Differences between cleaning and disinfecting; and how to combine them for great results!
Animated image of cleaning bucket and cleaning solution.
Creating Healthy Homes and Workplaces
What is the difference anyway? Cleaning. Disinfecting. Aren’t they the same?
It does not matter if you are in an office setting, school, business, or home-cleaning and disinfecting have become words that are interchanged and used more often in these uncertain times. Understanding the true meaning of these terms can help reduce the spread of illness, creating a healthier environment.
Cleaning and disinfecting are two different processes. Understanding the difference and then combining the two are a powerful way to remove and kill germs that can lead to sickness.
Know the Difference
What is Cleaning?
Cleaning is the process of physically removing germs, dirt, and other particulates or impurities from surfaces. Bacteria and germs are not killed and can continue to spread or reproduce.
Imagine that you just finished an amazing supper with the family. As you remove the dishes and left-over food from the dining room table you see a few crumbs and spills on the table. Most of us would take a dishcloth and wipe down the table with a cleaning agent, such as dish soap or an all-purpose cleaner. Cleaning the table only removes the food spoils and debris from the surface, it does not kill germs, bacteria, or pathogens. Cleaning is a very important first step in a multi-step process for cleaning and disinfecting.
Cleaning can be achieved by using the Fundamentals of CHAT:
• C – Chemical• H – Heat• A – Agitation• T- Time 1. Chemical: Choosing the right cleaning product for the job is the first step. For example, when you are about to clean those supper dishes would you use a detergent or a toilet bowl cleaner? Different chemicals or cleaning products are designed for particular tasks. 2. Heat: Hotter the better? Think about the scenario of washing the dishes. If you take a greasy pan and run cold water over it, even with detergent, there is limited soil removal. But turn up the temperature and you see a huge difference in cleaning effectiveness. By adding heat to the cleaning equation, you increase chemical reaction and yield better results. 3. Agitation: Using the scenario of washing dishes again. The dirty, greasy pan that you are cleaning with heat and detergent is being stubborn, now what? The right amount of agitation can greatly affect the cleaning equation. By using a steel wool, brush, or a scrub pad you are adding agitation to the equation, allowing the soiling to break loose. 4. Time: Time for the product to dwell on a surface plays an important role. Soaking time with that dirty, greasy pan in the detergent, hot water, and scrubbing now yields the perfect equation for cleaning.
What is Disinfecting?
Disinfecting can kill or inactivate the reproductive properties of germs, bacteria, and pathogens. Disinfecting destroys bacteria and viruses stated on their label for hard, nonporous surfaces. Disinfecting does not clean soiling from surfaces. Disinfecting is the most reliable way to help reduce the risk of spreading germs and viruses from touch points.
Why is Disinfecting Important?
When used properly by pairing cleaning and disinfecting, you can kill up to 99.999% of bacteria and viruses on hard, nonporous surfaces. The key is also to read the label and follow all manufacturer recommendations. Consider the following while disinfecting:
• Coverage Area Make sure to cover every inch of an area with disinfectant. Leaving an area untouched will not kill the germs. • Dwell Time Amount of time a disinfectant needs to remain wet on the surface to effectively kill the organisms. Read the label to adhere to that products dwell time. Some are only 2 minutes up to 15 minutes. Not following the products dwell time does not properly disinfect. • Kill Claims Reading the label will list the bacteria, viruses, organisms, and germs that the product has proven to kill. There is no one size fits all. • EPA Registered Make sure the product is registered with the EPA. This gives you security in knowing that it has been tested and proven to kill the organisms on its label.
Considerations when Choosing a Disinfectant.
Below is a framework that will help determine the best disinfectant that meets your home or business needs.
