Recent events from the Coronavirus (COVID19) pandemic has put into perspective how important it is to protect ourselves through awareness and sanitation. With the virus spreading at a rapid pace, efforts need to be taken now and in the future to keep people safe. It has been demonstrated that the COVID-19 along with other viruses and bacteria can remain infectious on surfaces, sometimes for days at a time. Even non-porous materials such as stainless steel and plastics can become an intermediary for harmful pathogens. This is why cleaning is so important for venues like hotels, HOAs, waterparks, theme parks, and other locations with people coming in contact with common surfaces, most notably doors, counters, and furniture. Outdoor furniture, such as picnic tables, benches, chaise lounges, patio chairs, and more, needs to be wipe down routinely for the patrons’ protection as people may overlook cleanliness for comfort in haste. Here are some sanitary measures that can be taken to ensure a healthy experience for valued guests.
Direct Sunlight – UV rays are nature’s natural disinfectant. However, the strength and inconsisteny of the sunlight isn’t the greatest solution when it comes to stopping the spread of germs on outdoor furniture. Direct sunlight will eventually destroy viruses and bacteria as long as water, oils, and skin don’t interfere while the sun does its job. It could take up to an hour in ideal condition for the sunrays to eliminate all viral bug that may be looming on your furniture.
Dish Soap and Water – We recommend cleaning outdoor furniture with dish soap, water, and a soft-bristle brush to remove unwanted dirt, oils, and chemicals that could otherwise sun-bake into the material over time making it look grungy and old. But soap and water also play an extraordinary role in the fight against viruses and bacteria. It doesn’t kill the germs, but lifts and removes them from the surface altogether, making it a cost-effective solution that is safe to use around the public and in any environment.
Bleach and Water – When it comes to disinfecting there is no better agent than bleach. Bleach can kill bacteria, viruses, microorganisms, molds, and fungi without much effort. The recommended mixture is ½ cup of bleach to 1 gallon of water. Be sure to test the bleach mixture on a small portion of the material before fully cleaning your outdoor furniture. It is considered a harsh chemical and can harm certain materials. Let it sit for five minutes before rinsing clean for the best sterilization. Also note that it can damage skin and dyes in clothing, so make sure to wear protective gloves and gear while cleaning and discourage guests from using until the bleach is thoroughly rinsed.
Consistency – It is always important to be consistent and vigilant when reducing the threat of pathogens, especially in heavily populated locations. It may benefit businesses and guests to have one or two maintenance staff during business hours repeatable wipe down all furniture to reduce the chance of infection. This also gives a positive image to the hospitality business as they make it a priority to keep their property clean and patrons safe and healthy. As the saying goes, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
As we recover from this dangerous pandemic, we can take away the importance of how to protect ourselves and one another by taking crucial measures in sanitation. With a combined effort, we can lead happy, healthier lives without fear.