The Difference Between Cleaning, Sanitizing, and Disinfecting

The pandemic has made many people hypersensitive to how clean their surroundings are at home and when out and about. If this sounds like you, this can lead to heightened cleaning at work or even at your workstation. Because not all products are suitable to sanitize and disinfect, it can be difficult to understand how you should be cleaning your home or office. Here, we examine the difference between cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting, and when you need to do each.

What is the difference between cleaning, disinfecting, and sanitizing?

What is cleaning?

Cleaning does not do much to remove germs. Instead, this is more along the lines of a Monica Geller approach where everything is organized, surfaces are wiped down, and the room appears spotless and orderly. Although some people might use disinfecting cleaners when cleaning, it is not the main focus of the job. Instead, you’re focused more on dust and dirt, as opposed to the unseen issues like germs and bacteria.

However, cleaning is also an important step prior to disinfecting or sanitizing, as you want to remove dirt and greasy buildup that can provide a safe harbour for germs and bacteria to hang out. So, while cleaning makes everything look nice, it doesn’t kill germs, viruses, bacteria, or things like fungi or mould spores.

When to clean: Cleaning should be done on a regular basis to keep your home comfortable, and also reduce buildup where germs and bacteria can hide. It is also required before you sanitize or disinfect.

What is sanitizing?

Sanitizing is the act of removing germs and bacteria. It is most associated with the proper cleaning process in places like kitchens or healthcare facilities where germs are more likely to occur on surfaces. You also require special cleaning products to sanitize, as you can’t remove germs and bacteria by simply washing surfaces with day-to-day all-purpose cleaners.

On the flip side, you don’t always need sanitizers to sanitize. For example, very hot water, such as during steam cleaning or dishwashing cycles, can kill most germs and bacteria. As long as the heat applied to the surface reaches at least 170 degrees Fahrenheit, you can kill germs and bacteria quite effectively. Steam cleaning is very popular because it is a more natural way to sanitize surfaces.

When to sanitize: Sanitizing is a must in your kitchen or anywhere food is prepared and served. It removes the bacteria and germs that can make people sick if it comes into contact with their food. Sanitizing is safe for kitchens, as sanitizing cleaners do not contain harsh chemicals that can be hazardous. Cleaning things like chicken juice or sauces first, and then using a santizing cleanser is required to sanitize properly.

What is disinfecting?

Disinfecting is the ultimate level of cleaning to keep surfaces clear of all germs, bacteria, spores, and fungi. While you do kill germs when sanitizing, disinfecting is the full gamut, ensuring nothing is left behind. It requires specific chemical products and is not recommended on surfaces that come into direct contact with food.

When to disinfect: If your family has COVID-19 or any other infectious diseases such as cold and flu, using a strong disinfectant spray on frequently touched surfaces is recommended. These products kill 100% of microorganisms found on your surfaces. This would include:

  • Doorknobs
  • Light switches
  • Faucets
  • Countertops
  • Fridge doors

Some examples of disinfecting cleaners would be bleach sprays and wipes. Just keep in mind that bleach products come in different dilutions, which makes some more effective than others.

Why is cleaning important before sanitizing or disinfecting?

The dirt and other organic material that can build up in your home make disinfectants less effective. You should always thoroughly clean surfaces before you try using your bleach or antibacterial types of cleansers. There are some all-in-one antibacterial cleaners available, but it is more effective to first clean, and then use a dedicated sanitizing or disinfecting cleaning product to do a thorough job.

Although it seems like a lot of work, it is the only way to do the job right. However, it is also important to know that if you use disinfectants too often, they can actually cause mutations of germs to form. This is how “superbugs” are produced. So, disinfecting is only required when someone in your home is actually sick in order to reduce the spread to others.

If you would like a Toronto cleaning service to help keep your home clean and santized, speak to our team at Maid4Condos today. You can call us at 647-822-0601 or contact us online.

Sell Your Condo Fast With These 12 Tips

Selling your condo is an exciting, but stressful process. You want to sell for top dollar and not see your home sitting on the market too long. Even when inventory is low, people aren’t willing to spend their money on a home they don’t feel will suit their needs. As a result, you want to set your home up to appeal to the masses. Here, we offer 12 tips to help sell your condo fast.

Tips for selling your condo quickly

1. Get into a seller’s state of mind

Don’t let your personal feelings interfere with getting your condo ready to sell. You need to get into a seller’s state of mind. Start thinking of your home as an asset you are selling, as opposed to the place you worked hard to decorate and fill with fond memories. You need to be efficient and focused so you can take decisive action to sell your condo in a timely manner. The best way to do that is to get into the mindset of a possible buyer so you can prepare your home to best suit their wants.