1. Effectiveness: Read the product label to ensure it is effective for your home or industry needs. Some viruses have multiple strains and the product may not be effective against them all. 2. Kill Time: Knowing how quickly a product can kill a specific pathogen. Does the product keep the surface visibly wet to comply with these kill times? 3. Safety: Some disinfectants are toxic, some stain, others are corrosive, yet others have an undesirable odor. Check toxicity and flammability ratings on products, as well as any personal protective equipment (PPE) recommendations for disinfectants you apply. Be sure a disinfectant will not damage any surface it is intended for. 4. Ease of Use: Are the recommendations on how to use practical in your environment? Is it easy to apply or cumbersome?
SERVPRO creates, manufactures, and uses a proprietary disinfectant called SERVPROXIDE,™ an EPA registered, stabilized chlorine dioxide-based disinfectant and sanitizer. It carries the EPA’s lowest toxicity rating, requires no PPE for general purpose use and is safe for everyday use. It is designed to kill harmful bacteria, viruses and mold on hard surfaces and is an effective sanitizer for soft surfaces. It is also NSF rated as a no rinse required on food contact surfaces.
EPA Registration # 82972-1-93012
Sorting through information about the various types of disinfectants takes time, but it’s a critical step to ensure you are making the best decision for your family and facility. Having the right products on hand along with a solid plan of proper cleaning and disinfectant practices, gives added peace of mind to you, your staff and any visitors that come through your doors. SERVPRO as always, is Here to Help.
Should you schedule a dryer vent cleaning?
Dryer vent before and after cleaning.
Getting your dryer vent cleaned is something that might often slip your mind. You probably don’t give much thought about your dryer unless it is not working as it should. One of the easiest signs to notice on a dryer vent that needs cleaning is clothes still being wet or damp after a normal cycle.
Why should you get your dryer vent cleaned?
A dryer vent clogged with lint can be a very dangerous fire hazard. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, clothes dryer fires are responsible for $35 million dollars in property damage annually, with failure to clean dryer vent being the most frequent cause at 34%. If the vent is clogged with highly flammable lint, the heat produced by a normal drying cycle can easily start a fire in your home.
Benefits of getting dryer vents cleaned:
On top of the peace of mind from knowing that your dryer vent is clear and poses a lower risk of causing a fire in the home, a dryer vent cleaning can vastly improve the efficiency of your dryer. On top of saving time, a clean, efficient drying machine can help save money on your utility bill. If you typically dry 4-5 loads of laundry a week, the industry recommendation is to have your dryer vents cleaned annually.
At SERVPRO of Sioux Falls, we know the importance of having a clean dryer vent system. We are equipped to clean your vents using our truck mounted system. Call us at 605-213-3303 to schedule yours today!
Benefits of Commcercial Duct Cleaning
Running a business takes a lot of effort and a lot of oversight. On a daily basis you might be interacting with staff, customers, vendors, and sub-contractors. You’re paying bills, managing your facility, setting up appointments, and catering to customer service. There is a lot on your plate, and sometimes things fall between the cracks. SERVPRO can help ease your mind and help you manage your facility.
What’s in your ducts?
One of the most often overlooked components of a business or commercial facility is the HVAC system and duct work. We often don’t give it a second thought unless its summertime and the A/C isn’t working. Getting your ducts cleaned can greatly improve your Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) and provide a healthier environment for your employees and customers. Each day, contaminants such as hair, dust, and chemicals are cycled through our HVAC systems 5-7 times a day on average. Over a period of time, these contaminants can build up in your system.
How a cleaning from SERVPRO can help your business:
On top of improving IAQ, a duct cleaning from SERVPRO can greatly improve the efficiency of your HVAC system, saving you money on your utility bill. Who doesn’t like saving money? A cleaning of your commercial duct system can also eliminate any unpleasant odors that may be circulating through your property.
Call us at 605-213-3303 to schedule a duct cleaning for your Sioux Falls area business today!
Don’t let a storm disrupt your business
SERVPRO Storm Alert Logo
Major storm events can pose a potential disruption to the functioning of your business. A flash flood can leave your Sioux Falls area business with standing water that can damage both the structure of your building as well as materials such as documents in storage. At SERVPRO, we want to help put your mind at ease about how to respond after a storm event affects your business.
