3 Things to Know about Disinfecting and Sanitizing Because . . . Here comes cold and flu season!

Speed Cleaning - Know the difference between disinfect and sanitize

Cue the “Theme from Jaws . . .  the viruses are sneaking up on us! We often think of something as clean if it looks clean. But there’s that other kind of “clean” that we have to be vigilant about at all times and especially during cold and flu season. Today we’re talking about hard surface hygiene, a term borrowed from the American Cleaning Institute. You know – countertops, toilets, door and cabinet handles, floors, keyboards, etc.

Consider this, most people use disinfectants incorrectly.  This can cause a “superbug” that is 12 times more resistant to antibiotics by spraying and wiping  with harsh chemicals that only kill the weakest bacteria, leaving behind the strongest, toughest germs, research shows.  The surviving strong mutate and multiply, creating a super bug environment that is even harder to clean.  Here are some facts:

  1. Pathogens (illness-causing microorganisms) are invisible, so when you clean a surface with the intent to kill as much of the nasty things as possible, wipe down the entire surface. Be thorough. Have you ever seen a demonstration of how far vapor from a sneeze or droplets from a flushed toilet travel?
  2. There is indeed a difference between disinfecting and sanitizing. Disinfectants, which can also be called antimicrobials, kill most pathogenic microorganisms when used correctly.  The problem is, disinfectants are rarely used correctly, creating a worse environment rather than eliminating the problem.  Sanitizers kill some of the pathogens, reducing their numbers to a safer level.
  3. Remove visible dirt/food/spills on a surface before disinfecting or sanitizing to give the pathogen-killing agent the best chance to work on the surface itself. Or be liberal with your use of a cleaner with a pathogen-killing agent built in. Check the product label for how long the surface must stay wet in order to kill bacteria and viruses.  This is where most products fail when dwell time is ignored.  Dwell time is just not practical for most general cleaning, therefore making things worse rather than better.

For every day cleaning, the safest method of cleaning up spills, crumbs, and household grime is to use a nontoxic all purpose cleaner like Red Juice and a microfiber towel.   Our heavy duty cleaner – degreaser gets the job done without harsh chemicals that only kill the weakest bacteria.  The microfiber towel picks up the grime and holds it in the towel, rather than smearing it around the surface, like when paper towels are used in cleaning.  For a healthier way to disinfect tile floors, grout, showers, and more consider our amazing steam cleaner, the Vapamore Steam Cleaner.

We’ve talked in previous posts about the fact that microfiber cloths are so incredible that they even pick up bacteria and viruses. SpeedCleaning.com has wonderful, high-quality cloths and dusters that last through hundreds of washings. That makes microfiber a good choice for cleaning around the house during cold and flu season.

Oh, and don’t forget a flu shot. We hope you and your family stay well! So, do you feel armed and ready???

1 Comment
  1. My husband did see one of those videos showing the spray from a toilet that is invisible to the naked eye. He’s so paranoid about the germs that he refuses to leave his toothbrush in the bathroom because the kids in the house flush the toilet without putting the lid down!

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