Difference Between Cleaning and Sanitizing
As we enter cold and flu season, proper cleaning and sanitizing in your place of business is crucial to prevent sickness. But did you know cleaning and sanitizing are not the same? Many people use these words interchangeably, but there are distinct differences in their meanings and methods.
Not understanding these differences can result in incorrect cleaning, thus allowing for the spread of germs and illnesses. Even if you work with a professional cleaning company, knowing what each of these terms mean is essential so you can choose the correct services for your office, retail store, school, or other facilities.
Cleaning vs. Sanitizing
The easiest way to differentiate between these two actions is to understand that cleaning is when you tidy up a visibly messy area and sanitizing is when you remove germs from a place. Cleaning makes your office look, smell, and feel presentable, but sanitizing kills the bacteria that cause health problems. While these are two separate actions, they still go hand in hand. If you skip cleaning before sanitizing, the existing dust and dirt will make your sanitizing products less effective.
How and Where You Should Clean
In a workplace, you have to distinguish between what type of cleaning your employees are responsible for and what you’ll outsource to a janitorial company. For example, your employees can keep their personal space organized and neat, return the items they use to their rightful places, and spot clean — wipe up spills and crumbs — as needed. Then, you can rely on professionals to handle the rest.
You’ll want to pay special attention to common areas like break rooms, conference rooms, and the kitchen. To keep up on dust build-up, make sure your facility is vacuumed and dusted at least weekly. Although this won’t eliminate germs that cause illness, it will get rid of particles that cause health complications for those with asthma and allergies.
Additionally, if you have hardwood or laminate flooring, you should make sure it is mopped weekly. Don’t forget about windows and other glass surfaces. The purpose of cleaning is to improve the overall appearance of your space, so you’ll want to make sure you’re hitting every area in your office from top to bottom, wiping, dusting, and sweeping.
How and Where You Should Sanitize
When sanitizing your office, you’ll want to focus on surfaces that are touched daily by multiple people. These surfaces include but are not limited to:
- light switches
To successfully kill bacteria on these surfaces, the alcohol percentage in your cleaning products must be at least 60%. The higher the alcohol percentage, the more bacteria it will kill. To sanitize carpets and upholstery, you must use a steamer that surpasses 170 degrees Fahrenheit. When sanitizing, you should always ensure good ventilation because the more effective sanitizing products can contain toxic components.
How Frequently Should You Sanitize Your Office
The CDC recommends sanitizing frequently touched areas once a day. The longer you wait to sanitize, the more germs will build up, increasing the risk of you or your employees getting sick. Carpets and upholstery also require routine sanitation, but only once a year. Although people touch these surfaces daily, their sanitization process is more complex because they need machinery, such as a steamer, and more drying time.
Hire a Professional Cleaning Company to Ensure Your Office is Clean and Germ-Free
The differences between cleaning and sanitizing might not seem too far off, but understanding them can significantly improve your health and the health of those around you. Though your employees may wipe up their spills or keep their personal space tidy, they’re not eliminating the dust, dirt, and germs that live in all types of workspaces. Work with a professional cleaning company if you want your place of business clean and sanitized the right way.
At Office Express Janitorial Services, we offer top-notch commercial cleaning at a fair price, with standards set in best practices and procedures established by OSHA. Are you looking for the best janitorial services for your business? Contact Office Express Janitorial Services, Inc. today.