High Touch Surfaces: What Are They and How Do You Clean Them

As we enter the season of sneezes, we need to ensure safety for all who walk through our doors. In general, there are four main ways of classifying surfaces in your workplace:

  • High Touch
  • Medium Touch
  • Low Touch
  • No Touch

    Each one has different implications for the products you use to clean them and the way you go about cleaning them yourself, but all these surfaces need to be cleaned regularly if they’re going to be both hygienic and maintain their aesthetic appeal. Read on to find out how to clean, sanitize, disinfect and sanitize various high touch surfaces around your workplace or home office, and learn which products can help you achieve these goals effectively.

    What Are High Touch Surfaces?

    High touch surfaces are objects that several people come in contact with on a regular basis. These surfaces can be anything from door handles to desks to bathrooms sinks. A high touch surface can be as common as a tabletop or as rare as the base of a chair. They are often overlooked when it comes to cleaning and sanitizing because they’re not always considered “dirty.” However, these surfaces become dirty just like any other surface if they aren’t maintained daily.

    Desktop High Touch Surfaces

    It’s important to clean, sanitize, disinfect and sterilize high-touch surfaces in the office on a regular basis. In your own space it can feel like you don’t have to do it often, but what do you touch when you’re not at your desk? Could those germs be transferred to your workspace? Be sure to always wipe down these surfaces regularly.

    Desktop High Touch Surfaces can include:

    • Phone
    • Keyboard
    • Mouse
    • Arm Rests
    • Back of a Desk Chair
    • Desk Surface
    • Pens
    • Drawer Pulls

    Office-Wide High Touch Surfaces

    It can be startling to learn how dirty office-wide surfaces can become. In some cases, they can be up to 200 times dirtier than a toilet bowl! This is because they are continually touched by dozens or even hundreds of people each day. When left unclean for days or weeks at a time these high touch surfaces become breeding grounds for harmful bacteria.

    Office-Wide High Touch Surfaces include:

    • Door Handles
    • Copiers and Printers
    • Toilets
    • Faucets
    • Lamps
    • Light Switches
    • Locks
    • Filing Cabinets

    The Differences Between Cleaning, Sanitizing, Disinfecting & Sterilizing

    Cleaning, sanitizing, disinfecting and sterilizing – what’s the difference between these terms? Well, each word is a different level. Cleaning removes dirt, stains or other visible contaminants, while sanitizing kills bacteria or viruses on surfaces that are likely to touch food. Disinfecting is a more stringent level than sanitizing because it kills many types of microorganisms. Finally, sterilizing eliminates all living organisms on an object.


    This is the process of physically removing dirt, grime, and other contaminants. A soft cloth and soap are often enough to get the surface clean.


    To sanitize an item or surface means to reduce the number of microorganisms present on that item or surface. In order to sanitize something, you need to use a substance such as bleach or alcohol that kills 99%+ of bacteria on contact. Chlorine bleach is best for surfaces like countertops while rubbing alcohol is used for hard surfaces like tabletops.


    Disinfecting means killing all types of disease-causing germs (bacteria) on a surface with some type of chemical solution such as chlorine bleach or hydrogen peroxide.


    Sterilizing a surface kills all living microorganisms that may be on that surface.

    The Best Products to Use

    When it comes to the best products for each cleaning job, there are many options, but we recommend using products from trusted janitorial and sanitation brands for cleaning, sanitizing, disinfecting, and sterilizing your high touch surfaces. At Sundance, we have all the workplace solutions you need to keep your offices safe and sanitary.

    Sundance Cares: Bringing the WOW to Meals on Wheels!

    Throughout the year, we like to donate time, money, supplies and services to local organizations and non-profits. This past fall, we partnered with Meals on Wheels to donate a percentage of our profits from September 26th. This benefited both Meals on Wheels: Tulsa and Meals on Wheels: OKC.

    About Meals on Wheels

    Meals on Wheels is a community care organization that focuses on people who need care the most: the isolated. For many senior citizens, going to a grocery store or preparing a meal is simply not an option. Whether due to lack of mobility or lack of funds, a basic human need may be going unfulfilled. Meals on Wheels operates in nearly every community around the country, ensuring healthy, delicious meals are available and delivered right to the door of a senior citizen who needs them.

    The Personal Connection

    Not only does this service provide them with food, but also human contact and a wellness check. As this community ages, they don’t always have continued interaction with many people. Where many adults run into others at work, in stores, at events, etc., oftentimes senior citizens are unable to engage in that social sphere. This is again due to mobility, lack of funds, health concerns, and more.

