Disinfecting shopping malls in Singapore: What are they really doing? How you can disinfect your own home in easy steps.

You’ve probably read the news and been checking your TraceTogether App recently to see if that trip to JEM or Westgate was worth it. As the numbers of new locally transmitted COVID-19 cases spiked in recent weeks, shopping malls in Singapore have been flagged as frequent places of visit by the potentially infected.

Other than urging visitors of such establishments to get tested for the virus, the government has ordered closures of the malls to undergo deep cleaning and disinfection.

But what are they actually doing during these closures? And how do they go about ‘disinfecting’?

Antimicrobial disinfectant on high contact areas


Points of contact such as escalator handles, lift buttons, counter tops, door handles, etc would be the most obvious to clean first. With the foot traffic seen in shopping malls, germaphobes would probably be putting on gloves.

Antimicrobial disinfectant solution is sprayed on to clean and coat such points of contact. Wiped down and left with a layer of protection, it’s a vital step in making sure such establishments are rid of potential germs.

UV Disinfecting Robots on the roll for surface cleaning

Using the power of ultraviolet-C (UV-C) light through a lamp emitting module, such devices have been used to fill of bacteria and germs off surfaces. Remember how they once spoke about the Sun being able to kill the virus? Well, it’s something like that. But more controlled and practical. (No, we do not recommend you using these devices on yourself)

These robots have been said to do a better job than manual cleaning; ridding 99 per cent of bacteria! 



What about cleaning the air we breathe?

 

Some developers have even gone to the extent of making sure the air you breathe in shopping malls are clean. Through the use of PhotoPlasma air disinfection systems, the air circulated in these establishments are disinfected through the use of UV light.

In simpler terms, the air is fed through a cleaning chamber that, similar to the UV Disinfecting Robots, will eliminate bacteria through the use of specific wavelengths of UV light reacting with the air.


Disinfecting your home: Where does one start?

 

Your cleaning solution. With an abundant options in the market that claim they kill 99.9 per cent of viruses, which should you choose? WHO recommends that we should use surface virucidal disinfectants that contain 0.05% sodium hypochlorite (NaClO) or products based on ethanol (at least 70%).

To keep this simple, we’ve got two options for you that readily available in Singapore supermarkets/grocery stores.

1. Clorox Clean-Up Cleaner + Bleach 
2. Lysol Disinfectant Bathroom Bleach Cleaner

Both of these items contain sodium hypochlorite as an active ingredient.


There are so many things at home. What should I even clean?



Just like the deep cleaning of shopping malls, residential and commercial cleaning services apply the same approach. Target the high contact points at home.

- Knobs, handles, switches, seat/couch arm rests and remotes.

- Kitchen appliances, utensils, and surfaces.

- Facial product containers and personal grooming products

- Sinks, shower heads, toilet flush.


This list might not cover all the high contact points at home but its a good starting point. We’d recommend using disinfectant wipes (should they come in the form), so you can just dispose of the wipes after you’ve used them to clean. 


Start thinking about what you’re bringing home.


We all know some people who come home after a long day out at work and immediately dump their butt onto the sofa. (I’m looking at you, Steve.)

Now, we get it. You’re tired, your boss is a pain and you just want 5 mins of rest. The clothes on your back pick up a troupe of bacteria and germs while you’re out and about. So before you give your cute little kids a hug cause, ‘Yay, daddy’s home!’, give the tradition a skip and change out of them first.

Better yet, immediately go take a shower and chuck your clothes into the washing machine. The best way to kill the bacteria at home is to stop it at the front door. 


You already know it. WASH YO HANDS.

 

From touching high contact points to coming back home from being out, you have to wash your hands. Our hands are our own personal ‘high contact points’. Wash them, clean them, sanitize them and repeat this whenever you can.

Stay clean, stay safe and stay aware! We’ll get through the pandemic, one step at a time.