- Isn't clean, disinfect and sanitize the same thing?
- Are there instructions to follow after my hard-surface floors are cleaned?
- Why should I get tile & grout professionally cleaned?
To the general public, these three terms — clean, disinfect, sanitize — are often used interchangeably. However, to a cleaning professional, these terms are not the same and can refer to very different outcomes. According to Public Health Canada and the U.S. Center for Disease Control, the definition of these terms are as follows:Clean
This refers to the removal of visible dirt and debris through the use of soap or detergent and water. While this process may remove germs from surfaces, it does not necessarily kill the germs. This said, the mere act of germ removal lowers their numbers and does help in reducing the risk of infection.Disinfect
With disinfection, germs are actually KILLED on surfaces through the use of chemicals. This process does not necessarily clean dirty surfaces or remove germs, but by killing germs on a surface after cleaning, it can further lower the risk of spreading infection.Sanitize
Lastly, the term sanitize has its roots in the word “Sanitary” which is defined as “of or relating to health”. When you keep this in mind, to sanitize means lowering the number of germs on surfaces to a safe level, as judged by public health standards or requirements. This can be achieved by either cleaning and/or disinfecting surfaces to lower the risk of spreading infection.
Not to confuse you anymore, but as an added bonus, we’ll also define the term “sterilize” which is the process in which chemicals are used to kill ALL microbial life including bacteria, viruses, spores and fungi. This is a process that is very rarely undertaken in a facility outside of a healthcare setting.
So, for a cleaning professional, our disinfection process for your commercial facility is routinely a 2-step process - We clean first, then disinfect - in order to provide you with a sanitary facility in which to work!
Before you walk on your floors, it’s best to allow drying time of at least 4 hours but we recommend 8 hours. Be cautious and protect floors from getting wet for 24 hours after application of either finish as it is not yet thoroughly cured. You can return furniture to your floors (with suggested use of felt pads) after 24 hours and return rugs to floors after 24 hours.
High traffic gradually dulls the floors and the grout becomes dark with dirt. Regular mopping only removes surface-level dirt and often leaves residual dirt in the grooves of the grout. This is particularly troublesome if your tile flooring has not been properly sealed as grout is highly porous.