Are You Disinfecting or Just Cleaning?

Are You Disinfecting or Just Cleaning?

Our homes are supposed to be a haven where we can relax and recuperate from the pressures of the world. Unfortunately, we wind up bringing home some of the world and its germs through dirty hands, shoes, clothing, and phones.

Even if your Central Colorado home looks clean, it could still be hiding contaminants that could affect your health. Dr. Michael Schmidt, professor of microbiology at the Medical University of South Carolina and chair of the American Society of Microbiology's Council on Microbial Sciences, says that the best way to protect your family is to quite simply to clean your house.

Dr. Schmidt points out that after washing our hands, the best way to protect your family is to wipe down countertops, doorknobs, light switches, and common surfaces with a microfiber cloth dampened in a solution of hot water and an all-purpose cleaner twice a day. "The slight abrasion of the microfiber cloth and the cleaning solution will lift and dilute any microbes that have settled on the surfaces," says Dr. Schmidt. "Since electronics don't hold up well to soap and water, use an alcohol wipe with at least 70% isopropyl alcohol to clean cell phones, remotes, and keyboards."

But cleaning shouldn't be confused with disinfecting. Cleaning means you're removing germs, but not killing, while disinfecting means you're actually killing them. This difference is important because you might clean surfaces well but you might not be disinfecting, leaving germs and bacteria to grow.

However, "Disinfecting cleaners can give a false sense of security if they are not used properly and are only necessary if someone in the household is ill," says Dr. Schmidt. The crucial areas to address are surfaces shared by family members and those that come in close contact with bodily fluids. If you have dirty windows, they aren't a big health concern, but a doorknob touched after a sneeze can be.

It’s important to read labels and follow the directions on products. Products labeled as disinfectants will adequately kill viruses and bacteria if used correctly. But if the label promises to just "sanitize" a surface, the fine print might say it’ll kill 99.9% of the bacteria, but not mention if it's effective against viruses or fungi. You want to look for disinfectants because they can kill bacteria, viruses, and fungi when used properly.

Before disinfecting anything in your house, decide whether you'll wear gloves and what kind. Rubber gloves are more durable and reusable, but disposable latex ones also work. Just remember to always wash your hands with soap and warm water after using any cleaning products.

If you need help with any deep cleaning and disinfecting needs, contact us at Cyclone Kleen Up . Not only do we use the proper disinfectants, but our professionals receive the necessary training and field experience to service your home or workplace to achieve the highest standards of cleanliness and customer satisfaction.