Facilitate a Prosperous and Safe Environment with This Routine
Keeping your environment clean and disinfected has never been more important than it is right now. Going through this pandemic together, we've learned a lot of lessons and new practices that maybe we weren't aware of before.
As a society, we've absolutely become much more conscious of our surroundings and ourselves. Of course, there's masks, hand sanitizer and social distancing, but what other proactive approaches are we taking in the fight against COVID-19?
In order to accomplish the safest indoor areas as possible, it’s important to do everything within your capabilities to keep COVID-19 from not only entering, but from living on surfaces as well. Disinfecting your environment on a regular basis is the most effective way to protect the ones around you.
Whether your goal is to safeguard your family or your employees, Fresh Tech Maid is your expert, providing you with the most comprehensive breakdown of how to properly disinfect your indoor surfaces. After reading this blog, you'll have a deeper understanding of how important this is and how you can easily implement these steps into your daily routine.
Are you ready to become a professional COVID-19 killer?
Over A Decade of Cleaning and Disinfecting, We're the Experts
Since the pandemic began, our mission has been centered around finding ways to be part of the solution. In order to give out best contribution to this societal issue, we will not only conduct thorough disinfecting services for our clients, but also educate everyone, customers or not, on how you can achieve this as well.
Our staff has taken on so many great challenges that have come from operating in this time. From waiting in lines for our bi-weekly COVID-19 tests, sometimes for 4+ hours, to holding the highest standards in PPE, there's nothing Fresh Tech Maid won't do to continue serving our amazing community.
With over a decade of serving clients, we’ve earned recognitions that don’t come easily and truly demand the best service. Among these are the seal of excellence from ARCSI (Association of Residential Cleaning Services International), certifications from IICRC in home cleaning, chosen as the #1 maid service by the best pick report as well as top ratings in Yelp, Angie’s List, Google and the BBB!
So, with all that said, let's dive in!
Microorganisms VS. Humans - A Rocky History
The year was 1846, a Hungarian doctor by the name of Ignaz Semmelweis was facing one of the greatest challenges known to man at the time. In the Vienna hospital that Semmelweis worked at, women were dying at an alarming rate during childbirth from perpetual fever. At first, it was believed that this was being caused by bad air or evil spirits, but Semmelweis wasn't convinced by this theory.
Through A/B testing, Semmelweis was able to determine that the reason so many women were dying was because doctors working with cadavers in the morgue were also delivering babies, without washing their hands. He ordered all of his doctors to not only wash hands, but also disinfect them using a chlorine solution in between any procedure.
The results from this were groundbreaking, the death rate among women giving birth dropped dramatically, and now society had a better insight into how dangerous these microorganisms could be. This was the first real scientific proof that cleaning, and disinfecting could solve major issues faced by the human population.
You Can Prevent History from Repeating Itself
Times have certainly changed since 1846 and we have a much better understanding of germs and bacteria now, but these facts remain the same. Today, as we go through the COVID-19 pandemic together, this story has become increasingly relevant again.
When you practice regular disinfecting of your indoor environment, whether it be a home, office, storefront or facility, you're doing society a massive favor. Protect yourself, show those around you how much you care and become a critical part of the solution in the fight against COVID-19!
How to Maximize Your Effectiveness
It isn't enough to just spray a surface with disinfectant, then walk away. In order to truly maximize your effectiveness a deep cleaning will be necessary. Through this, you can ensure that with whatever method of disinfecting you choose, you'll be hitting every nook and cranny - there may be more than you think!
What Is Deep Cleaning
Deep cleaning can be defined as an exceptionally systematic cleaning of a particular area, with the intent to reduce contamination and control infection. Deep cleaning typically involves mechanical process - in which your cleaning strategy performs or operates as if a machine or by a machine.
For example, maybe your arm strength and elbow grease are enough to perform as if it were a machine, or the use of a vacuum, towel, duster, scrubber, razor or any other tool you choose - this would be mechanical, therefore is categorized as deep cleaning!
Pretty cool, right?
While deep cleaning can be very effective, and in our minds, should be practiced regularly, it's simply not enough to prevent microorganisms from reproducing.
