The Difference Between Cleaning and Disinfecting

Know if you’re cleaning or disinfecting your home from COVID-19 with this guide to the differences between cleaning and disinfecting.

the difference between cleaning and disinfecting

The home is supposed to be a haven for relaxation, recuperation, and escaping the pressures of the world. Unfortunately, we wind up bringing home some of the world and its germs via our dirty hands, shoes, clothing, and phones.

Even if your Chicagoland home looks clean, it could still be hiding contaminants that could affect your health. Now, in the wake of a COVID-19 pandemic, making sure you are cleaning and disinfecting your home is more crucial than ever. In doing so, it’s important to also be sure you know the difference between cleaning and disinfecting, and are using them both to combat the virus and protect the health of your family. 

Medical experts agree: Dr. Michael Schmidt, professor of microbiology at the Medical University of South Carolina and chair of the American Society of Microbiology’s Council on Microbial Sciences, says that the best way to protect your family is to be sure you’re cleaning and disinfecting your home’s trouble areas. This includes high-touch surfaces and the hard-to-reach places that you might not even see or recognize. He also has some helpful tips for recognizing the difference between cleaning and disinfecting, and using both processes to your advantage to disinfect your home from coronavirus. Read on to see what he has to say.

What is Cleaning?

Cleaning is the process of wiping down surfaces and areas of the home to slow the spread of germs and dirt. 

Dr. Schmidt points out that after washing our hands, the next best way to protect the family and disinfect your home from coronavirus and bacteria is to wipe down high-touch surfaces. This includes countertops, doorknobs, light switches, and common surfaces. You can do this twice a day with a microfiber cloth dampened in a solution of hot water and an all-purpose cleaner. 

“The slight abrasion of the microfiber cloth and the cleaning solution will lift and dilute any microbes that have settled on the surfaces,” says Dr. Schmidt. And don’t forget about your electronics and phones: “Since electronics don’t hold up well to soap and water, use an alcohol wipe with at least 70% isopropyl alcohol to clean cell phones, remotes, and keyboards.”

What is Disinfecting?

Disinfecting is the process of killing germs and bacteria using specific approved cleaning solutions/agents. Disinfecting eliminates the spread of germs. 

Disinfecting is the number one way to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in your home, but it should be taken on with caution, according to Dr. Schmidt. 

 “Disinfecting cleaners can give a false sense of security if they are not used properly and are only necessary if someone in the household is ill,” says Dr. Schmidt. The crucial areas to address are surfaces shared by family members and those that come in close contact with bodily fluids. If you have dirty windows, they aren’t a big health concern, but a doorknob touched after a sneeze can be.

It’s important to read labels and follow the directions on products. Cleaning products labeled as disinfectants will adequately kill viruses and bacteria if used correctly. But if the label promises to just “sanitize” a surface, the fine print might say it’ll kill 99.9% of the bacteria, but not mention if it’s effective against viruses or fungi. When using disinfectants, make sure to follow the recommended contact time (sometimes referred to as “dwell time”), which is the amount of time the surface should be visibly wet to give the product time to work.

What’s the difference Between Cleaning and Disinfecting?

Cleaning shouldn’t be confused with disinfecting. Here’s the key differences: When you clean, you remove germs, but don’t kill them. When you disinfect, you kill the germs to rid surfaces and your home of them. This difference is important because though you might clean surfaces well, small amounts of germs and bacteria are left to grow — which can perpetuate the spread of COVID-19 and other viruses.

Disinfect Your Home From COVID-19

Disinfecting is a process that should be left to the professionals — especially given how quickly COVID-19 can spread throughout a home. If you need help with deep cleaning and disinfecting your Chicago area home or business, contact us at ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons. We can disinfect your home from COVID-19 safely and effectively, and we’ll do it according to CDC guidelines. Not only do we use the proper EPA-approved disinfectants, but our professionals receive the necessary training and field experience to service your home or workplace to achieve the highest standards of cleanliness and customer satisfaction.

