Knowledge Base Articles

We have unlimited knowledge available to us with the advent of the Internet, but we need a way to determine what is useful and what is not. 

From core cleaning to sanitizing to disinfection and protecting, H-Town Cleaning provides not only the services, but also knowledge and industry expertise to help you fend off Bacteria, Microbes, Viruses and the like.

Understand the cleaning stages

Cleaning
Removal of Soil 90%
Sanitizing
3-log reduction 99.9%
Disinfecting
6-log reduction 99.9999%
Sterilization
Complete elimination of microbial viability 100%

The four-color code system in cleaning

The four-color code system has established itself in the cleaning industry by default. Every housewife finds it quite natural to use different cleaning cloths for the cleaning of the kitchen and toilet, as they are different cleaning areas. This principle takes up the four-color code system and systematically develops it further. The system divides the cleaning areas into 4 colors:

  • red,
  • yellow,
  • green and
  • blue

Each of the cleaning areas is assigned the wipes and cleaning cloths in one color. Cleaners can easily remember the four-color code system.  The simple color specification ensures the consistent quality of work during cleaning and prevents the transport of germs between the individual areas.

Bathroom & Sanitary Area

Red

Red as signal color symbolizes cleaning areas with the highest hygienic requirements: toilets, urinals and the surrounding so-called "spray area" may only be cleaned with red wipers.

Yellow

For the rest of the bath, yellow is used in the sanitary area. There, sinks, showers, bathtubs, tiles etc. are cleaned with yellow sponges, rags, and cloths.

Kitchen & Healthcare

Green

Green stands for kitchens and hospital rooms where disinfecting detergents are used. Only green cleaning textiles can be used here because special hygiene is important here

General Living Area

Blue

Blue wipe textiles should be used for surface cleaning of rooms outside the bath. This includes furniture, areas and objects in living rooms, children's rooms, and offices. If only dry dust is wiped without a liquid detergent, the rags can be used several times.

Red as signal color symbolizes cleaning areas with the highest hygienic requirements: toilets, urinals and the surrounding so-called "spray area" may only be cleaned with red wipers. This removes attachments of urine and feces to the toilet seats, toilet lids and adjacent tiles, preventing the areas from being germinated. After use, the red cleaning textiles should be stored in a red bucket and then washed at 203 degrees.

For the rest of the bath, yellow is used in the sanitary area. There, sinks, showers, bathtubs, tiles etc. are cleaned with yellow sponges, rags, and cloths. When cleaning several bathrooms, new wipes should be used for each bathroom. It is recommended to store the rags already used in a preferably yellow bucket and then wash them at 140 degrees.

Green stands for kitchens and hospital rooms where disinfecting detergents are used. Only green cleaning textiles can be used here because special hygiene is important here. The rags should be changed after leaving each room and washed at 200 degrees before the next use.

Blue wipe textiles should be used for surface cleaning of rooms outside the bathroom. This includes furniture, areas and objects in living rooms, children's rooms, and offices. If only dry dust is wiped without a liquid detergent, the rags can be used several times.

Professional cleaning with the four-color code system

The four-color code system has the advantage that both the cleaning staff and customers can see the correct use of the cleaning textiles at first glance. The code built up according to the traffic light system is easy to remember. In order to keep the system visually present and also to quickly get used to it by new employees, it has proven itself in the cleaning industry to work with pictograms or stickers on the buckets. Regular training refreshes the knowledge of the employees.

In this way, systematic work can be easily mediated, and hygiene, effectiveness and efficiency are always guaranteed. It is worthwhile for building cleaning companies to actively promote the establishment of a professional cleaning system such as the four-color code system to the outside world. Customers will appreciate the professionalism in the cleaning.

Alternating cloth method

However, the four-color system does not prevent germ transfer between the toilets. To reduce this risk, the cloths must be changed at each toilet, hence the name alternating cloth method. The alternating cloth method uses fresh wipes for a room or a toilet, thus avoiding the spread of germs from one room to the next.

Frequently Asked Questions

Electrostatic Disinfection

How long does it take to dry?
There are many variables that can affect drying times including temperature, humidity, particle size, and the chemical used. The different size particles determine the drying time.
What does 'electrostatic' mean?
Electrostatic is based on the principle that opposite charges attract and like charges repel. Two positively charged things will repel each other. Using this natural electrostatic phenomenon, H-Town Cleaning Services utilizes a patented breakthrough cordless application technology.

