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Cleaning versus disinfecting: There’s a difference, and we need both right now

Face mask.
Face mask.

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It’s hard to remember a time in which it was such a priority to make sure our homes, places of work and anywhere else we must go be its absolute cleanest.

Although, when we say cleaning, we’re also referring to disinfecting, and there is a difference.

"Disinfecting refers to using chemicals to kill germs on surfaces,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “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.”

For example, the CDC encourages everyone to clean surfaces using soap and water -- especially frequently touched surfaces like doorknobs, toilets, countertops, sinks and more. After cleaning with soap and water, the CDC says to then go over those same areas using some sort of disinfectant.

“While organizations continue to operate during this critical time, the concept of space planning can be implemented,” said Douglas Henley, vice president of Owens Realty Serices and industry specialist. “To ensure the safety of staff who continue to work in your office, look for ways to spread out the seating and workspaces of your labor force. This may include temporarily relocating staff to offices and cubicles that were once adjacent to one other. Additionally, remember to continually disinfect those high touch point shared business devices such as copiers and mail machines to reduce the concern of infection.”

Owens Realty Services, which works in brokerage, investments and management, started its own Housekeeping and Environmental Services Division after realizing many cleaning companies weren’t getting the job done well.

The Housekeeping and Environmental Services Division specializes in cleaning and disinfecting buildings through implementation of best practices, green cleaning products, janitorial training programs and a quality assurance program that is dedicated to continuous improvement.

The company has done exceedingly well in its business — so much so, that a recent study by a consulting firm that specializes in greening the cleaning process, confirmed that through this cleaning process, the following results were found:

  • Total illnesses declined 24%.
  • Number of doctor visits declined 34%.
  • Number of courses of antibiotics declined 24%.

The Owens team uses the most effective chemicals, with the most efficient kill rate on the market for disinfection and prevention of cross contamination. In addition, the team uses microfiber cleaning cloths and mops, which are color coded in order to adhere to global color coding standards high risk areas, specialty cleaning such as labs areas, kitchen and food service and general cleaning areas.

“Our team intimately understands the distinct difference between cleaning and disinfecting,” the company said. “We leave each building not only thoroughly disinfected but cleaned at the highest level of service. We ensure all surfaces are free of residue before utilizing hospital-grade technology to chemically fog or manually disinfect. Chemical fogging provides 360-degree coverage as the most powerful, efficient, and cost-efficient disinfection treatment.

The chemicals the company uses are all EPA approved, and its disinfecting procedures adhere to all CDC and manufacturer recommendations to kill 99.99% of germs.

“As cleaning industry professionals, during this (coronavirus) pandemic, we understand our responsibility to the community at large, we care, and we connect,” Henley said. “Our immediate response has been to establish disinfection teams that will prove essential to the many organizations who need our services, ensuring their place of work is safe for their critical operations to continue.”

The Owens team has an extensive local client roster in the Orlando area, including major theme parks, stadiums and convention centers. Click here to see all the types of buildings the company has experience in cleaning and disinfecting.

Are you in need of a professional who you can confidently trust to clean and disinfect your building? Have more questions? Contact Isabelle Owens, vice president of the company’s global marketing and communications, by clicking here to send her a direct email.