SERVPRO of Sioux Falls is standing by 24/7 to respond to storm related emergencies. We know storms can hit anytime, day or night, and a quick response can make all the difference in mitigating damage to your business. Timely extraction of water and dehumidifying efforts can be key in preventing potential mold growth. On top of our franchise’s 24/7 readiness, SERVPRO of Sioux Falls also has the ability to mobilize roving units of SERVPRO storm response specialists to help respond to storm events.
Be prepared and have a plan in place for dealing with storm damage to your business. Include SERVPRO in that plan and allow us to put your mind at ease, knowing that SERVPRO has the knowledge, equipment, and resources to help your business, no matter the size of the damage.
Mold in your office space
Mold growth in commercial facility
Mold in the office:
Finding a mold growth in your business can be a hassle. Treating the mold growth quickly is the prudent thing to do as a mold colony can have detrimental effects on the health of your employees. Time spent dealing with the mold growth in your business can disrupt the functioning of your business. For a quick resolution of your issue, a call to SERVPRO is your best bet!
How SERVPRO can help:
As a leader in the mold remediation business for years, SERVPRO of Sioux Falls has the knowledge and equipment to treat your mold growth quickly and efficiently, saving your business both time and money. Mold colonies have the tendency to spread quickly when untreated. Should a mold infestation be found in your business, SERVPRO can set up the proper contamination units to isolate the growth and treat it without spreading mold to other sections of your business. Should the mitigation of your mold issue require the removal of drywall or any other structural work, SERVPRO of Sioux Falls also offers reconstruction services to get your business back up and running “Like it never even happened.”
Here to Help Philosophy
SERVPRO Here to Help image
One of the biggest advantages to choosing SERVPRO as your fire damage experts, is the level of commitment and customer care we bring to each job. We know any type of loss in your home or Sioux Falls area business can be a deeply emotional experience, and we want to remind you that we are Here to Help.
What does Here to Help mean?
One of our core customer philosophies is the phrase Here to Help. Simple enough, but what does it actually mean? When you work with SERVPRO, we want to be able to use our expertise to make the entire project as smooth as possible for you. What does this entail? It means we are a full service, one stop shop provider for you after a loss. When dealing with a fire, we are capable of handling the smoke and soot damage cleaning, contents pack out and cleaning, any necessary demolition, as well as handling any necessary rebuild you may need. We aim to mitigate the trouble and trauma of a fire in your home and business, and give you the peace of mind that your home or business is in great hands. We know each job is different, and we’re here to work with you to tailor our services to fit your needs.
Peace of Mind with SERVPRO
SERVPRO employees fully suited up in PPE
As consumers in South Dakota try to be supportive of their favorite local establishments during the pandemic, we want to be able to provide support to these businesses and their clients. Cleanliness and sanitation are top of mind for most consumers right now. As a business trying to navigate these uncertain times, safety and peace of mind for your customers are difficult challenges to meet. Let SERVPRO of Sioux Falls take some of that concern off of your mind.
Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned:
As a leader in the cleaning industry for over 50 years, SERVPRO stood ready to answer the challenge that the current pandemic has presented. Instead of standing by and letting the pandemic dictate our actions, SERVPRO has been at the forefront of providing safety and peace of mind for local businesses. SERVPRO developed a program known as Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned. With this program, we are able to consult with your business and create a cleaning plan that is right for you. Whether you are looking for preventative cleaning, or a disinfecting fogging of your business after a confirmed case, SERVPRO is Here to Help.
Call for Consult:
To set up a consultation with SERVPRO of Sioux Falls, call us at 605-213-3303. We can set a time to sit down or meet with you virtually to get a grasp of your business and what type of cleaning would be right for you. Our number can also be reached 24/7 should you have need of emergency cleaning services.
Give your customers the peace of mind, knowing that the space they are in has been cleaned by professionals.