Disinfecting Takes Your Cleaning A Step Further
To start off short and sweet, disinfecting will stop the reproduction of germs and microorganisms. When done properly, this is without a doubt the most effective way of ensuring a safe environment and preventing the spread of disease.
For disinfectants to be the most effective, it's crucial that the agent is left on the surface, undisturbed, for at least 10 minutes. This time frame allows your disinfecting agent to work its magic and make you are safer!
Disinfecting > Sanitizing
Maybe you weren't completely sure what disinfecting was before, but certainly you've heard of sanitizing before, right? Here's your reminder, sanitizing is an excellent method of cleaning and killing germs. However, sanitizing is not as powerful as disinfecting because it will not stop the microorganisms from reproducing.
While sanitizing lowers the number of germs to a "safe level" eventually, the small amount left behind will begin to reproduce and re-grow. Some industries, such as restaurants and schools, accept sanitizing as "good enough" because they will do it constantly, as in multiple times a day.
How Disinfectants Are Regulated
The two regulatory bodies are the EPA, Environmental Protection Agency, and the FDA, Food and Drug Administration. Manufacturers or disinfectants have to submit specific data about the safety and effectiveness of their product in order to get it registered.
You should ALWAYS make sure that whatever disinfectant you choose, it has been certified by either the EPA or FDA. If you don't feel like doing this research, that's ok because we've done it for you - our "miracle disinfectant" has been backed by the EPA for being safety and effectiveness.
Disinfectant Options - Your Tools to Success
There are two main categories for disinfectants - Chemical based and chemical free. For Fresh Tech Maid, we pride ourselves on the use of chemical free products when conducting regular home cleaning services. However, when it comes to disinfecting, in order to make sure you've eliminated all microorganisms and prevented them from re-growing, we recommend using a chemical based product.
If you choose to go the chemical free route - You can choose to use steam/ heat or ozone. Sure, your ironing machine can produce steam and heat, but there's no guarantee it'll be enough to actually kill the microorganisms.
So, you want to go the ozone route then? That's fine just be prepared to spend an upwards of $500 on a bulky ozone machine. For us, this just doesn't seem too practical.
The chemical-based route - As mentioned earlier, always make sure that your chemical of choice has been backed by either the FDA or EPA, this is your proof of safety and effectiveness! There are a number of different chemical-based products for you to choose from, let's name a few; alcohol, chlorine, hydrogen peroxide, HOCL and more...
PPE - Your Safety Gear
Protecting yourself should always be a top priority when disinfecting. However, there are many disinfectants that are safe enough to use without any PPE (just don't try rubbing it in your eyes or drinking it). In fact, the disinfecting agent that Fresh Tech Maid uses won't require any additional PPE, it's that safe!
If you choose to use a disinfectant that does require PPE, here are a few things you should have on hand:
- Eye Protection
For Your Home - Effective Disinfecting Routine
So, you're considering doing it yourself? That's great, let's break down what you'll need:
- Spray Bottle - $5
- Microfiber Towels - $15
- Vacuum - $100
- Duster - $20
- Cleaning solution (Consider Chemical Free for This) - $40
- Disinfecting Agent - $40
- Disinfecting Fogger - $100 - $300
While handling this task by yourself may seem appealing at first, it's extremely important to consider the cost of materials need in order to disinfect effectively. All in all, if you're starting out with no supplies at all, you'll be looking at a cost of about $370. Furthermore, we all know that time is money, right? Be prepared to spend at least 4 - 5 hours of your Saturday tackling this!
Think Systematically - If you plan on doing this on your own, you're going to need to start by deep cleaning, as mentioned earlier. For your initial clean, develop a system that works for you. We suggest using a top to bottom left to right approach with cleaning. With this, you won't need to retrace any steps or hinder forward progress in your cleaning. It's only natural for fresh Tech Maid to want to help you, so we've provided our 8 step system for kitchens and 6 step system for bedrooms and bathrooms - check it out here.
In order to reduce the amount of time you spend on your initial deep cleaning; we recommend doing this every 2 - 4 weeks. By doing so, the cleaning time will be cut a little bit shorter each time!
