Since germs are a part of our everyday life and can be found virtually anywhere, it’s important to ensure you’re spending time in clean and safe environments. While cleaning thoroughly can be a great way to help you avoid getting sick, habits like haphazardly wiping down surfaces and washing your hands with water only can lead to exposure. As professional biohazard cleaners, it’s our job to know how to thoroughly clean, disinfect, and sanitize spaces at Xtreme Cleaners. To help you understand the importance of proper disinfection, we’ve put together this helpful guide.
Difference between cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting
Many people use the term cleaning loosely when they are actually referring to sanitizing or disinfecting something. Cleaning refers to the removal of dirt, dust, crumbs, and germs from surfaces and can be done using soap or detergent and water. Cleaning doesn’t always kill germs altogether, but it does help reduce the amount left behind. Sanitizing can be done by cleaning, disinfecting, or both, and refers to the lowering of germs to a safe level. Since some sanitizing agents can be harmful if ingested or touched, the agents used vary based on the surface and need and must be handled with care.
Finally, disinfecting uses chemicals in order to kill germs on surfaces and objects. To do so, these chemicals are extremely powerful and can be very dangerous if not handled properly. Some common examples of disinfectants include alcohols, chlorine, bleach, hydrogen peroxide, phenolics, and more. Because some disinfectants can be toxic if handled incorrectly, certain ones may only be available to trained professionals.
Harmful germs can be transmitted easily
Because germs are often undetectable to the human eye, it can be difficult to know if a space is really clean and therefore safe. Disinfecting kills any remaining germs of surfaces and therefore helps reduce the spread of germs. If you have the proper chemicals at home to disinfect a surface, it’s critical that you read every instruction on the label, so you don’t put yourself in any unnecessary danger. Since every disinfectant has different uses and methods, it’s important that the appropriate one is chosen based on several factors, especially the type of surface to the disinfected.
Hazards to be mindful of
The CDC has very specific guidelines when it comes to using chemical disinfectants because, they can be harmful if they are unsafely handled and/or improperly used. In addition to selecting the correct disinfectant based on the type of surface, their guidelines include understanding all potential health hazards, using all recommended protective measures, following manufacturers’ instructions, using the proper concentration and application method, and making sure to follow the required contact time.
In addition to properly using and handling chemical disinfectants, it’s vital that you never mix disinfectants with cleaners, other disinfectants, or other chemicals. This could result in something as simple as an ineffective disinfecting agent or as extreme as the release of a dangerous toxic gas.
When to bring in professional help
Biohazard cleanup companies like Xtreme Cleaners are experts in properly cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting spaces so they can be returned to you safely. They will also advise how long the space should remain vacant after disinfection until it’s safe and help you feel confident and comfortable at home. It’s important to have a professional company disinfect any areas that may be dangerous due to infections and other hazards left behind from crime scenes, accidental deaths, and other traumatic events. If you or someone you know needs professional disinfecting services in Louisiana, call us at (800) 524-9591 today.