Don’t let water damage disrupt your business
Water damage in office space
A rapid response to water damage is the key to getting your Sioux Falls area business back to normal. Should you experience a water loss from a burst pipe, or perhaps a storm event, SERVPRO of Sioux Falls is here to make it “Like it never even happened.”
As a provider of emergency water loss response, SERVPRO is standing by 24/7 to take your calls. As we know a fast response time is key in mitigating damage from water, we have on-call staff at the ready to respond to your home or business.
Like it never even happened:
At SERVPRO, we understand that any time a loss event disrupts your business, this is likely time spent that your business cannot operate as normal.With a quick response time form SERVPRO, we will begin water extraction immediately, do any necessary cleaning and sanitation stemming from the source of loss, and set up drying equipment to have your business up and running in no time!
Sioux Falls commercial facility cleaning
SERVPRO employees cleaning commercial facility
As your Sioux Falls area company grows and expands you may be required to look for a new space to fit the needs of your company for years to come. It can be a very exciting, yet stressful time. Let SERVPRO of Sioux Falls take some of that stress off of you by hiring us for all of your commercial facility cleaning needs. What better way to welcome your employees to their new workspace than having it professionally cleaned before moving in.
What does a commercial facility cleaning from SERVPRO entail?
The simple answer is, whatever you want it to. No matter how detailed and in depth you want your facility cleaned, SERVPRO is Here to Help. We bring to the table over 50 years of cleaning experience, over 100 proprietary cleaning products, and the equipment to get the job done. From a small scale single occupant office space, to manufacturing facilities over 50,000 Sq. Ft., no job is too big. We can handle something simple like sweeping and mopping, while also being able to provide more extensive cleaning services such as odor removal or HVAC system cleanings.
Call SERVPRO of Sioux Falls at 605-213-3303 to schedule your cleaning today.
Summer Safety Series: Mold in the home
Mold growth on windowsill
In the Sioux Falls area, we haven’t had to worry about rainfall totals quite as much as last year. It has been an uncharacteristically hot with rain events spaced out every few weeks. However, we have been experiencing high levels of humidity. Usually humidity does not become a factor until late July and August, however, this year we have been seeing extremely high humidity levels throughout the summer. While the lack of rain has been preventing extensive water damage, its important to monitor your home for humidity as mold growths can begin with just small amounts of moisture in your home.
How Humidity can start mold growth:
There are a few factors that need to be present for mold to grow. The most important factor is moisture. Next, the mold needs a source of food. This can include drywall, wood, and other materials used to build your home. The next most important factor needed for mold growth is a lack of UV light. Mold likes to grow in often unseen parts of our home that receive little to no light. Think of a utility room in your basement.
Sources of moisture in the home:
Excluding a large rainfall event, the most common causes that create moisture in the home during the summer are typically linked to keeping your home cool. One common place for mold growth in the summer is around windows that are not often used or may not receive a lot of direct sunlight. As the temperature and humidity rise outside, we often run our air conditioning unit more to compensate for the high heat. This juxtaposition of heat outside and cool air inside, can lead to condensation forming on your windows and running down onto wooden window frames, creating an environment for mold to grow. We recommend drying and cleaning your windows and their frames regularly if you notice moisture buildup. The next most common culprit for mold growths in the summer stem from runoff from air conditioning units. Typically, an AC unit will have a drain line that takes moisture away from the unit and towards a proper drainage system. However, older models can leak, leading to moisture getting in to crawl spaces and other hard to access areas of the home.
What should I do if I find mold?:
If you are unsure if you have a mold growth in your home, it is best to reach out to a company like SERVPRO that handles mold remediation in the Sioux Falls area. At SERVPRO of Sioux Falls, we are capable of performing mold tests and mold estimates. Our standard is to have a quote returned to you within two business days of a mold estimate. Should you need mold remediation services, SERVPRO is trained and has the necessary chemicals to treat your mold growth. Should any tear out and reconstruction work be needed, SERVPRO of Sioux Falls can handle the entire process from beginning to end!