A note about commercial cleaning during Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Sanitize your home like a professional commercial cleaner

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With so much more time now spent indoors, homeowners might want to get best cleaning practices from a professional cleaning company that cleans tens of thousand of square foot each year.

An executive at the Santa Cabrini hospital of Montreal said the first thing a person should do when they’re coming into their home is to take their shoes off and, preferentially, clothing too and that you should keep your outdoor clothing separate from the indoor ones at all times. “Basically, have outdoor clothes … and indoor clothes so that your are kind of trying to keep that separated,” our source said. “The minute you come into the house, once you remove clothing and shoes, wash your hands. The goal is to minimize what’s coming into the house and then trying to keep the house as clean and sanitized as possible.”  

Jeremy Laufer, Group leader at MOM Cleaning, a leading commercial cleaning company in Montreal, said the best way to keep your home tidy and sanitized is to ask a cleaning company to do the initial job, but for those who are going to be doing it on their own, please be very careful and watch out for the dilution instructions on the label. Indeed, his professional cleaning company uses a hospital-grade hydrogen peroxide disinfectant cleaner called Oxivir Plus for all hard surfaces. This type of strong concentrate is very aggressive and is harmful to properties, animals and humans if the dilution is not properly done!

“Users that are not from a professional cleaning company, may want to do a little research to see how to use the disinfectant properly”. Indeed, he continues “We usually cover a surface with the diluted cleaner, let it sit for four to five minutes and then wipe it down, and then we do a final wipe, of course, in a commercial setting. We want to make sure that we’re doing a final wipe.”

Once you’re inside your house, Laufer said, it’s important to think about the places and things you touch most often, as they’ll need the most cleaning. This can include door handles, light switches, remote controls, desks, arms of chairs, tables before eating, sinks, faucets, toilets, countertops and toys.

In addition to cleaning all these necessary areas, Laufer said to keep an eye on whatever your hands touch and to clean those surfaces as well.

“Once you get your home disinfected, make sure you wash your hands frequently,” he said. “Follow the guidelines — 20 seconds, soap and water, agitate and rinse off. Hand sanitizer can also be used at the same time. At home, I’ll wash my hands and then I’ll put a little sanitizer on my hands just for a little extra protection.”

Laufer concludes on an important note for office cleaning as well as home cleaning: if a surface is not cleaned first, the efficiency of the disinfection can be reduced. Indeed, cleaning removes dirt, organic matter and visible soils, all of which interfere with microbial inactivation. Sanitizing a workplace takes place after the cleaning step (as it is most effective on a minimally soiled surface) and aims at reducing micro-organisms to levels considered safe from a public health viewpoint. Indeed, the physical action of scrubbing with detergents and disinfectants and then rinsing removes largest microorganisms. 

He recommends cleaning an area with warm water and soap first, and then afterward using diluted Clorox or Lysol to disinfect. As cleaning products are starting to become in short supply, a diluted household bleach would work as well as a disinfectant, but make sure to have a fresh bottle of bleach, as it starts to lose potency and effectiveness after 30 days. You should write the date of opening the bottle bleach before first usage. CDC recommends just a simple 1/3 cup (of bleach) per gallon of water, that is a substantially reduced concentration than for other things (like mold).

Using common sense during this time is important, and boxing up nonessential items to clear off your counter might be for the best. Clear surfaces are more easily cleaned, so get rid of the clutter to allow for an easy daily disinfecting. Same with the kitchen and bathroom that are critical store everything that is not useful (including the toaster that is used 5 minutes per day) and just leave soap and a box of tissue.

For more insights, kindly visit the Health Canada website.

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