    Sundance Cares for the Community

    At Sundance, we know that the most important person is you: our community. We pledge to do everything we can to ensure your safety, growth, and happiness throughout the year. That’s why we give back so much to the community. Because without you, there wouldn’t be us.

    The Local Advantage: Bring the WOW Back to Your Community

    Shopping local not only supports your community, but it also helps keep your community thriving and ensures you’re getting the highest-quality products at the best costs available. Shopping locally also keeps your dollars in the local economy where they can be reinvested in the community rather than being shipped off to corporate headquarters or even taken out of the United States as profits to be reinvested elsewhere.

    Shopping locally here in Oklahoma helps keep our dollars in our local economy, improving our infrastructure and our schools. You can shop online at a local company like Sundance Office, walk into a local shop on Black Wall Street, go out to eat in The Paseo District, or visit any other local community or company. When you do the same in your local communities, you are contributing to the success of that community.

    Here are a few of the direct ways that shopping locally helps communities prosper and improves your engagement and profitability.

    Build Stronger Communities

    When you buy from local businesses, you are strengthening your community and investing in your town’s growth. In fact, more than 50% of profits are recirculated back into the community when you shop locally. Not only that but you know that the sales team, delivery drivers, managers, etc., live nearby and have a vested interest in your town because they work there, too. Your delivery driver could even be your child’s Little League coach! We love knowing our team is friends and neighbors with everyone we meet, making it easy to build relationships with our customers and that builds a better, stronger community overall.

    Create More Jobs

    Local businesses create more jobs in the local economy than large chains, keep the community engaged, and allow for more entry level jobs for new employees. You help create jobs and keep both money and families in the local economy. The ripple effect that one small business has on a community is astounding. When you buy from a local store, you are not only supporting that business, but also the other local businesses in the area that benefit from its success. You create a sense of community and increase your involvement in it. You help to keep families together in the neighborhood, provide quality options for good and services, and strengthen relationships with those who are near and dear to you. Quality job opportunities create a booming economy which brings about great school systems and overall improved local infrastructure.

    Improve Community Success

    Shopping local allows you to give back to the community that helped make you successful in the first place. Plus, as stated above, shopping locally can be an enjoyable and engaging experience, allowing you to connect with your fellow neighbors. When we shop at a store in our own neighborhood, we are also supporting the stores in other neighborhoods too- since most of our dollars stay within the city limits, improving overall community success. For all these reasons and more, shopping locally can make your life better and help bring prosperity back to the communities where you live.

    Reduce Carbon Footprint

    When you buy locally, you help reduce your overall carbon footprint simply because your delivery drivers don’t have to drive far distances, wasting precious and expensive gas. And because those businesses are buying their products from other local purveyors who also reduce their carbon footprint, it’s a trickle-down effect. If we want to sustain our communities and our environment as a whole, we need to invest in them now. The tradeoffs of shopping locally and the impact it has on the environment and the community can’t be overstated.

    Find High-Quality, Low-Cost Products

    When you work with a local purveyor or producer, you are building a relationship. And relationships can lead to deals. You want to work with your local workplace solutions dealer, and they want to work with you. They are able to provide you with lower costs on the same high-quality products that you deserve. With increased profits for both you and them, it’s easy to see why businesses prefer to buy locally. The next time you’re thinking about buying something, think about what kind of deal is waiting for you just down the street.

    Find Your Community in Oklahoma

    Here are some other areas to visit in Tulsa and Oklahoma City, especially going into the Holiday season:

    Want to learn more about how to bring the WOW back to your community? Get in touch with us today!

    Jet Air Dryers: Are They The Best Option?

    Are you looking for the most hygienic option for your workplace bathrooms? The science is clear: Single-use paper towels are a more effective and hygienic way to dry your hands after washing compared to jet air dryers.

    Jet Air Dryers vs Paper Towels

    Source: Bunzl Cleaning & Hygiene Supplies

    95% of adults don’t wash their hands long enough to remove bacteria and germs, so they remain on their hands after washing. If they dry their hands with a jet air dryer afterwards, the germs and bacteria blow off in water droplets. These water droplets can travel as far as 6.5 feet and remain in the air for up to 15 minutes.

    Jet Air Dryers can increase the germ count on fingers by up to
    42% as compared to not washing them at all.