2. Remove your personality from the condo

You need your home to be neutral ground where anyone will feel comfortable and be able to see themselves living in the space. Clear out all the objects that clearly show this is your home, such as personal items, photographs, and all the clutter of your busy lifestyle. This helps in two ways:

  1. It removes distractions, and
  2. It helps create a clean slate, making your home look bigger and more inviting.

This is the first step to prepping your home for viewings.

3. Declutter

Once all the personal items are removed, you have a clean slate allowing you to see the room with a new set of eyes. Now you can continue this process by removing excess furniture, decor items, and any distinct artwork on the walls. Your goal is to leave lots of open space in each room. Not only does this let more light in your home and make rooms appear bigger, but it makes it easier for possible buyers to imagine their future in your home if they choose to buy it.

4. Clearly define spaces

You’ve finally started decluttering, but you also have to make sure each space is clearly defined. If you used a spare bedroom for something too specific, such as a yoga room, child’s playroom, or hobby room, this could confuse people and make them think you are missing a bedroom.

Leave the essentials that tell buyers the purpose of each room: a sofa and one or two chairs with a coffee table in the living room, a dining room table and chairs in the dining room, a bed with a dresser and side tables in the bedroom, etc

5. Conduct extensive decluttering

This job becomes easier now because you’ve already gotten a really good start. You’ve removed all the emotional attachments and can now focus on decluttering further. During this step, you also need to look at the closets, as well as things like bathroom shelves, kitchen counters, etc. You want to keep things neat, but also show your home isn’t cluttered due to a shortage of storage. Do the basic steps of decluttering:

  • Remove items you no longer use or wear.
  • Toss anything that is broken or serves no purpose.
  • Give away or sell anything in good shape, but no longer needed.
  • Pack as you go, such as books, out-of-season clothing, appliances you don’t use, etc., so you get a head start on packing, but can also store away the things taking up space.
  • Organize the items you’re keeping.

This not only frees up space but also your mind! It will make the process less stressful, and also reduce the number of things you’ll have to pack and move to your new home. Renting a storage space is a good idea in order to get boxes out of the way for viewings.

6. Organize storage

Once you’ve sorted through everything, start organizing your storage areas. Invest in some baskets, shoe bags, hooks, etc., so you are ready for buyers who will open every door and drawer. You want them to see nothing but perfection and plenty of space for their stuff as part of your condo staging. It also makes your condo look well cared for.

7. Create a pleasant and welcoming environment

Condos aren’t known for their spacious foyers, but you can certainly help create one. Look for ways to create more storage for coats, hats, and shoes, such as getting a storage bench, or investing in a shoe shelf. Line your shoes up neatly, and put all the coats on hangers, keeping the ones you wear most often on your new hooks.

Lay a little area rug, and hang a mirror to create a cozy feel. Add a bright lightbulb in the hall light to brighten up everything. Also, clean your windows and open up all your curtains and switch on lights in your rooms to make things appear bright and welcoming. This is really important if you have a lovely view, in order to help draw attention to the city skyline, lake, or parks below. This is all part of effective condo staging.

8. Make minor repairs

Little imperfections can turn buyers off quickly. From loose kitchen cupboards doors to missing kitchen knobs, and from chipped paint to torn window screens, these are little issues you’ve lived with for years. However, buyers don’t want to worry about these annoyances. Dripping faucets, cracked tiles on the backsplash, and burned out light bulbs, for example, all look like you didn’t take care of the home, which makes buyers nervous.

9. Paint the walls neutral colours

If you love orange, neon pink, or acid green, you’ll need to paint the walls. In fact, a fresh coat of paint throughout the condo really does wonders to both neutralize and give your condo a newer look.

10. Don’t forget the balcony

If you have a balcony, even if it’s tiny, don’t overlook it in the cleaning process. Take anything you might have stored out there away. Consider adding a pretty little bistro table with a potted plant to show it off as added living space. Even in the winter, this will get people thinking about sipping a glass of wine on a warm summer evening.

11. Move out clean

A thorough cleaning of every part of your condo is vital. Hiring a professional cleaning company for this stage is a must to ensure everything sparkles, grout on tiling looks new, and not an ounce of dust is seen anywhere from ceilings and light fixtures down to the baseboards.

12. Condo staging

Once everything is complete, take a look at every room one by one. If it doesn’t feel like your home anymore, you’ve done a good job. However, you now need someone to come in and make it feel like someone else’s home through condo staging. They will bring in finishing touches that will help buyers picture themselves living in the space, using updated furnishing or details to complement your own furniture. They’ll conduct a final review and create a welcoming home that will give you the best opportunity to sell your condo as fast as possible.

For more information about move-in ready cleanings, speak to our team at Maid4Condos today. You can call us at 647-822-0601 or click here.