The process places a positive charge on the liquid before entering the nozzle allowing the maximum levels of liquid to be charged and sprayed at negatively charged surfaces (most surfaces are either negative or neutral) allowing for a more complete coverage of the targeted surface.
What do you mean it inserts a charge into the liquid?
Using a patented technology, the process of positively charging the liquid starts at the charging ring and flows to the tank. This way all the liquid has a positive charge prior to reaching the nozzle. As most surfaces are either negative or neutral, the dispersed droplets spread out more evenly and seek out a negative or neutral surface. The end result is that the liquid can be applied faster, using less liquid and achieving a more complete coverage of the surface.
What is GBAC™ STAR facility accreditation?
The GBAC STAR Accreditation Program is performance-based and designed to help facilities establish a comprehensive system of cleaning, disinfection, and infectious disease prevention for their staff and their building. The program relies on GBAC’s comprehensive training, which teaches the proper protocols, correct disinfection techniques, and cleaning best practices for biohazard situations like the novel coronavirus.
Do I need to wipe the area after I use the sprayer?
That depends on the chemical being used. There are many sanitizers and disinfectants that require no rinsing or wiping required after application. Always check with the chemical manufacturer if you are unsure.
What certifications do your products and services have?
Our products are certified compliant with the standards and requirements:
  • ETL (Edison Testing Lab)
  • CSA (Canadian Standards Association)
  • FCC (Federal Communication Commission)
  • CE (European Commission)
  • RoHS (Restriction of Hazardous Substances)
  • NOM (Mexican Official Standards)
GBAC™ Trained Technician are cleaning professionals with the planning, knowledge and processes needed to respond to a biohazard crisis.
Do you have a list of EPA approved disinfectants?
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a list of EPA-registered disinfectant products that have qualified for use against SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19.
What are some precautionary measures?
You can help prevent yourself from getting and spreading the coronavirus–and other respiratory illnesses–by following these steps:
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds. (Handwashing: Clean Hands Save Lives) Use 70% alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue or shirt sleeve, not your hands
  • Avoid close contact such as kissing, hugging, and sharing cups or eating utensils with people who are sick
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces, such as toys and doorknobs, especially if someone is sick
  • Stay home when you are sick
Frequently Asked Questions

Germicidal UV

Germicidal UV
The application and effectiveness of air and surface disinfection using UV-C has already been adequately researched and proven. Their consistent use in large areas of daily life to contain infections by fighting viruses and bacteria without chemicals should be the goal. Disinfection without the risk of developing resistance, to improve safety at work and without harming the environment.
What is UVC?
UVC is short-wave, ultraviolet radiation in the optical frequency range with shorter wavelengths than light that is visible to humans. It is part of the invisible segment of the ultraviolet spectral band between 100 and 280 nm.
Can UV-C kill viruses as well as bacteria?
One of the key properties of the UVC spectral wavelength range is that this radiation energy, when placed within range of a surface, deactivates viruses, bacteria and mold spores. UVC is therefore called germicidal ultraviolet radiation (GUVI - "germicidal ultraviolet irradiation").
Which Micro-Organisms can be destroyed by Germicidal UV?
Germicidal ultraviolet radiation has been shown to destroy or deactivate microorganisms such as Coronavirus SARS - CoV-2 / COVID-19, bacteria, mold spores, yeasts or viruses. With appropriate UV doses (mJ / cm²), a neutralization efficiency of up to 99.9% can be achieved.
How does UVC kill bacteria and viruses?
As soon as UVC rays come into contact with microorganisms, photochemical reactions are triggered while the radiation is absorbed. The DNA of the microorganism is then destroyed. In principle, the uptake of photons prevents replication (duplication) of the DNA.
Is UVC radiation effective disinfection method to fight Covid-19?
The structure of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus is very similar to the structure of other corona viruses, including MERS. There is no evidence that UVC radiation should not be an effective disinfection method to fight Covid-19. It has been proven that UVC irradiation is a very good method for deactivating viruses such as MERS or SARS, which are closely related to Covid-19.
How does UVC work?
The very high-energy UV C light triggers a photochemical reaction. The wavelength of 253.7 nm is absorbed by the cell nucleic acid and, depending on the radiation dose, leads to the destruction or damage of the bacteria and fungal spores. The UV C light is therefore used for the targeted damage or inactivation of microorganisms (such as bacteria / viruses, yeasts and molds).
What are the classification?
UV-A: wavelength 315 - 380 nm
  • These UV-A rays hit the earth's surface as part of the sun's rays and are known to cause suntan, but also to cause damage such as skin aging and melanoma. They also penetrate glass and transparent plastics.
UV-B wavelength: 280-315 nm
  • These UV-B rays are very dangerous as they penetrate deeper layers of the skin and cause a high risk of skin cancer. But they are also responsible for the formation of vitamin D in the body. Window glass keeps UV-B rays out.
UV-C: wavelength 280-100 nm
  • These UV-C rays have the smallest wavelength of all UV rays, but are more energetic. This wavelength does not come to earth - only because of this life could develop here. However, UV-C does not penetrate very far into the human skin in contrast to UV-A and UV-B. The rays have a strong decontaminating and sterilizing effect. At a wavelength of 253.7 nm, the disinfecting effect is most effective, due to the linear propagation of the rays, the effect decreases with distance.
Is direct exposure dangerous?
Direct exposure to UV-C light should be prevented for humans. In the case of high radiation doses, this causes reddening of the skin and inflammation of the eyes. The use of UV-C radiation in closed circuits (UV-C lamps built into devices) allows people to stay in the room with simultaneous disinfection. The air is sucked in here, led past UV-C tubes and released again after being sterilized.

