Best Janitorial Practices: Cleaning, Sanitizing & Sterilizing
Many people may use the words cleaning, sanitizing, and steriliozing interchangeably. But in the janitorial staffing arena, there is an important distinction between these three terms.
Understanding janitorial industry terms can help you keep your in house staff on their toes and ensure they are performing custodial services properly. And if you outsource your custodial services to a janitorial staffing company, a knowledge of janitorial terms will enable you to ask all the right questions.
As the Kalamazoo areas leading industrial janitorial staffing company, we understand the custodial industry inside and out. In this article we share some of the essential terms you need to know to get the most out of your cleaning services.
In the janitorial industry, cleaning simply means removing visible dirt, debris or gunk from a surface. Dusting or picking up trash is “cleaning.”
Mechanical cleaning refers to using good, old fashioned elbow grease – without motorized or mechanized tools. Polishing with a rag is “mechanical cleaning.”
Sanitizing isn’t the same as cleaning. Typically cleaning comes first, to remove surface dirt. Then an antimicrobial solution is applied to “sanitize” – which means killing germs. Disinfecting and sanitizing are two janitorial terms that can be used interchangeably in most situations.
Many people, however, do not realize that the antimicrobial solution has to be left on a surface for a very specific “dwell time” in order to achieve an optimal bacterial and viral kill rate of 99.9999%.
“Dwell Time” is another important janitorial term – referring to how long an antimicrobial or disinfectant solution must be left on a pre-cleaned surface before it can be considered sanitized or disinfected. So if your cleaning crew or outsourced janitorial staff is rushing through their work, and not following manufacturer dwell times, your facility will not be sanitized as safely, healthy and effectively as possible.
To sterilize something requires an even more powerful solution to ensure a complete 100% kill rate of microorganisms, including bacteria, viruses, and fungal spore. For most industrial facilities, sterilizing isn’t a practical or necessary cleaning objective. Typically sterilizing is only required for certain surface areas in medical and dental offices.
The term “microorganism” refers to any germ, bacteria, virus, or spore that can’t be seen by the human eye without a microscope. And “pathogens” are those microorganisms that can actually cause illness or disease is a pathogen.
Kalamazoo Area’s Best Janitorial Staffing Company
Hopefully with this improved understanding of key janitorial terms, you’ll be better able to understand what your in house cleaning crew, or outsourced janitorial staffing company is actually doing – and should be doing.
Outsourcing your janitorial staffing services to the professionals at World Class Works ensures that you get a cleaner, safer plant, and that best janitorial practices are always followed.
FREE Kalamazoo Area Janitorial Staffing Company Quote: 888-315-2313