that you like? Send us a message and let us know! We’ll add it to our list. (Use the Contact Form on this page).

Homemade Hand Sanitizer – An Effective Alternative to Going to the Store

Are you trying to clean a multi-use facility or Airbnb rental and don’t want to make several trips to the store? Trying to stock up on hand sanitizer but finding that it’s sold out everywhere you look? Hand sanitizers & wipes are in huge demand right now, especially hospital-grade hand sanitizer. While buying a professionally made alcohol hand sanitizer may be preferential, making hand sanitizer is also an option.

Homemade hand sanitizers are very easy to make. All you need are isopropyl alcohol or rubbing alcohol (preferably 99 percent alcohol volume), aloe vera gel, and an essential oil (like tea tree oil or lavender oil). These ingredients make for an effective sanitizer that will smell good and feel great on your hands.

Combine 3/4 cup of isopropyl or rubbing alcohol, 1/4 cup of aloe vera gel, and ten drops of your favorite essential oil. Mix the ingredients with a spoon or stir the mixture with a whisk. Once the mixture is thoroughly blended, you can pour it into a bottle and label it “Hand Sanitizer.” Voila, moisturizing hand sanitizer that you made in the comfort and safety of your own home! You can make this product in large quantities too, and place small bottles of it in your place of work, rental properties, hotel rooms, multi-use facility, etc.

Soap and Water Versus Hand Sanitizer

There has been some debate lately as to which is better, washing hands with soap and water or using hand sanitizer. There are some conflicting views on this, but as a general rule, the CDC recommends hand washing whenever possible, because hand washing reduces the amounts of all types of germs and chemicals on the hands.

However, when soap and water are not available, sanitizing the hands with a hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol can help you avoid getting sick and spreading germs, bacteria, or viruses to others. The rule of thumb is to wash hands whenever you can and use sanitizer as a backup when hand washing is not feasible.

Hand Wipes – A Great Cleaning Tool for Your Hands and Common-Use Surfaces

Sanitizing wipes are another material often used for cleaning the hands and various surfaces. Immediately after a guest leaves a short-term rental or hotel room, it’s a good idea to put on some protective gear (more on that later), and disinfect the environment. First, wipe down the common-use surfaces (door handles, desks, tables, countertops, vanities, toilet lids, bathtub and shower surfaces, medicine cabinet, etc.). Hand wipes can be used for this task, but keep in mind that wiping down surfaces with hand wipes is not a substitute for a full cleaning procedure (as written above).

A quick once-over with hand wipes can eradicate germs from high-use areas. And once you're done and you’ve removed your protective gear, be sure to use a fresh hand wipe on your hands too!

Here is a brief list of some of our favorite hand wipes:

  • Purell wipes
  • Kleenex wet wipes
  • Wet Ones antibacterial hand wipes
  • MJewerly 75% alcohol wet wipes

PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) - Keeping Yourself Protected During Cleaning

One thing to always remember when cleaning any environment is to make sure that you are protected. That is where PPE, or personal protective equipment, comes into play. PPE gear is used in hospitals, physicians' offices, dental practices, veterinary clinics, and elsewhere where germs, viruses, and bacteria may be present. A basic, disposable PPE suit is a good start in protecting you and your cleaning team, however minimally investing in hand protection and eye & face protection is vital.

When you or one of your employees enters a room or environment where someone has been sick, having the right personal safety equipment can be the difference between staying healthy and getting sick. You don’t want to put yourself or others at risk when you are cleaning your rentals, hotel rooms, or facility locations. Be sure to wear PPE when cleaning and disinfecting rooms and common-use spaces.

Glasses Fogging Up When Wearing Protective Gear? Try This…

One of the complaints we hear the most from people during this challenging time is that their glasses fog up when they wear a face mask. That should be corrected because people are more likely to leave their face mask at home if wearing it causes them inconvenience. We don’t want people to be inconvenienced, but we especially don’t want people to go out without a face mask on.

Here is a quick tip for preventing your glasses from fogging up:

  • Wash your glasses with soap and water.

Wash your glasses with soap and water and let them air dry. That can prevent fogging because doing so leaves a protective, soap-based film on the lenses. Such a film prevents the buildup of fog. If this method does not work for you, some companies that make face masks also sell anti-fogging sprays.

How to Ensure Your Guests Stay Safe and Healthy

This is a difficult time for those who own rental properties, Airbnbs, hotels, community centers, multi-use facilities, bed and breakfasts, and other establishments where people congregate. The coronavirus pandemic has taught us all that we have to take more stringent precautions to prevent the spread of illness.

As we move past the COVID-19 crisis and into the future, there are two things to always keep in mind in order to keep your guests safe:

  • Clean and disinfect all enclosed rooms or buildings, i.e. bathrooms, shared areas, kitchens, working areas, break rooms, etc.
  • Ensure that your guests are healthy and take additional precautions if they are not. We recommend performing a simple health scan with each guest, such as taking their temperature and asking them if they have had any illness symptoms recently. If one of your guests is sick while staying at your rental or facility, you may want to hire professional contractors to make sure post-stay disinfection is completed to perfection.

Use Caution When Cleaning Homes, Rentals, and Other Facilities

While there are many benefits in regularly cleaning and disinfecting homes, rental properties, vacation rentals, Airbnbs, and hotel rooms, there is a cautionary statement that must be made here too. According to reports from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Health and Human Services Administration, when households and businesses increase their use of cleaners and disinfectants, more people, (usually children), become poisoned by such substances.

And this is not to say that household cleaners, even medical-grade cleaners, are harmful to use, especially when used properly. (Be sure to wear gloves when using cleaners!) However, it is true that an increase in usage of such cleaners has a direct correlation to increased accidental consumption of such products, especially by children under the age of 5. Adults use the cleaners, they don't store them away out of reach of children, and children accidentally ingest them.

In fact, since concern over the coronavirus pandemic touched down in the United States in January 2020, calls to poison control centers increased by 20 percent. According to the reports, children under the age of 5 accounted for 35 percent of all such calls. About 46 percent of those calls had to do with children under the age of 5 being accidentally exposed to generic disinfectants that could easily be found in any home.

The key point here is that, as Americans work harder to keep their homes, rentals, vacation properties, and other domiciles clean and disinfected, they must also take extra caution to prevent their children from being exposed to cleaners.

More data on using caution when utilizing chemical disinfectant can be found in this article.

Need Help Cleaning and Disinfecting?

Most of the cleaning routines and safety guidelines discussed above can be done on your own. But if you would like some help in disinfecting your rental property, home, business, or community center, please call B.B.D.S.

While hands-on cleaning can rid an environment of most germs, a professional, trained, and adequately equipped cleaning crew can disinfect an environment of all germs and pathogens. At B.D.D.S., we have the experienced technicians and the equipment necessary to fully decontaminate an environment of bacteria. We utilize a variety of cleaning techniques and hospital-grade disinfectants and we are able to fully decontaminate anything from a home to a huge, 100,000 square foot multi-use facility!

Call 1-800-704-4654 to set up a no-cost consultation. You can also fill out the contact form right here on our website and one of our representatives will get back to you shortly.

Next: Germ Detection - Keeping Your Home Safe with Testing and Disinfection

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