Start with High Traffic Areas - Always focus your attention on the high trafficked areas of your home first. These will need the most attention and likely require the most time. In the typical household, this will be places like the kitchen, bathrooms and hallways.
Take It A Step Further - Along with the high trafficked areas, it's important to pay special attention to high traffic items as well. These are the things in your household that get touched more than anything else. Consider items like baskets, the coffee maker, washing machine, kitchen appliances, T.V. remotes and others. When taking on this aspect get in the mindset of detailing.
Visible Dirt and Grime - While she may seem like the most obvious, it's not necessarily the easiest. Put that elbow grease to work and get ready to start hammering down on things like counter tops, doorknobs and light switches.
Soft Surfaces Get Extra Love - Microorganisms love to burrow in your sweet, fluffy and soft surfaces that you love so much. Pay special attention to your couch, blankets, carpets and towels - you may be able to simply vacuum some, but others will need to be laundered.
Now to The Disinfecting
If you choose to apply for disinfectant by hand, rather than using a fogging device, remember to consider if any PPE is necessary. We always recommend opening up your windows to allow for proper ventilation - sometimes the fumes can become overwhelming.
With your spray bottle in hand, spray from a distance to ensure an even coating on whatever surface you're targeting. As mentioned earlier, you'll want to start with those high touched items and then work your way down.
Using a Fogger - This is hands down the most effective way to disinfect your space. We highly recommend going this route, we even offer this service for our customers. A fogging device allows you to reach areas that you just simply can't get to by hand. Think about what might be living under your furniture, in between appliances and other crevasses - yeah, it's terrifying.
When using your fogger, you should ask the members of your household to briefly step outside or into another room. While many disinfectants are totally safe to use around people (ours is) it's best practice to have the space cleared out. Make sure you fill your fogging device up with enough solution to cover the entire house, you won't want to stop to refill.
In this process, you'll walk slowly throughout your home, moving the fogger up and down, and left to right to ensure 360° coverage. Once the fog has settled, there's no need to wipe the solution away. It's crucial that you allow the disinfectant to sit for at least 10 minutes before touching anything, this will allow it to work its magic!
Does This Seem Like A lot?
Here's a suggestion, have your kids try it out! More than likely they'll be amazed by a shiner power device, like a fogger, and will actually enjoy operating it. If they're still not convinced, try offering some compensation, perhaps $10 or a bag of chips, it's you call!
In Our Professional Opinion
Hire a maid service to handle this.
Plain and simple, not many people actually want to do this on their own. Not only can it become expensive with all of the supplies needs, but it's also time consuming.
With a maid service, like Fresh Tech Maid, you'll actually save on cost (average price $300) and time! Our trained professionals know how to go through all of these steps in the most efficient manner. In addition to this, you won't need to worry about if you've gone through each step properly, no need to add to the additional worry.
In the end, this is all about reducing your stress. With a clean and disinfected home, you'll have the assurance you need that your family is in a safe space, and you're doing your part to become part of the solution.
Simple 3 Step Routine For Your Office - Create A Safer Workplace
You're a multi talented manager right? You can handle disinfecting the entire office by yourself, plus maybe a couple employee helpers. If that's the route you want to go, here's what you'll need:
- Spray Bottle - $5
- Laptop and Electronic Safe Wipes - $15
- Microfiber Towel - $15
- Vacuum - $100
- Disinfecting Agent - $40
- Disinfecting Fogger - $100 - $300
- Payment to Employee For Helping - Hourly Rate X 30 minutes
As a professional who values efficiency and cost savings you might see doing this internally as the best option. However, doing it within the company isn't always the most cost effective solution. For a proper disinfecting, you'll be spending about $375 just on supplies, not including the labor cost of your management or other staff members wanting to participate!
In addition to this, if you're planning on doing the disinfecting during office hours, you'll need to have your staff step outside for about an hour while you're conducting this. If you choose to hire a professional, like Fresh Tech Maid, you can request a Saturday while the office is closed so you don't miss out on the productivity!
Still Planning On Doing It On Your Own?
