Home Forums Decontamination of home or contents Decontamination Methods for surfaces

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    Jeff Charlton

    There are many forms of decontamination, but all rely on three simple factors, Removal, Dilution or Neutralisation.
    There are many methods but only one really works and that’s called source removal, (CLEANING) to remove the contamination. So, what is the contamination? In almost all cases its dust and fragments contaminated by mould and bacteria which contain chemicals and perhaps even VOCs.
    The removal of dust is quite easy but only from hard nonporous surfaces, when we look at porous soft furnishings efficient removal is almost impossible. If you take a cushion and hoover it for 20 minutes and then slap it with a tennis racquet in sunlight you will see clouds of dust emanate.
    Of course, cleaning can be further compromised by electrostatic attraction and some chemicals stick to some substrates, typically those that can carry a static charge like plastic.
    Some use ammonia, vinegar and borax but Swiffer cloths and cheap Vodka diluted 10 to 1 with tap water is as good as anything for wiping down.
    The HEPA sandwich has long been held as a standard method where a HEPA vacuum cleaner is used for a first swipe followed by a damp wipe and gain by another sweep with HEPA vacuum nozzle.
    Unfortunately the plastic nozzle creates a static charge and the second sweep can be counter productive

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