Schools have faced some of the toughest challenges during the Covid-19 pandemic with changes in government policy, while finding the balance between protecting staff and students, and delivering sufficient education to pupils.
Laundry and dishwashing processes offer a critical opportunity for schools to help fight the spread of the virus and there are attainable steps that can be made to do this.
Laundry room set up
Ensuring the cleanliness of your laundry room is paramount. In instances where there is no wall or partition, try to divide the room into clean and dirty areas.
This approach ensures protection for both staff and pupils using the laundry room. Staff should wear PPE when in contact with dirty laundry, which should then be removed when leaving that section.
When using front-loading machines, be sure to clean the door, door sealing, front panel and control panel with a disinfectant before unloading the machine.
In the kitchen
Staff should apply the basic principles of hygiene when unloading dishwashers, ensuring hands are washed before and after in order to avoid the risk of re-contaminating clean crockery. Overcrowding should also be avoided when loading.
Opting for a freshwater dishwasher provides schools with the maximum hygiene assurance as they bring in fresh water at every stage of the programme, while washing to a temperature suitable for the items being processed.
This combination ensures a very high standard of hygiene that exceeds the performance of commercial dishwashers.
Temperatures and settings
● For dishwashers, be sure to only use programmes with elevated temperatures – 60°C or above – to ensure good hygiene and disinfection.
Product focus: new generation Little Giants
The new generation of Little Giants combines advanced technology with German engineering for even better cleaning and hygiene performance while maintaining a small footprint – ideal for compact school laundry rooms.
These machines feature high-performance programme packages to cater for specific challenges, such as safe disinfection in the event of the outbreak of a notifiable disease.
● Thermo or chemo-thermo disinfection wash cycles should be used in order to ensure the best results.
● Set disinfection wash cycles according to local standards.
● Ensure the prescribed quantity of detergent is properly measured and that an appropriate temperature for the specific detergent is set when manually dispensing detergent.
Miele’s ProCare Tex range, comprising a sole detergent, multipurpose detergent, bleaching agent, detergent for delicates and coloureds, and a fabric softener, offers your school’s laundry room a comprehensive single-source solution.
The innovative range of phosphate-free detergents is certified with the EU ‘Euroflower’ Eco label, is free from micro-plastics and includes other sustainable features such as renewable ingredients and biologically active enzymes.
● Ensure the prescribed quantity is properly measured and that an appropriate temperature for the specific detergent is set when manually dispensing detergent.
● For delicate garments that require washing at low temperatures, you may need to contact your detergent supplier in order to ensure the correct use of detergent and/or disinfectant.
PG 8059 Hygiene freshwater dishwasher
The PG 8059 Hygiene freshwater dishwasher delivers constantly high cleaning performance and hygiene thanks to repeated water changes. This freestanding freshwater dishwasher is ideal for schools.
With its 380-plate per hour capacity, it allows schools to manage high levels of use during busy lunchtimes without compromising on hygiene standards.
● Use the ‘Intensive’, ‘Hygiene’, ‘Hygiene Plus’ or ‘Vario TD’ programmes which all achieve a temperature of 60°C or higher.
● On most of the other programmes, the final rinse temperature can be increased to >70°C via the ‘Settings’ menu.
● Where available, use the optional drying at the end of the cycle to avoid the need for
drying items by hand.
● If available, use automatic detergent dispensing and a dispenser module to avoid the selection of a programme with too little or no detergent at all by mistake.