Care home cleaning standards to live by

Ensuring excellent hygiene at all times is crucial for the health and wellbeing of both your residents and staff.

Let care home cleaning standards slip, and it could be extremely detrimental for your business. Ultimately, it only takes a matter of minutes for someone to make up their mind about your home; and what they see and smell will influence whether that impression is a positive or negative one. In fact, a recent survey has shown that 97% of people stated that the cleanliness of a care home was a key differentiator they looked for; and 61% expect care homes to maintain “spring clean” standards of cleanliness year-round.

But that’s not the only thing to be concerned about. It’s no secret that a drop in cleanliness poses a real danger of illnesses being spread, and homes being investigated by the CQC, when really, you should be aiming for an outstanding CQC rating.

Do you want to ensure your care home reaches the highest possible hygiene standards at all times? Read on, as we uncover the ultimate cleaning checklist, the products you should be using, and other top tips for that spring clean feel year-round. 

Cleaning guidelines for care homes: a checklist

Every care home employee knows that cleaning is a monumental task, and should be carried out daily, for the health and wellbeing of residents.

Whilst the floors, soft furnishings, and all equipment should be washed every single day, you should also make sure your staff are aware that the following needs cleaning on a daily basis:

  • Entire kitchens, including all surfaces, ovens, fridges and other appliances
  • Entire bathrooms, with soap, towels, and detergent wipes replenished as needed
  • Skirting boards
  • Doors and door frames
  • Radiators
  • Light switches
  • Windows, including window sills and frames
  • Handrails
  • Bed frames
  • Bedside cabinets
  • Overbed tables
  • Mattresses
  • Medicine cupboards and trolleys
  • Reusable equipment such as shower chairs and hoists

Wheelchairs also need to be cleaned between uses of each resident, with the frame and wheels checked for any build-up of dirt.

The role of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

When it comes to controlling the spread of infections, PPE is vital. Every single member of staff must be wearing some form of this, to ensure care home cleaning standards are met.

While gloves and aprons are standard attire, each scenario must be assessed, so levels of potential exposure to infectious agents, and any blood or bodily fluids can be determined. In certain cases, extra PPE such as overalls, face masks, overshoes, and oversleeves may be required.

Essential cleaning products for care homes

While different cleaning tasks will require different types of products, you must always ensure your care home is stocked with the following, to cover all eventualities:

  • Hot water
  • Bucket and mop
  • Disinfectant wipes and sprays
  • Detergent wipes
  • Bleach
  • Floor cleaner
  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Steam cleaner
  • Carpet shampoo
  • Washing up liquid
  • Chlorine tablets
  • Urine and vomit spill pack
  • Hand sanitiser
  • Laundry products

Cleaning up blood and other bodily fluids

Blood and bodily fluid spillages are pretty common in care homes, and it will come as no surprise that they must be managed differently to routine cleaning tasks.

All members of staff must be trained on effective care home cleaning standards, and part of this is understanding the process of cleaning up bodily fluids.

As part of the training process, make sure all employees are aware that if they identify this type of spillage, they must deal with it as quickly as possible, with any contaminated debris treated as clinical waste. Employees should also be aware that the affected area is well-ventilated after the cleanup, and understand that chlorine-releasing agents can be hazardous if mixed with certain bodily fluids such as urine.

If the spillage is on carpets or soft furnishings, then employees must also steam clean the area.

Top tips to remember

While the cleaning process is essential to adhere to the high standards expected, there are certain things you can do to make the process as effective as possible. 

Avoid the cheapest products

Ensuring you have the correct hygiene products in your care home (which are listed above) is vital in maintaining a healthy environment. However, when your budget is tight, it can be all-too tempting to go for a budget offer.

But beware of the false economy. Not only will your products be less effective, it will also take your staff longer to complete the job.

Instead, focus on investing in quality products, although that doesn’t necessarily mean opting for the most expensive choice. With the right tried and tested products at their disposal, your staff will work more efficiently, and deliver a cleaner, more hygienic home. Talk to us if you’d like to find out the best products for effective infection control.

Don’t use more chemicals than you need

It’s a myth that chemicals work better in greater quantities. All products differ, and you need to ensure your team follows directions specific to the product they’re using when adhering to your care home cleaning standards.

For example, some of our products are concentrated, so you don’t need to use huge quantities to achieve the desired result.

Other brands we’d recommend include:

  • Sure: A well-curated range of care consumables
  • Certus: An extensive range of paper products, including toilet paper, paper towels, couch rolls and dispensers
  • Excedo: A comprehensive range of powerful, and quick-acting cleaning and hygiene chemical products
  • Cura: Nursing and personal protection products designed to ensure high levels of hygiene and limit cross-contamination, including everything from gloves, to wipes and care equipment
  • Fortys: Tough and heavy-duty refuge bags, laundry sacks, and lightweight colour-coded cleaning cloths, designed for care home needs

Introduce the national colour coding scheme

To make things simpler and easier for all members of staff, why not introduce the national colour coding system into your care home, to help simplify the cleaning process?

The coding system is as follows:

  • Red: Bathrooms, including toilets, showers, basins, and floors
  • Blue: General areas, including lounges, corridors, bedrooms, and offices
  • Green: Kitchens, including satellite kitchen area, and food storage areas
  • Yellow: Bedrooms – specifically when someone has an infection and is cared for in their own room

Create a rota with a list of tasks and responsibilities, and ask staff to sign and date once they’ve carried out their task to make it easier for all employees to keep track.

Final thoughts: cleaning guidelines for care homes

Creating an environment that both looks and smells clean not only helps with residents’ health, but also helps them to feel happier and more comfortable.

If you’d like help with our consultative service when it comes to care home cleaning standards, get in touch with us today. Alternatively, for the latest news in the care sector, head on over to our blog.

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