Since March, many of us have found ourselves spending more time than ever before cleaning our houses. For one thing, we’ve been spending a lot more time at home since the start of the lockdown and so have had time to tackle those messes we’ve been putting off. But the COVID-19 pandemic has also made us a lot more vigilant about germs lurking on the surfaces around us. However, many of us may still not know the difference between cleaning vs. disinfecting.
Read on to learn more about what differentiates the two and which you need to be doing in your space.
What Does Cleaning Do?
Although many of us might tend to think of cleaning and disinfecting as being the same, they are two distinct processes with two different goals. Cleaning is the process of removing visible dirt, stain, and soiling from your furniture and other belongings. You’re often working with visible particles, and cleaning can range from picking up clutter to removing dust and dirt.
Cleaning may start with things like clearing off and wiping down countertops, tables, dressers, and the like. It may also involve getting dirt and streaks off windows and appliances or dusting a variety of surfaces in your home or business. Finally, cleaning usually involves sweeping, mopping, and/or vacuuming an area.
What Does Disinfecting Do?
By contrast, disinfecting deals with getting rid of particles you can’t see with your naked eye. You can disinfect a surface that’s completely covered in clutter (although this disinfection may not be as effective). Disinfecting aims to kill bacteria, viruses, and other microscopic particles living on surfaces.
Disinfecting comes in a variety of forms and levels of intensity, depending on your particular needs. On kitchen counters, for example, you may use a disinfectant spray to wipe down your counters and kill any microbes living there. But hospital clean rooms may use ultraviolet light, electrostatic cleaning equipment, and special filtration systems.
Why Is Disinfecting Important?
Many of us have become much more aware of disinfecting and its importance in the previous year. As the COVID-19 pandemic has raged, we’ve begun looking at every surface around us as a potential source of disease. Virus particles can live on a variety of surfaces, and we’ve learned exactly how much damage they can wreak in the months since the start of the pandemic.
But even outside of global pandemics, disinfecting can be a very important way to keep yourself and your loved ones healthier. If someone in your family catches the flu, regularly disinfecting can kill the viral particles that could make the rest of your family sick.
How Do You Know if Disinfecting Worked?
When you’re cleaning, it’s easy to tell if the efforts you’ve made have been effective or not. If the window still has streaks, it needs another wipe; if there are still dust bunnies floating around on the floor, it’s time to break out the broom again. But how do you tell if microscopic particles have been effectively removed from the surfaces around you?
The short answer is there is no one tried-and-true way for the average person to tell if a surface around them has been disinfected. The best method is to ensure that you’re being thorough each and every time you disinfect a surface. Pay special attention to make sure every area of the surface in question comes in contact with the disinfectant you’re using.
How to Disinfect During COVID-19
During the COVID-19 pandemic, new and more powerful disinfecting strategies than ever have come to the forefront. When you’re disinfecting around your home, sprays, wipes, and hand sanitizer are your best friends.
It’s also a good idea to do laundry on a regular basis with a detergent that contains disinfecting agents. You may also want to mop or shampoo your floors with disinfecting agents on a regular basis, especially if you’re at higher risk for COVID-19.
If you’re disinfecting an office or public space, you may need some more heavy-duty methods. Electrostatic sprayers can ensure that every surface gets an even coating of disinfectant. It’s also a good idea to train your employees to use hand sanitizer, disinfect their work stations, and wear masks.
How Often to Disinfect an Area
Of course, even if you disinfect an area, viral particles will eventually make their way back onto it. In fact, there are so many microbes in the world around us that a surface isn’t going to stay germ-free for long at all. The question, then, becomes how often do you need to disinfect in order for it to be effective?
The answer depends on how often the surface comes into contact with people and how at-risk you are of catching a disease. If you’re in a high-risk group, you should sanitize surfaces that see a lot of traffic – doorknobs, computer keyboards, etc. – about once an hour. If you’re in a lower risk group or dealing with surfaces that don’t get much contact, disinfecting every one to three days should be adequate.
Learn the Difference Between Cleaning vs. Disinfecting
Since the start of the pandemic, many of us have become much more aware of the dangers of microbes living around us. While cleaning is a wonderful thing to do, it’s important to know the difference between cleaning vs. disinfecting. You need a good disinfecting regimen to deal with diseases like COVID-19 that could be living on the surfaces around you.
If you’d like help disinfecting your spaces, check out the rest of our site at Spaulding Decon. We clean up all life’s accidents, from hoarding situations and drug labs to crime scenes and more. Find a location near you today and start living a cleaner, more hygienic life the easy way.