    The Science is Clear: Paper Towels are Good Hygiene

    A University of Westminster study found high-speed and warm-air dryers can harbor bacteria on surfaces and inside dryers. This could lead to cross contamination if users reach inside and touch the surface of the unit or when bacteria could be carried in the airstream and deposited on wet hands.

    And the bacteria they found? It included fecal bacteria such as E. coli, as well as Staphylococcus. YUCK!

    An article in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings Journal also examined the hygienic efficacy of these hand-drying methods. Mayo’s recommendation? Paper towels are the best hand-drying option in locations where “hygiene is paramount,” such as hospitals and clinics. The study concluded, “From a hygiene viewpoint, paper towels are superior to electric air dryers.” While the study may just have been talking about hospitals and clinics, all businesses can take note to ensure their facilities have good hygiene as well.

    Ready to switch out your jet air dryers?
    Contact Us today to see how you can upgrade your
    restroom towel dispensers for a penny!

    Sources For More Information:
    The Hygienic Efficacy of Different Hand-Drying Methods: A Review of the Evidence, Mayo Clinic Proceedings

    E.L. Best, K. Redway, “Comparison of Different Hand-Drying Methods: The Potential for Airborne Microbe Dispersal and Contamination,” Journal of Hospital Infection, 89 (2015)

    P.T. Kimmitt & K.F. Redway, “Evaluation of the Potential for Virus Dispersal During Hand Drying: A Comparison of Three Methods,” Journal of Applied Microbiology, 120 (2016)

    E.L. Best, P. Parnell and M.H. Wilcox, “Microbiological Comparison of Hand-Drying Methods: The Potential for Contamination of the Environment, User and Bystander,” Journal of Hospital Infection, 88.4 (2014)

    WHO Guidelines on Hand Hygiene in Health Care, Published by the World Health Organization

    Observational Study at ISSA/Interclean Amsterdam 2016, Published by the European Tissue Symposium

    What Kind of Mask is Best for Covid?


    UMass Memorial Health Dr. Michael Hirsh said, “Cloth masks and … bandanas and homemade bandanas around their face are not effective against omicron. That is clear.” Information gathered from John Hopkins Medicine.           

    Don’t rely on a fabric mask alone anymore; they’re good at protecting others from your respiratory droplets, but not at protecting you against theirs, even with a filter pocket. A bandana tied around the face does not work as well as a mask because it is open at the bottom. A gaiter (a tube of thin, stretchy knit fabric that can be worn around the neck and pulled up to cover the nose and mouth) is usually too thin to provide adequate protection. A fabric mask usually is not much protection either.

    Face Coverings we Recommend

    Blue Disposable masks are fluid resistant and provide some protection from larger respiratory droplets from coughs and sneezes. Primarily, they help prevent the wearer from spreading infectious droplets to others.
    Shop for Blue Disposable Now

    N95 respirator is the most protective face covering that you can get against omicron and other viruses. An N95 is a disposable face covering that filters out at least 95% of airborne particles. 

    KN95 mask, which is the Chinese equivalent of the US standard. KN95s are made from the same material as N95s and are also designed to filter at least 95% of airborne particles. 
    Shop for KN95 Now

    KF94, the South Korean equivalent to an N95, which has a slightly different shape and 94% filtration efficacy.

    Remember to Change Your Mask Often

    Outside of a respiratory health crisis, any N95, KN95 or disposable surgical mask is meant to be worn only once. In most scenarios, healthcare professionals do not need to wear them for extended periods.

    However, in other industries, workers routinely wear N95 respirators, KN95, or surgical masks for several hours at a time. Experience in these industries shows that disposable respirators can maintain their integrity for up to eight hours while functioning within their specifications. 

    Whether you’re wearing an N95, a KN95 or a KF94, it won’t be completely effective unless the face mask fits your face properly. Make sure it fits snugly, without gaps around your nose, face and mouth.

    Fellowes Air Purifiers for Clean Indoor Air in Your Office

    Clean Air is Vital For Your Facilities 

    Indoor air is 2 to 5 times dirtier than outdoor air. Inside you’ll find:

    • Viruses/Bacteria 
    • VOCs 
    • Allergens 
    • Odors 

    Office buildings, educational facilities, assisted living areas, and medical offices are shared spaces for hours every day and have a constant flow of visitors, vendors, and employees who bring viruses, germs, and pathogens into the workplace with them. Couple that with odors from food left in wastebaskets, conference rooms, and common areas and it’s an indoor air quality hot spot. 

    Continue reading

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