Did you know that cleaning and disinfecting are not the same thing? In your workplace, you probably need both cleaning and disinfection services from your Houston janitorial services company. However, how do you tell the difference and how do you know what needs disinfecting instead of Houston commercial cleaning? It’s important to know the difference, as disinfecting non-porous surfaces is one of the best ways to lower the risk of spreading germs from work surfaces. Many germs can live on surfaces inside your workplace for hours or days, which is why disinfection is such an important part of keeping your employees and customers safe and healthy.
Is My Houston Janitorial Services Company Cleaning, Disinfecting, or Both?
This can be a difficult question to answer. While cleaning and disinfecting are different services, it’s almost impossible to see the difference. Cleaning involves using water and soap or detergents. This removes dirt, germs, and impurities. By contrast, disinfection involves using a chemical disinfectant to kill germs on a surface.
Proper Disinfectant Use from a Well-Trained Houston Janitorial Services Company
However, even wiping a surface with disinfectant might not actually disinfect your office surfaces. Even if your cleaning crew uses EPA approved disinfectants, improper use can negate a lot of their germ-killing power. For example, disinfectants don’t generally work on dirty surfaces. Therefore, your cleaning crew must first clean surfaces before applying disinfectant products. Otherwise, they won’t work properly.
Additionally, many disinfectants come in concentrates that must be added to water. Your Houston janitorial services company must mix this to the correct ratio listed on the label. Too much water can make disinfectants less effective at killing germs. However, too little water can also negatively impact your health, as disinfectants are antimicrobial pesticides. Without proper dilution, the residue can irritate the skin and lungs and may cause other health concerns.
Also, disinfectants often require a certain dwell time, or the amount of time they’re left on the surface, to kill germs. For example, a disinfectant label may say that you must let the solution stand for 10 minutes. This means that the disinfectant must stay on the surface, wet, for that entire time. Otherwise, it may not kill all the germs on the surface. Therefore, your cleaning crew must ensure the disinfectant stays on for the proper amount of time, which may include rewetting the surface in case of evaporation.
Unfortunately, many cleaning crews cut corners in these procedures to save time and money. This essentially means you may be paying for disinfection when they’re not actually killing workplace germs. Therefore, you must choose a Houston janitorial services company you trust to clean and disinfect your commercial space.
What About Sanitizers?
Another important thing to remember is that sanitizing and disinfecting are not the same things. While many people use these words interchangeably, there’s a pretty big difference between the two. The EPA defines disinfection as killing 100% of the viruses and bacteria listed on the product’s label. Disinfectants go through strict testing for high germ-killing standards.
Sanitizers, on the other hand, must meet fewer standards. Generally, sanitizers reduce the number of bacteria on a surface. Most sanitizers aren’t tested for killing viruses. Also, sanitizers do not kill 100% of bacteria, they simply reduce the number dramatically. Therefore, sanitizers may leave behind viruses and some bacteria.
Why does this matter for your business? Many of the germs that make your employees and customers sick are actually viruses, like the common cold, influenza, or the COVID-19 virus. Therefore, you likely want your Houston commercial cleaning crew to use disinfectants, rather than sanitizers.
Also, many disinfectants can be used as sanitizers. For example, a label may say the dwell time is 60 seconds for sanitization, but 10 minutes for disinfection. Dilution ratio may also change depending on whether you want to sanitize or disinfect. So, even if you see that your cleaning crew has products labelled as disinfectants, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re receiving proper disinfection services.
Choose a Commercial Cleaning Crew You Trust
When choosing a Houston commercial cleaning company, it’s important to do some research before signing a contract. For example, make sure they have the necessary certifications and licenses to perform Houston building cleaning services. Also, it’s important to check testimonials and reviews from other companies. Generally, if they have a good reputation, this is a good sign. Finally, it’s also important to evaluate transparency. Do they explain what training protocols they have in place for their staff? Is it easy to contact your Houston janitorial services company? These are things that help show integrity and experience for your work disinfection needs.
Which Surfaces in My Workplace Need Houston Commercial Cleaning and Which Need Disinfection?
However, just because disinfection lowers the risk of spreading germs to your staff and customers doesn’t necessarily mean you need to disinfect every surface. While your Houston janitorial services company is happy to create a custom contract that includes this, in most cases you’d just be paying for services that you don’t really need.
For example, most workplaces can clean low touch areas like floors and windows, rather than disinfect them. How many people are going to touch the floor and then transfer those germs to their eyes or mouth? In a daycare, this might be quite a lot, which may warrant disinfecting your floors. However, most other commercial businesses don’t need this extra service. Houston commercial cleaning for these areas helps your building look and smell nice and also removes enough germs and allergens necessary to improve indoor air quality.
However, commercial disinfecting is important for high touch surfaces like door handles, counter tops, and light switches. Many different people touch these areas every day and may unknowingly spread infection through these surfaces. Also, it’s important to disinfect most surfaces in your common areas like break rooms, where many people go in and out every day. These can be a breeding ground for germs that can make your staff sick.
If you need a high quality, affordable cleaning crew, our team at Accredited Building Services is the best choice for your commercial building. We use state-of-the-art equipment and EPA-approved disinfectants to help keep your workplace clean and germ-free. Our team receives in-depth training to ensure they meet our high standards for your workplace every single time. Call us today at (281) 578-2296 to discuss your needs with our experts and start designing your custom janitorial contract. We are here to serve you!