Common Disinfecting Mistakes

Effectively disinfecting your homes and offices.

Are you also one of those people who may not know and care much about disinfecting, but with the unwanted appearance of a deadly virus called COVID-19, you were led to pick up every cleaning and disinfecting product that came into sight the moment you went grocery shopping? If yes, it’s safe to say that 2020 brought the clean freak hidden deep within you, just like most of us. However, are you completely sure that all your scrubbing, mopping, and wiping in your house and office these past few months is done correctly?

Disinfecting mistakes are common, especially if you just recently started cleaning more seriously. If you don’t want your hours of scrubbing and wiping to go to waste, you’ve come to the right article. Below is a list of common disinfecting mistakes people tend to make and how you can properly avoid them.

Not Using Proper Protective Gear

Although most disinfectant products are effective in killing germs inside and outside your homes, they usually contain synthetic chemicals and toxins that make you ill over time. Despite green cleaning gaining popularity over the past years, synthetic chemicals and toxins mixed in disinfecting products can’t be avoided all the time. Thus, what should you do when using disinfectants? Make sure you wear protective gear such as gloves and masks before using these products to avoid chemical poisoning and other related issues. As the saying goes, it’s better safe than sorry!

Not Cleaning Before Disinfecting

People think that cleaning and disinfecting are the same but they are not. You can clean without disinfecting but you can never disinfect without cleaning. Missing this step would entail germs and viruses to continue hiding in organic material and dirt found in your office or home surfaces. It is not enough to physically remove that dirt, as it may still cause unwanted illnesses if not killed.

Not Letting Your Disinfectant Rest for Proper Contact Time

Yes, you’ve read it right! Disinfectants have proper contact time that you must follow to efficiently kill those germs and viruses chilling on your office and house surfaces. Most people tend to do the “spray and wipe” method but this only wastes your energy and effort. To know how you can best use your cleaning products and get the most out of it, make sure to read and follow the instructions written on the bottles.

Creating Big Batches of Pre-diluted Bleach

Although this method may seem like it saves your time, this is actually ineffective as it would only lessen the effectiveness of the bleach you’re using. Once it becomes diluted, it also becomes less stable and can deteriorate with minimal change in temperature, light, or contamination. Thus, make sure you only make the exact amount of diluted bleach whenever you clean at home or in your office. You can start small as it’s better to just make another one after, rather than wasting a lot of bleach in the end.

Using DIY Disinfectants

With the increase in demand for disinfectant products because of the pandemic, you may have also experienced going to the store but seeing none on the shelves. Although it sounds tempting, never try to make your own disinfectant solutions. Mixing different ingredients and chemicals if not done properly can be a deadly mistake – deadlier than dinosaurs if you ask me. 

Refilling Your Disinfectants Without Topping Them Off

Imagine mixing new milk with almost expired ones. You wouldn’t want that, would you? The same logic applies to disinfectants. Mixing old ones with new ones actually deteriorates its effectiveness or might result in an over-diluted mixture which can cause irritation. It may have been a habit that you unconsciously do, but the next time you transfer disinfectants to different containers or use refills, make sure that they’re empty and all old ones are used up!

Reusing the Same Rag for Each Surface

Using different rags for each surface.

I know, I know. Although technically you are constantly dipping that same rag in disinfectant, this does not mean you should reuse it for each surface! Different surfaces have different levels of contaminants and cross-contamination may occur if the same rag isn’t properly cleaned after use. Using disposable wipes or paper towels would get the job done, but if you still prefer using rags don’t worry. Just make sure to properly clean them with hot water. You can also try having a color-coded system for each area in your home if you have rags of different colors. 

Not Double-Checking Your Disinfecting Routine Before Saying “Finally, I’m done”

I know this may sound crazy but people tend to forget an area or two when disinfecting. Even commercial cleaning service providers occasionally do this, especially on busy days. Most of the time, these “forgotten surfaces” are the ones that are on the bottom of the list of areas that need disinfecting such as phones, laptops, and more. However, this doesn’t mean that you should just skip out on disinfecting these surfaces. Next time you disinfect, make sure to include these small fellas even though they aren’t exposed to high traffic to avoid contamination in your surroundings. 

Forgetting to Disinfect Yourself 

Disinfecting every nook and cranny in your home and office may be tiring but be sure to not relax and fall face flat on your bed or couch right after cleaning! Although rewarding yourself after your hard work sounds perfect, don’t forget to disinfect yourself, wash your hands, take a bath, and put those dirty clothes in the laundry basket first. You’ve been exposed to dirt and dust for hours and you wouldn’t want your hours of labor to go to waste by contaminating every surface you’ve worked so hard to disinfect if you forget this step. 

Tips For More Effective Cleaning and Disinfecting

To better equip you in your cleaning journey, here are some tips to remember:

  • Use warm water, and mild dish soap to clean granite because granite isn’t as permeable as marble, so simple wiping will do.
  • Mix equal parts of 70% isopropyl rubbing alcohol and water for glass because it’s a non-permeable surface and using harsh chemicals will cause streaking.
  • Instead of using rags, use newspaper when cleaning windows or glass. Just make sure it isn’t wet when you use it, or you’ll see ink smudges all over your windows. Trust me, you’ll thank us later for this one.
  • Never choose 99% alcohol over 70%. It may seem more effective when it comes to killing those germs, but it becomes too powerful when it comes to other surfaces like food surfaces. 
  • Disinfect your remotes, knobs, handles, and switches daily. Areas like floors, countertops, and the likes should be disinfected twice or thrice a week. 

Proper disinfecting takes time, patience, and training so don’t feel down if you’ve done any of the mistakes mentioned above. It’s normal, but make sure to put a note in mind to not repeat the same mistakes again. 

If you are in Fairfield County or Hartford County Connecticut and want to skip the hassle and be sure of the quality of cleaning and disinfecting for your offices, fret not as we got you covered. Contact us here.