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Cleaning, Sanitizing, Disinfecting: What’s the Difference?

With the rise of COVID-19, there’s a greater awareness of the need for cleanliness, and increased demand for quality house cleaning companies in Doylestown, PA. However, not everyone is clear on the distinction between these crucial steps to making sure your home is safe.

When looking to keep your home clean, it’s essential to recognize that “clean” can mean many different things, depending on how you’re thinking about it. That’s why it’s important to have a solid understanding of all three steps to a safe and healthy home: cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting.

What’s the Difference?

When talking about “cleaning,” people rarely specify how they’re actually cleaning a surface, which can lead to a false sense of security.

When your home is “clean” in the technical sense, it just means there’s no dirt on the surfaces. This could mean tidying up, dusting shelves, or wiping down countertops so that they have the general look of being pristine.

However, if a surface is “clean,” that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s clear of germs and viruses. Reducing the presence of pathogens is only possible through sanitizing and disinfecting the surfaces.

Which Should I Use?

Sanitizing a surface can be just as appropriate as disinfecting a surface, but they have very different purposes.

When you sanitize a surface, it means you’re reducing the number of germs on the surface to a safer level, according to public guidelines. The bacteria can still be present, but there’s less of a chance that someone will become sick if they touch it. Due to this thinning of bacteria, it’s typically better to sanitize surfaces that aren’t going to see a lot of bacterial buildup.

Disinfection, by contrast, involves using chemicals that kill both bacteria and viruses. It’s the “nuclear option” of your cleaning arsenal and requires you to use an EPA-certified chemical to eliminate the presence of all potential pathogens.

Cleaning is still a vital part of this process, though; debris and dust can make disinfection and sanitizing solutions less effective by giving germs a place to hide from the destructive chemicals.

The Importance of Proper Disinfection

Disinfection is the step that will provide the most protection against both bacteria and viruses, but that doesn’t mean that you should apply it uniformly throughout your home. It may be counter-intuitive, but the improper use of disinfectants can actually lead to the creation of superbugs and a false sense of security.

Generally speaking, disinfectants should be used in areas of the homes where there is a high concentration of pathogens that can make you sick, like on food preparation surfaces, in the bathroom, and other hard surfaces. Proper disinfection requires you to follow the instructions on the container, with some products requiring you to keep a surface visibly wet for up to five minutes or more!

Failing to follow these instructions, or using disinfectants on the wrong kinds of surfaces can lead to illness-causing organisms remaining on the surface and mutating. Using strong disinfectants on your floor as part of your weekly cleaning routine, for example, may make you feel better in the short term, but could actually lead to an increased risk of infection either through a small section of floor that dried too quickly or because the bacteria is starting to become resistant to the disinfection technique.

Once you understand the difference between cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting a surface, it’s easier to apply the right technique to the right surface. For more tips on cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting your home, or to get a quote from a leading cleaning company in Bucks County, call us today!

How to Keep Dust to a Minimum

Dust is a problem that everyone faces when it comes to cleaning their homes. It’s something that every good cleaning company in Bucks County pays attention to because dust buildup can’t be avoided. It comes from a combination of dead skin cells, old cloth fibers, and other debris that either form within your home or is carried in from outside it.

However, dust can still cause a significant problem for people with allergies. So, what can you do about the dust?

Although it’s impossible to eliminate dust, that doesn’t mean that you can’t reduce its presence in your house. Short of sealing everything in its own plastic bubble, here are some steps to reduce the dust levels in your home:

Use a Doormat

It probably isn’t surprising that dust can come from the outside, but it’s important to have a rough-fiber doormat outside your front door for people to use, even if their shoes aren’t muddy. The reason for this is that any debris on the shoes can quickly become an ingredient in your home’s dust mixture.

Institute a “No Shoes” Policy

Similar to providing a doormat for you or your guests to use, it’s probably better to institute a “no shoe” policy in your home altogether. The reason such a system is effective is that it helps eliminate any debris your doormat couldn’t get to will end up mixed with your home’s air.

The key to a successful “no shoes” policy is to provide a shoe rack for the shoes and a few pairs of slippers that you or guests can use when they enter. This keeps all the potential dust in one area for easy cleaning.

Vacuum Everything

Vacuuming is a useful tool against dust, but many people often mistake swiping a vacuum over a surface for effectively vacuum cleaning the surface.

The most effective use of a vacuum is to run it slowly and smoothly over the surface you’re vacuuming to allow the suction time to pick up the dust particles.

In addition to getting the tempo right, it’s essential to ensure that you’re using the right vacuum attachment for the vacuuming surface. For example, the tool you use for furniture might be different from the tool you use for your bed or drapes. Using one tool interchangeably may feel like the most efficient use of your time, but the reality is that it’s more likely to lead to you kicking up dust rather than eliminating it.

Dust may be unavoidable, but it can still be managed. Minch Professional Cleaning Services, one of the leading house cleaning companies serving Doylestown, PA, and the surrounding area, has the expertise and experience to help you breathe easier in your home. Give us a call today!

How do You “Spring Clean?”

“Spring cleaning” is a common term that is thrown around as the seasons change and you begin to dream about the first day of spring. It comes from a long tradition of deep cleaning following the long winter months, when your home has an opportunity to collect dust in the least likely of places.

Spring cleaning may feel like an overwhelming challenge to the modern homeowner. Luckily, as a well-established house cleaning company in Doylestown, PA, the Minch Professional Cleaning Services team has some tips to help make sure that your seasonal deep cleaning leaves your home feeling as fresh as a spring breeze.

Downsize

It’s not uncommon for people to accumulate things they don’t use anymore. You may have had a special occasion to wear that outfit, but you haven’t worn it in months, or maybe you’re holding on to scented candles that people have gifted you over the years, but you haven’t really had a chance to use them.

