Everyone’s awareness of cleanliness and sanitation has increased over the past few years. During cold and flu season, we’re more aware of the germs around us. It’s on our mind while we drop kids off at school, run errands, and especially when all gather at home as we try to protect ourselves and our families from getting sick. Cleaning and sanitizing are often used interchangeably, but they refer to different things. Let’s review what each of these are before we dive into why they’re important so you can best protect your family. 

Cleaning

Cleaning means removing visible dirt, dust, and other debris from workplace and facility surfaces. Usually this is done with a wet cloth or wipe to wipe down surfaces, either with water alone or with soap. For example, cleaning off your dinner table with a wet rag. 

Generally, cleaning surfaces doesn’t kill germs but could remove some of them. Cleaning also helps sanitizing be more effective. 

Sanitizing

Sanitizing refers to lowering the amount of germs to a “safe level.” Workplaces have a specific “safe level” but homes aren’t required to meet certain standards like restaurants or hospitals. According to the CDC, sanitizing or disinfecting to reduce the spread of disease at home is likely not needed unless there are sick people in your home. As an example, you could wipe down your counter using antibacterial wipes or use a chemical disinfectant to sanitize doorknobs. 

How Germs Spread

Germs and viruses spread when someone touches something that is contaminated and then touches their eyes, nose, or mouth. Droplets from a cough or sneeze of an infected person move through the air and carry viruses with them. A person can become infected by touching a surface where these droplets land before touching their eyes, mouth, or nose. In addition to cleaning and sanitizing, frequent hand washing prevents virus transmission from infected surfaces.

Your Home Workspace

In addition to your cleaning germy places at home like kitchens and bathrooms, there are other areas to consider. If you work from home or have a shared home computer, you know how much time and how many fingers touch the computer, mouse, etc. Regularly clean and sanitize cell phones, keyboards, mouse, and other frequently touched surfaces. 

Click here for some more specific places in your home that are known to be full of germs.

Have Cleaning and Sanitizing Questions? 

If you’d like help cleaning and sanitizing your home, give us a call so we can help keep you and your family safe. Contact us today to discuss how we can help!