Keeping Track of Equipment Cleanliness During COVID-19 and Beyond


Although cleaning has always been an important part of the rental equipment industry, COVID-19 has taken cleaning measures to a different level. What is the safest and most effective way to go about cleaning equipment?

Nathan McCutcheon is vice president of McCutcheon Enterprises, Apollo and Houston, Pa., and ARA of Pennsylvania president. For years he has been working with hazardous and non-hazardous waste ranging from chemical plants to spills on the turnpike.

Needless to say, he knows a lot about proper cleaning and disinfecting techniques. Let’s take a look at some of his reliable advice and how rental companies can step up their cleaning game not just for now, but beyond the pandemic. 

Disinfecting is a Two-Step Process

Nathan relates, “One of the major misconceptions that is going around is that you can clean and disinfect anything by spraying something on it and wiping it off. That is not true. Disinfecting agents do not clean dirt…You have to clean whatever it is first and then disinfect it. It is a two-step process.”

So instead of heading straight to disinfecting, first thoroughly clean the equipment or area of concern, removing all the grime and dirt. “After you clean it, then you can use a disinfectant,” he says.

Choose the Best Method

McCutcheon says that while wiping surfaces can be effective, a better way to disinfect is with electrostatic spray guns and atomizing spray units. “These types of sprayers offer a better application process for equipment or anything else you need to disinfect…It will envelop what you are spraying toward and cling to the surface because it has a positively charged atom,” he says.

McCutcheon has also found Ultraviolet (UV) lights to be effective on COVID-19. “I see this application being very useful for tent rental companies. You can take a UV light out to a site where you did a wedding. Put it inside the tent and it will disinfect the tent before you take it down,” he says.

Allow it Time to Work

If you are wiping down surfaces, make sure you are allowing time for the disinfectant to work. “Putting disinfectant on a rag and running that rag across the surface is not necessarily disinfecting when it comes to COVID-19. Most disinfectant agents have a 10-minute contact time to actually kill the virus. That surface has to be damp or moist for 10 minutes in order for it to kill this virus…It depends on what disinfectant you are using and what that contact time is,” he says.

The Three Pillars of Disinfection

According to McCutcheon, the key to proper disinfection is to follow the “three pillars” of disinfection. He summed it up this way, “The biggest pieces are the proper solution, application and contact time… If any one of the three steps isn’t done right — if you have a good product, but you don’t apply it right; have a good application process, but don’t have the right product; or have the right contact time but not the right application or product — it all fails.”

Rental360 Can Help

The proper cleaning of rental equipment is more important now than ever before. Rental360 is here to help you stay on top of it and make sure nothing falls through the cracks. Through Asset Management capabilities, you can keep track of equipment cleaning.

Dashboards can be created and customized to include cleaning information and the date it was performed for each asset. In addition, alerts can be set to notify sales staff if a requested piece of equipment has yet to be cleaned or to notify the warehouse staff that a piece of equipment has been returned and needs to be cleaned as soon as possible. This ensures that each asset is disinfected and nothing gets overlooked.

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Safety is the number one priority for every rental company. COVID-19 has impressed on us that effective cleaning and disinfection of equipment is part of being safe. Use proper cleaning techniques. Follow the three pillars of disinfection. And take advantage of Rental360’s Asset Management capabilities to ensure nothing is left to chance.

Source: Rental Management, June 2020