Whatever the case, spring is often the best time to donate, sell, or otherwise give away possessions that you no longer use and are sources of anxiety more than fond memories.

Some areas that are ripe for downsizing around this time are:

* Closets
* Garages
* Basements
* Bookshelves
* Filing cabinets
* The pantry

Once you downsize, you’ll likely be able to see where to focus your efforts for the next phase of your spring cleaning: getting rid of the dust.

Dust

Dust collects over the winter for a variety of reasons — there are more people inside, fewer openings to the outside, and dryer conditions can lead to chapped skin — and that means it’s a crucial part of any spring cleaning effort. Wiping away the dust on fans, trapped in cobwebs, or collected on floors should be the first step to getting your home ready for spring.

While these obvious areas should be dusted, spring cleaning should be a time when the less-obvious areas are dusted too. Taking the time to dust crown moldings, baseboards, light fixtures, and windows, for example, will go a long way toward creating a space you feel comfortable living in throughout the spring and summer.

Disinfect

Once you’ve dusted your home, top to bottom, it’s time to sanitize every surface. Sanitizing your home includes the standard things – like floors, countertops, and cabinets – but also windows, doorknobs, and linens. Springtime should be one of those times of the year when you clean curtains, comforters, and pillows; even your mattress should get its turn with a vacuum cleaner to help you start spring off fresh!

To get more tips on how to plan your spring cleaning routine, or to schedule an appointment with an experienced Bucks County cleaning company, give Minch Professional Cleaning Services a call today.

Tips for Making “Deep Cleans” Easier

Springtime puts people in the mind of spring cleaning, but deep cleans aren’t limited to seasonal changes. Many of the house cleaning companies in Doylestown, PA, know how to create that feeling that comes with knowing your house is spotless down to the last inch.

Deep cleans are a part of life – they help you feel more comfortable in your home and reduce the presence of dirt and allergens in your home – but that doesn’t mean the process needs to be complicated. Investing in a maintenance program will make deep-cleanings far easier to accomplish.

Here are some tips to make giving your home a deep clean a cinch:

Put Back What You Use

It may sound like something obvious, but many people don’t think about this when getting out of bed or putting dishes in the sink; more often, there’s an assumption that “put back what you use” applies to big things, like the bike you took for a ride, or the seasoning for the Sunday roast you took out.

In reality, this idea applies to all aspects of your life, including:

* Making your bed when you wake up
* Doing your dishes after you cook
* Putting shoes away when you take them off
* Taking dirty laundry to the laundry room
* Folding clean laundry when it’s done

Something as simple as keeping your possessions in their proper places pays off very well when it comes time to give your home a deep clean because it sets the stage for you to work through each of your rooms regularly.

Go Room by Room

You may think that you need to spend your Saturdays cleaning up your house after a week of work and errands to maintain your home in between deep cleanings, but that’s far from the case. Instead, set a schedule throughout the week that allows you to clean up, one room at a time, in short bursts.

Breaking the tasks up into bite-sized chunks not only makes the chore more manageable but also helps make the next deep-cleaning all the easier.

Embrace “Surface Cleanings”

Whether it’s dusting the shelves or wiping down the kitchen counters, taking the time to clean the surfaces of your home will lead to less dust and dirt generally, and reduce the amount of work deep cleaning demands. When going room-to-room throughout your week, pay special attention to the surfaces that collect dust, or are likely to become dirty quickly. Surfaces that become dirty quickly are most frequently found in areas like the kitchen and bathroom, where spills or a bit of toothpaste can cause stains and crusting to occur.

If you want more tips about the best way to maintain your home between deep cleanings or to schedule an appointment with a home cleaning company in Bucks County, call Minch Professional Cleaning Services today.

What’s the Best Way to Clean Grout?

You might wonder about the way that some house cleaning companies in the Bucks County area manage to make every inch of a home look good as new after cleaning. The trick is to pay attention to the tiniest details, like the grout that helps make the tile in your kitchen and bathroom stand out.

Some people may overlook the lines between their tiles because it’s so common to see things like mold and stains appear there. However, it’s not impossible to make sure that your grout is always looking its best. With the right tools and some elbow grease, it’s not as hard as you think to keep your tiles looking their best.

The Cleanser
Tiles are glazed and are made to withstand water and cleansers, while still looking great. On the other hand, the grout between it is porous and often absorbs what gets spilled on it or provides a great space for mold to grow. This also means that using the wrong cleaner could damage your grout, making the mold and mildew the least of your worries.

Always start with warm water when trying to clean your grouting, and if that works, then there’s no need to turn to harsher chemicals to get the job done. However, sometimes it’s necessary to use things like vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, or even bleach in some cases to make your kitchens and bathrooms shine like new again.

As with any cleaning project, it’s best to try out a chemical solution on a section of grout that’s out of sight the first time that you use it.

The Tools
Whenever you’re cleaning, it’s important to have the right tools on hand to get the job done. With grout, you can typically get by with a good bristle brush or a sponge; if you’re using chemicals, using the proper safety precautions like wearing a pair of rubber gloves might be the only thing you have to add.

It’s possible to use other tools to help you in restoring your grout. For example, you can use sandpaper to scrub out the crevices between the tiles, or a portable steam cleaner to get rid of particularly persistent stains.

The Maintenance Plan
As with all things, taking steps to keep dirt from building up in the grouting in your home is the best way to keep it clean. Something as simple as taking time each week to wipe down your grout with a little rubbing alcohol can go a long way towards keeping mold and mildew from growing.
For more tips on how to keep your grout looking great – or schedule an appointment with an expert house cleaning service in Buckingham PA – call Minch Professional Cleaning Services today.