Cleaning Vs. Disinfecting

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During these uncertain times, all of us at Sweeping Dimensions Cleaning Service are here for you. We’re your Chicago cleaning experts, and we’re always ready to help in any way that we can. Here on our blog, we will continue to pass along guidelines, tips, and all of the up-to-the-minute information you need to keep your home, business, and family safe. 

We know this is a stressful time. And our mission will always be to make a sweeping effort to make life less stressful. 

As the novel coronavirus outbreak continues to spread around the globe, we hope that all of our readers are staying healthy, and taking steps to help keep their communities safe — including practicing social distancing and proper handwashing techniques

In your home or office, one of the most important steps you can take right now to battle COVID-19 is to rethink your cleaning regimen — by putting a new focus on disinfecting your home’s most commonly used surfaces. 

Cleaning Vs. Disinfecting: Is There a Difference?

As Dr. Elizabeth Scott, professor of microbiology at Simmons Center for Hygiene and Health in Home and Community at Simmons University in Boston, recently put it to Apartment Therapy:

“Cleaning is making something look clean… Disinfecting is making sure you are reducing the risk of any pathogens on a surface.” 

And here’s how the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) explains it

Cleaning does not kill germs, but by removing them, it lowers their numbers and the risk of spreading infection… Disinfecting refers to using chemicals to kill germs on surfaces. This process does not necessarily clean dirty surfaces or remove germs, but by killing germs on a surface after cleaning, it can further lower the risk of spreading infection.”

During your normal cleaning routine, it’s easy to stick to the basics that make your home shine. But while getting rid of dust and debris can get rid of some harmful allergens and pollutants, disinfecting your home takes a more rigorous approach, and a specialized set of cleaning products and equipment. 

At Sweeping Dimensions, our focus has always been on keeping our clients happy and healthy. That means taking the cosmetic steps that help a space sparkle, while also getting rid of the invisible stuff — germs, pathogens, mold, and the other unseen dangers silently lurking on your home’s most frequently used surfaces. 

Want to battle back against viruses in your home — from COVID-19 to common cold and flu? Here are a few best practices for sanitizing and disinfecting your surfaces the right way: 

Always Read the Label on Your Cleaning Products

In order to get the most bang for your buck, it’s important to read the labels and instructions on all of your cleaning agents. You may be surprised to find that you’re missing certain steps when using the product… or even stocking up on the wrong cleaning products entirely. 

Be sure to look for products that promise to kill germs and bacteria. As the chief of infectious disease at Mount Sinai South Nassau in New York tells TIME Magazine, “standard cleaning products that will kill other viruses will be presumptively fine against [SARS-CoV-2].” 

You can find a full list of disinfectants that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has authorized for use against COVID-19 at this link. In addition to these standard solutions, the CDC recommends “alcohol solutions with at least 70% alcohol,” as well as diluted household bleach solutions — such as five tablespoons of bleach per one gallon of water. 

If you have any questions about deciphering an ingredient list or figuring out what works — while being friendly to kids, pets, and plants — don’t hesitate to give us a call! We’d be happy to share what we know. 

Finally, remember to read instructions for using your disinfectants the right way. For example, you may be tempted to use the same wipe for two surfaces. Keep in mind, though, that this can easily spread viruses from one surface to another. Be sure to follow all guidelines on the packaging for how to properly dispose of wipes and used cleansers. 

Our advice? Don’t apply single-use wipes or soiled cleaning cloths to multiple surfaces. Regularly wash your towels, sponges, and rags, and throw away all single-use products in a sealed container. Be safe! Wear disposable gloves and goggles when in doubt, and always keep your rooms well-ventilated and airy. Wash your hands immediately after disinfecting, even if you were wearing gloves. 

Give Your Surfaces Time to Dry

One commonly overlooked aspect of disinfecting is “dwell time,” sometimes called “contact time.” In plain language, you could even just call this “air drying.” Though it’s easy to skip, this is an incredibly important step in sanitizing your household surfaces properly. 

Oftentimes, you may be tempted to simply spritz on some disinfectant and then immediately wipe the surface dry. Many products, however, need time to linger on the surface in order to kill all germs and bacteria. 

Read and follow all instructions on your cleaning products. When in doubt, be sure to apply enough of the sanitizer to wet the surface and let it set up for several minutes. You can use this time to focus on sanitizing another surface, or spend a few minutes getting something else on your checklist done! Remember, safety first! Be sure that there’s a healthy flow of air into the room, and make plans to keep pets and children away from wet surfaces while they air dry. 

Get Into a Routine

According to expert reports, the COVID-19 virus may be able to live on certain surfaces for as little as a few hours, or as long as multiple days. At the same time, disinfecting a tabletop once may help kill almost all of the germs dwelling on it — but more germs may spread right back over the surface in time. 

This isn’t cause to panic — but it is a good reason to get into a regular, proactive cleaning routine!

The CDC recommends cleaning and disinfecting “high-touch surfaces” on a daily basis. This includes touch points in household common areas like “tables, hard-backed chairs, doorknobs, light switches, remotes, handles, desks, toilets, and sinks.” If someone in your household is sick or showing symptoms, you may want to step up your cleaning routine even further, to minimize the risk of exposure to yourself and others. Regularly disinfect any common areas used by the sick person, including handrails and all bathroom surfaces. 

Have Questions? We’re Here to Help

Whatever challenges life brings, you can rest assured that Sweeping Dimensions Cleaning Service will always be here to help. Our cleaning experts can tackle the little things, so you and your loved ones can remain safe and secure, no matter what. 

Our teams of professionally trained cleaners offer flexible time windows, unparalleled attention to detail, and can bring all of the cleaning supplies necessary to sanitize your home or office.

We can help take some of the pressure off, giving you back time to focus on what matters most. Have any questions? Ready to get started? Get in touch online today, or keep the conversation going on social media, where we’ll be sharing safety information, resources, news, and more.

2020-03-31T15:50:17+00:00 April 6th, 2020|Commercial Cleaning|