Self-service kiosks and digital signage are great for servicing your clientele but the repeated interaction also means bacterial build-up. Here are 3 ways to deal with it.
Good cleaning routines
Having good cleaning routines will help you in the matter of keeping your self-service solution safe, sound, and healthy for both your users and your employees.
Clean your devices regularly
Bacterial build-up happens as long as the devices are being used. It is inevitable. Therefore we cannot stress enough how important it is to clean your devices regularly. In the perfect world, one should strive to clean before opening hours and again halfway through the day. This however may not be possible at all times. Therefore we always advise you to clean your devices at least once every 24 hours and preferably as mentioned above.
Cleaning the device
The screen and integrated components such as scanners and printers are in direct contact with all its users. The screen and integrations must at the very least be cleaned and preferably disinfected to get rid of as much bacteria as possible.
First, we advise you to turn off the device before cleaning the touch screen. We do not want to force a short-circuit. Also, make sure that no liquids enter the device while cleaning.
You should never spray your cleaning detergent directly onto the screen or other integrations – apply it to a wipe or a cloth instead and squeeze excess moisture off.
For the initial cleaning step, we recommend you to use regular soap water. The purpose of this initial step is to get rid of grease and dirt on the surface. Clean the entire device with soap water and do one more pass with plain water to get rid of excess soap. Let the unit dry before moving on to disinfecting.
Disinfecting the device
When disinfecting the device we recommend you to use disinfecting liquids without alcohol and bleach. Alcohol is many things, but it is always a solvent which means it will in its essence dissolve what it gets in contact with.
We do NOT recommend using alcoholic substances for cleaning kiosks or digital signage. There are a great deal of different variations, measures and chemical compositions and it is impossible to conclude the implications of every substance. Unfortunately we have experience with partners and customers ruining surfaces because of continous use of alcoholic liquids on their devices. In general alcohol will over time dissolve the molecules in the surface which causes it to break down.
So what can I use instead? You might ask. We recommend using a brand called Rodalon and for disinfecting use the variant “Rodalon Indendørs”. It is a water-based and pH-neutral disinfecting detergent that doesn’t bleach. Rodalon is gentle to waterproof, porous and textile material and surfaces and it kills bacteria and fungus. The mixing ratio of Rodalon is 1:10 with water (for instance 100ml Rodalon with 900ml water).
Before disinfecting the device make sure to power it off. Dampen a clean, non-abrasive cloth with the Rodalon mixture. Make sure that excess liquids are squeezed off of the cloth.
Now you can gently wipe the entire unit from top to bottom and we recommend that you do two passes to ensure disinfecting the entire unit. The Rodalon mixture is usable on all surfaces, screen, bezel and components included. When you have done the two passes we recommend you to do a last pass with plain water to finalize the cleaning and disinfecting process.
We recommend Rodalon as it is the one detergent so far that we have the most and best experience with. Rodalon is available at a lot of places in Denmark and Germany both in physical shops and online.
Should you not be able to get your hands on Rodalon then we urge you to look for a water-based alternative that is pH-netrual and doesn’t bleach, though we won’t take responsibility for the outcome of such alternative.
If you are determined to use alcoholic liquids to disinfect your devices then different measures must be taken. First of all we recommend a special powder-coating including an epoxy mixture. The epoxy paint results in a tough sealing and the surface becomes extra hardy with a long lifespan.
Even with the epoxy surface we are weary about using alcoholic cleaning detergents and thus we always recommend using detergents containing alcohol levels of 70% and below.
Epoxy coating is a bit more expensive than regular powder-coating but it ensures a sturdy surface for the device. It is however only for the metal parts of the kiosk and the other components should still be cleaned without alcohol.
Antibacterial Surface Treatment
There is one more trick up our sleeve – Antibacterial Surface Treatment. By adding specific metal particles into the powder-coating mixture it is possible to fight and kill bacteria on the surface. This is a great way to add long-term passive antimicrobial protection to the surfaces and it is heavily used at healthcare institutions as well as dental practices all over the world.
The metal particles in the surface blocks cell metabolism, stops cellular respiration and prevents cell division
– all of which are critical for bacteria and fungi to thrive and spread. The three mechanisms prevent growth of undesired micro-organisms on the surfaces such as Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA), Enterococcus Faecalis (VRE), Escherichia Coli (ESBL/E.Coli) and several types of Salmonella.
The way it works is through general moisture on the surface as well as the moisture from the bacteria output. Through the moisture the metal particles will find the bacteria and inactivate it before destroying it. Antibacterial treatment is not harmful for people in contact with the surface. Using the treatment is great for long-term protection but we recommend you to also maintain good cleaning routines as mentioned earlier.
A surface treatment like this will mean an added expense to the solution but the result is certainly worth it – a clean and healthy environment for you and your clientele.
Image credit: Shield vector created by starline - www.freepik.com