For professional cleaners, the health and wellbeing of a building and its occupants is a top priority. According to Forbes, employee absenteeism costs US companies billions of dollars each year, and illness is one of its leading causes. By adhering to the two-step process of cleaning, cleaning pros can significantly reduce the number of disease-causing pathogens in a facility, creating a cleaner, safer environment for all building stakeholders. In this blog, we will discuss what the two-step cleaning process is, why it is so important, and what it means for cleaning pros.
Step One: Clean First
Step One: Clean First
The Centers for Disease Control and Infections (CDC) defines cleaning as the removal of unwanted matter (e.g., soil and contaminants) from surfaces and objects. This is typically accomplished through the use of diluted cleaning solutions or detergents combined with friction from a cleaning implement like a cleaning cloth or brush. However, to understand what proper cleaning looks like, we need to pay close attention to one word in the above definition: removal. It’s important to understand that cleaning is less about killing germs, and more about the removal of the unwanted matter. If unwanted matter is not removed, it will serve as harborage to dangerous pathogens, protecting them from the killing power of disinfectants.
For the first step of cleaning, a low-toxicity sodium hydroxide cleaning solution applied with friction will dislodge soils and other unwanted matter, preparing the surface for the next step, disinfection.
Step Two: Disinfect After
Step Two: Disinfect
While cleaning solutions help to reduce populations of germs through combining the power of friction and the removal unwanted germs and matter, cleaning solutions aren’t designed to kill germs. That’s where the second step of the two-step cleaning process comes in. Disinfectants are designed specifically to kill germs, and, when used correctly, disinfectants can help control dangerous pathogens like listeria, E. coli, streptococcus, norovirus, and many others.
One may wonder, why don’t we simply clean and disinfect in one step? It sounds like a great idea. In fact, some cleaning solutions are even sold as combination cleaners and disinfectants, but don’t be taken in. Only by effectively removing unwanted matter then disinfecting the surface can you ensure cleaner and healthier results.
Pass on Harsh Chemicals
Many harsh chemical disinfectants can be harmful to use. They have been linked to illness and disease amongst cleaning staff. They require precise mixing and dilution. They are difficult to store, handle, and can have a very short shelf life. Because of this, we recommend using a safer alternative like PathoCide. PathoCide is a low-toxicity disinfectant (PathoCide is listed by OSHA and GHS as a Category IV (least toxic) vs. bleach as a Category I (most toxic)). PathoCide is dispensed as a ready-to-use solution, has a 30-day shelf life, and is more effective that most disinfectants with contact times of mere seconds to achieve control of many harmful pathogens.*
Avoid harsh chemicals when cleaning and disinfecting
Two Steps, Many Benefits
Professional cleaners who use the two-step process of cleaning will help to ensure that building occupants are safer and healthier. By removing disease-causing pathogens and reducing employee absenteeism, they will also contribute to the bottom line of buildings and businesses they serve.
*For detailed information on PathoCide’s efficacy and contact times, click here.