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In this post: With the presence of the Coronavirus, we need to up the ante. Learn here how to clean and disinfect massage rooms since COVID.
As a COVID conscious practitioner, proper cleaning and sanitizing should be paramount in your reopen strategy! Some therapists claim that they were already up to snuff on their cleaning protocols. And maybe they were, great for them! For the rest of us, let’s take a moment to brush up on these basic, yet important skills.
Gone are the days of ten minutes between sessions, stacking sheets, and reusing blankets. At least they should be! Overlooked doorknobs, light switches, and stool handles must be addressed moving forward.
How to Clean and Disinfect Massage Rooms Since COVID
Before we get into the logistics of the actual cleaning process, I want to say something about masks. While you might be feeling like you need a break from your mask during the cleaning and sanitizing process, you should rethink this.
Imagine that you have the virus. You take the time and effort to do an exceptional clean and disinfecting job between clients, but you aren’t wearing a mask. You cough, ever so slightly, but still, you have just contaminated your pristine surface!
Also, breathing in all these products can be taxing on your system. If you wear your mask, you will be doing your lungs a favor!
- Paper Towels or Rags
While you may already have all the necessary cleaning and disinfecting supplies, it is crucial that you are using proper cleaning techniques.
Did you know that cleaning is a two-step process? First, you must clean, and then you can disinfect.
Spray everything you or your clients may have touched in your treatment room with a soap and water dilution. Then using a rag or paper towel wipe down these surfaces. Either add the rag to your covered, soiled linen pile or dispose of paper towels in a covered garbage receptacle.
So let’s talk about ALL those surfaces.
(Don’t forget about these easily overlooked spots…)
- Light Switches
- Table Tops
- Massage Tables
- Walls (where clients may place their hands to put on their shoes.)
- Under Stools
- Under Face Cradles
- CC processors
- Music Devices
- Face Shields
While cleaning with soap won’t kill the Coronavirus, it does lower the number of germs on a surface, which reduces the risk of spreading them.
According to the CDC, “Cleaning does not kill germs, but by removing them, it lowers their numbers and the risk of spreading infection. If a surface may have gotten the virus on it from a person with or suspected to have COVID-19, the surface should be cleaned and disinfected. Disinfecting kills germs on surfaces.”
Once you have thoroughly cleaned ALL of the surfaces that may have been touched, you can move on to the disinfecting process.
Disinfecting destroys or inactivates both the bacteria and viruses on hard, nonporous surfaces.
Make sure the products you are using to disinfect your office are EPA-approved. Look on the label for an EPA registration number on the back panel. You can also confirm a product is EPA-approved by visiting the EPA site.
A term that you may be hearing about lately dwell time, is an essential factor in the disinfecting process. Dwell time is the amount of time a disinfectant must remain wet on a surface for it to do an effective job. Dwell times vary from 30 seconds to 10 minutes; make sure you know your disinfected! Read labels!
Once you have sprayed a surface thoroughly with your EPA-approved disinfectant and waited the appropriate dwell time, you can wipe down your surfaces. Again, either dispose of your cloth in your closed laundry container or throw away your paper towel in a covered garbage receptacle.
And now you are ready to rock n roll. Throw sheets on the table and welcome your next client into your sacred massage space.
A few other things to consider in a post COVID environment:
- No more heating pads. Unless you have some sort of covering that can be cleaned and disinfected between clients, these surfaces are prime locations for the virus to hang out.
- Kleenex boxes with exposed tissues are also vulnerable to germs. Small individual kleenex packs are the name of the game moving forward.
- Empty and clean trash receptacles between every client.
- Fans and AC systems are also on the chopping block as they rapidly disperse germs, bacteria, and viruses across our treatment rooms.
- While you may have removed as many porous objects as possible (fabric chairs, curtains, rugs, etc.), the problematic carpet might remain. And while some of you might have the budget to replace this, others won’t. You CAN spray your disinfectant on your carpet to help reduce transmission.
- Curtains to block out light can be replaced with stickable wallpaper to reduce the number of germs held in their fabric. Instead of periodically laundering the curtains, you can spray the wallpaper with soap and disinfectants.
Flipping a room has become a little more complicated these days. But with a bit of practice, you can get into a routine that allows you to flow through your day while remaining confident that you are protecting yourselves and your clients from this harmful virus.
- Boulder College of Massage Therapy Graduate
- Nationally Certified through NCBTMB
- Colorado Licensed Massage Therapist
- Certified CranialSacral Level 1 through Upledger
- Certified Herbal Therapist through Nutrition Therapy Institute
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- Fort Lewis College - Majored in Art, Minored in Business Administration
- 6 Year Winner of Best Massage Therapist for "Best of The Boat" Competition
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