The CDC recommends deep cleaning for homes and businesses during the coronavirus pandemic. What exactly is deep cleaning and why is it important for helping to reduce the spread of this virus?
Although the CDC has stated that deep cleaning should be completed during this pandemic, many people, and many cleaning companies, do not understand this term. Deep cleaning is a process of removing dirt and debris from all surfaces, including molding, walls, windows, counters, door knobs, light switches, etc. If you wet a white paper towel and run it on these surfaces (even if they look clean), there is a good chance that you will find dirt or soil. Deep cleaning services are designed to remove this buildup. But what is the harm in this dirt?
The EPA tests all disinfectants in a lab to ensure that the claims the manufacturer make for eliminating viruses and bacteria can be replicated in a controlled environment. But these disinfectants are only tested on pre-cleaned surfaces. So in order to replicate the results of these tests, the surfaces must be clean. Viruses and bacteria tend to thrive in dirty and damp environments, so applying an EPA registered disinfectant to a surface that isn’t clean may not produce the intended disinfection results. The disinfectants may kill some of the viruses and bacteria, but not all, such as the coronavirus.
Deep cleaning an office building and deep cleaning a home are very similar. Each reachable surface should be cleaned, and, when possible, furniture should be pulled out and cleaned on all sides. When the deep cleaning is complete, the sanitizing and disinfecting process can begin.
Sanitizing is a process of applying a cleaner or disinfectant to a surface with the intent to reduce pathogens on the surface. Disinfecting is a process of applying a disinfectant to a surface with the intent of eliminating most pathogens. Sanitizing and disinfecting are similar, but the major difference is the length of time a disinfectant remains wet on a surface.