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Cleaning Vs. Sanitization Vs. Disinfection: What Does Your Business Need?

Germs are everywhere. Some are good, and some are downright harmful. The latter can spread everything from the common cold to influenza and even more severe diseases throughout your business.

To keep the risk of transmission low for your business, a routine cleaning plan should be put in place to keep your management, employees, and customers safe and healthy – and avoid hefty fines from OSHA.

And no matter if you’re looking to outsource your cleaning to a Carol Stream commercial cleaning company or keep things in-house, it’s important to know what cleaning methods your business needs to keep your community safe.

Using our decades of experience creating commercial cleaning checklists and janitorial cleaning plans for hundreds of different warehouses, offices, and businesses throughout Carol Stream, ServiceMaster Commercial Cleaning Services Carol Stream is here to explain the differences between each of them and help you decide what’s best for your commercial space.

A business owner disinfecting an office table with disinfecting solution and paper towels.

What’s The Difference Between Cleaning, Sanitizing, & Disinfecting?

Some people believe that cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting are all the same, but this is a common misconception. While they may all fall under the same umbrella of commercial cleaning, they each have their own standards, processes, supplies, and outcomes.

General Commercial Cleaning

Cleaning services will remove debris from various surfaces throughout your business, including dirt, dust, and crumbs vis dusting, vacuuming, mopping, and wiping. General commercial cleaning services are less about infection prevention and more about appearance protection.

Sanitization or disinfection should also be completed alongside general cleaning services to ensure a thorough clean for your business. Of course, this doesn't mean that the detergents used during cleaning don't remove germs. Some are wiped away, but other germs and viruses will still be left behind.

Commercial Sanitization Services

While things may look clean, bacteria may still be abundant. Sanitization’s main goal is to lower the number of germs and bacteria on surfaces to a level that is safe for public health, according to the guidelines set by specific workplace and public health guidelines.

For example, sanitization is required in commercial kitchens and restaurant settings to reduce cross-contamination of bacteria and eliminate germs after regular cleaning.

There are two main methods of sanitization:

  • Heat – This could look like using a dishwasher to eliminate harmful bacteria from forks, mugs, and cooking pans (171°F for at least 30 seconds)
  • Chemical – This could look like immersing utensils and cutting boards into a sanitization liquid (chlorine, iodophors, quaternary ammonium compounds)

Sanitization should never be treated as a replacement for cleaning. A sanitizing method should always be used after the regular cleaning process is done.

Commercial Disinfection Services

Disinfecting uses some of the same methods regular cleaning includes but relies heavily on the use of disinfectants, primarily made up of a bleach or alcohol solution. The main goal with disinfection services is to eliminate nearly 100% of germs on your surfaces and in your business, including bacteria and viruses.

Some items that should be disinfected regularly throughout your business include:

  • Soft surfaces: rugs, carpets, drapes, towels, linens, etc.
  • Electronics: tablets, keyboards, remotes, ATMs, point of sale systems, etc.
  • High-touch surfaces: elevator buttons, handrails, doorknobs, light switches, etc.

While viruses will only last on surfaces for a few hours, bacteria will survive on its own for days and even months at a time, so there’s no telling what may be surviving on your handrails, light switches, keyboard, chairs, and more without a proper disinfection plan.

How Do I Determine the Best Cleaning Method for My Property?

The specific type of bacteria, germ, and virus control your business needs can depend on a few key aspects:

  • How much traffic your business receives
  • The industry you’re in
  • How well your business is ventilated
  • Current public health risks
  • How big your business is

Answering these questions and following any specific guidelines set forth in your industry is the best way to determine what specific cleaning services will need to be done for your business and the health and safety of your employees, customers, and visitors.

Seek Out Guidance from a Local Commercial Cleaning Company

Of course, if you’re unsure how often your business should be cleaned, whether sanitization, disinfection, or cleaning services should be done, or when each cleaning task should be completed, turn to a professional commercial cleaning company.

ServiceMaster Commercial Cleaning Services Carol Stream is trusted by countless businesses throughout Carol Stream to clean, disinfect, and sanitize their business. And we’re ready to become your go-to source for all your commercial cleaning questions, needs, and requests!

When outsourcing your commercial cleaning to a professional company, you’ll be able to think less about cleaning knowing:

  • The correct EPA, CDC, and OHSA approved and recommended products are being used
  • A team of cleaning professionals will ensure every corner of your business is cared for
  • Daily, weekly, or monthly janitorial services will be done to preserve your properties
  • The proper cleaning, sanitization, and disinfection plan will be put into place

With ServiceMaster Commercial Cleaning Services Carol Stream’s commercial cleaning services, you’ll be able to keep your employees healthy. This allows them to keep up their productivity, boost their happiness by showing you care about their health, and even save you money on paying out sick time.

Ready to see all that ServiceMaster Commercial Cleaning Services Carol Stream can do for your nearby business? Contact us online to get started on your free commercial cleaning quote!