External Links

This jointly developed guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is intended for all Americans, whether you own a business, run a school, or want to ensure the cleanliness and safety of your home.

GBAC STAR™ is the cleaning industry’s only outbreak prevention, response and recovery accreditation for facilities and is the gold standard of prepared facilities.

EPA Government Logo Short
ISSA Organization Logo
Global Biorisk Advisory Council

General Guidance for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Cleaning Professional Equipment with PPE
  • A N-95 respirator or higher level of respiratory protection such as a powered air purifying respirator (PAPR)
  • Eye protection or face shield
  • A disposable gown or covering, if disposable gowns are not available, a protocol for laundry must be in place
  • Gloves should be worn
  • Shoe covers or dedicated shoes that can be decontaminated may be needed based on the site risk assessment.
  • A surgical mask or similar. The use of a surgical mask is to prevent accidental contact between the wearer’s hands, nose, and mouth and should not be considered respiratory protection. If the risk assessment indicated a high likelihood of generating aerosols during the cleaning process, the surgical mask should be replaced with a minimum of a N-95 respirator or higher level of respiratory protection such as a PAPR.
  • Eye protection or face shield
  • Disposable gown or covering. If disposable gowns are not available, a protocol for laundry must be in place
  • Gloves should be worn
  • Shoe covers or dedicated shoes that can be decontaminated may be needed based on the site risk assessment.

How to utilize Hygiene Monitoring?

ATP testing should be done prior to the application of a sanitizer, if possible. Sanitizers are more effective when surfaces are free of all residues. ATP testing may still have a role in providing reassurance that cleaning regimes are being carried out satisfactorily. However, ATP results should not be interpreted as surrogate indicators for the presence of microbial pathogens.

ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate) is the energy-generating molecule found in all plant, animal, and microbial cells, including food, bacteria, mold and yeast. All organic matter (living or once-living) contains ATP, including bodily fluids, blood, and other microorganisms. It fuels metabolic processes such as cellular reproduction, muscle movement, plant photosynthesis, fungi respiration, and yeast fermentation. Detection of ATP on a surface or in water indicates the presence of biological matter that may not be visible. In industries where plant hygiene control or cleanliness is crucial, ATP testing has been adopted as a reliable tool for detecting and measuring biological matter that should not be present after cleaning.

A key feature of ATP monitoring systems is the use of bioluminescence technology to measure adenosine triphosphate, commonly known as ATP. 

Indirect contact surfaces are areas where splashed product or contaminants can be dropped, drained, or transferred onto the product. These areas are often overlooked as sources of contamination and should be routinely tested.

Hard-to-clean surfaces have high potential to harbor bacterial growth and should be tested regularly.

Testing viral contaminations with ATP meters would result futile as viral cells do not contain or produce ATP molecules on their own. All other microbial tests are subject to established methods. ATP is required during viral lifecycles, especially during viral replication. However, the correlation between viral concentration and ATP measurement has not been well documented. In addition, ATP measurement does not represent the viral load on surfaces. Although ATP does not measure viruses, these results demonstrate that ATP measurements could be useful for evaluating the effectiveness of hygiene interventions aimed at preventing viral spread.