Start with a cleaning of the office, doing this routinely will be the best. Here's out solution; have your employees take turns completing certain cleaning tasks. Non only will this make sure that the job gets done, but your employees might actually enjoy a quick break from the desk. However, it is also recommended to conduct a deeper cleaning once a month, probably want to save this one for the weekend.
Prioritize For Best Results
Think about the areas of your office that get the most foot traffic from your employees or clients. This will be areas like the restrooms, kitchen, break room, meeting room as well as individual cubicles.
Now start zoning in, and think about the items in your office that are touched the most frequently. At a glance, this will be items like laptops, mouses, keyboards, door handles, light switches and printers/ scanners. For your electronic items, you'll need to consider some special tools like an air dusting device or electronic safe wipes.
Finally, To The Disinfecting
Once everything in the office is nice and cleaned, you're ready to begin the disinfecting process (WHOOP WHOOP!) To begin with, ask employees to briefly step outside, maybe try to plan this around lunch break on a nice day. In addition to this, you'll want to open any windows that you can to get a nice airflow and ventilation.
Don't Forget Your PPE
Depending on the disinfecting agent that, you've chosen, you'll need to consider if any personal protection equipment will be necessary. Here are a few common PPE items that you might need:
- Eye Protection
Let's Talk Fogging
For an office environment, fogging is definitely our recommendation. We know that in an office with cubicles, there can be a lot of nooks and crannies that would be difficult to hit with a regular spray bottle disinfecting. The beauty of a fogging device is that it ensures nearly 360° coverage.
Additionally, you manage an office, efficiency is the name of the game. The fogger reduces time spent on the disinfecting process, and you can get your employees back to work sooner.
Using a top to bottom, left to right approach, slowly make your way through the office and allow device to truly fog up the area. The time spent on this will vary depending on the size of your office, but typically this shouldn't take any longer than 15 minutes.
Once you've covered the entire area, wait at least 10 minutes before inviting your employees to come back inside, it's important to give the disinfectant some time to work its magic.
Benefits Of Prioritizing Safety
Starting with your current staff; they'll see this extra effort of keeping and safe and absolutely be grateful to have an employer that truly cares about them, and does everything possible to maintain a healthy environment. When staff knows that they're working with management like this, they're more likely to rate job satisfaction much higher!
If your clients come into your office, you'll be able to assure them of the integrity in the environment, and they'll want to continue doing business with you! For hiring purposes, you're regular disinfecting routine will give you an edge over your competition, as you're striving to achieve the best working environment possible!
A Couple Things To Consider
There will be a slight loss in productivity during disinfecting, as you'll need to require your employees to briefly step outside. In addition to this, you should develop a system to ensure that each employee is regularly maintaining their spaces, so when it's time for disinfection it will be flawless. Finally, with a sizable number of employees in your office, you'll need to make sure that you choose a disinfecting agent that's friendly for everyone. Our recommendation is to use Hypochlorous acid, otherwise known as HOCL. This disinfecting agent is ultra friendly and has minimal odor. It's so friendly that people even use this to clean off their fruits and veggies!
Make The Process Smooth
Here's a couple tips; have your employees stack their keyboards and mouse under the monitor so most of the desk will be exposed. Also, set this up on a regular basis, so your employees will know what to expect.
Suggestion For Your Office
Hire a professional to do this! Not only will it end up being cheaper, about $275, but you'll save on loss of productivity as well. Find a company, like Fresh Tech Maid, that can complete this on the weekends, then when your employees come back on Monday they'll have a freshly cleaned and disinfected space to return to!
Let's Wrap This Up
Whether you decide to do this disinfecting on your own, with the help of a cleaning service or even do it at all; we hope that you've become enlightened with what disinfecting is and why it's important for everyone. As your neighborhood resource, it's our duty to continue to educate and help out in anyway we can, especially when it comes to preventing COVID-19.
Working together as a society, to move forward with fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, it's so important to make sure we're doing everything we can within our homes and offices to keep everyone safe. We hope that by reading this, you're able to develop a system that will work best for you, implement it and start achieving a safe and healthy environment!