If you do choose to DIY disinfecting your home from COVID-19, make sure you are wearing the proper personal protective equipment and using EPA-approved disinfectants. Before disinfecting anything in your house, decide whether you’ll wear gloves and what kind. Rubber gloves are more durable and reusable, but disposable latex ones also work. And of course, remember to always wash your hands with soap and warm water after using any cleaning products that may be harmful or abrasive to your skin.

ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons is an MBE/WBE certified firm and family-run company serving Chicago, Oak Park/River Forest, and the North Shore.  ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons provides Disaster Restoration Services including  COVID-19 Cleaning Services, Water & Flood Damage Restoration, Fire & Smoke Damage Restoration,  Mold Remediation, and a wide range of interior specialty cleaning including Hoarder & Clutter Cleaning,  Post-Construction Cleaning,  Carpet Cleaning, and Upholstery Cleaning to residential and commercial customers. ServiceMaster Cleaning By Simons provides Specialty Cleaning Services For Chicago, Oak Park-River Forest, and the North Shore.  For more information, give us a call at 773-376-1110 or visitservicemasterbysimons.com.

Does Your Building Project Budget for Post Construction Cleaning Costs? Here’s Why It Should.

If you’re planning a residential or commercial construction project and you’re not already thinking about a plan for clean up afterwards, you should be. The professionals at ServiceMaster Restoration by Simons have decades of experience in cleaning up after construction projects. You’d be surprised how often we find that customers have forgotten to budget for or schedule a post-construction cleaning until the very last minute.

Post-Construction Cleaning Chicago - Oak Park - River Forest - North Shore Illinois - ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons - ServiceMaster Cleaning By Simons

Budgeting For Post Construction Cleaning Costs – ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons Chicago – Oak Park/River Forest – North Shore IL

 

If you’re planning a residential or commercial construction project in Chicago, Oak Park/River Forest, or the North Shore, and you’re not already thinking about a plan for clean up afterward, you should be. The professionals at ServiceMaster Restoration by Simons have decades of experience in cleaning up after construction projects. You’d be surprised how often we find that customers have forgotten to budget for or schedule a Post Construction Cleaning until the very last minute.

The problem is, customers, don’t realize that post-construction cleaning is an important part of any building project. They don’t understand that Post Construction Cleaning is some of the most important projects a restoration company will take on. These kinds of jobs usually require a company’s entire crew to be onsite for anywhere between a few days to a whole week depending on whether it is a residential or commercial project.

We like to make sure that customers understand the level of care and commitment that goes into each of our post-construction cleaning projects. The professionals at ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons are IICRC Certified and well-trained in providing unrivaled and thorough post-construction cleaning. We use products and equipment that meet the highest standards to remove all dust and debris properly. Some of the post-construction cleanup services we offer the Chicagoland area include:

  • Dusting air diffusers
  • Cleaning light fixtures within the construction area
  • Cleaning restroom fixtures
  • Wall washing or spot cleaning walls
  • Ceiling washing
  • Cleaning interior windows
  • HEPA Vacuuming
  • Cleaning carpet areas
  • Damp mopping hard-surface floors
  • Renewing hardwood floors
  • Roto buffing ceramic tile or linoleum

For larger jobs that need further cleaning after construction work has cleared, we often bundle the cleanup with these services:

Our process is one that maximizes efficiency while still delivering the highest level of service. Ideally, our process begins well before the construction project occurs — when a customer reaches out proactively for a quote. No worries if you’re one of the many who let post-construction fall by the wayside during the planning stages; if we can accommodate your dates, we will absolutely still offer quotes to contractors and homeowners who reach out during the construction project. After our professional quote is approved and we are hired for a Post Construction Cleaning, we begin to formulate a scope based on the job’s specific needs and we gather up the necessary personnel and equipment.

Sometimes, we are asked to begin our on-site cleaning for a mid-way cleaning while construction is still taking place. This is helpful for large construction projects that generate so much debris that it creates an unsafe environment and poor air quality for workers. We are available to come in and clean periodically during construction so that waste and dust are properly removed and workers can continue building and renovating on schedule.

Most of the time, though, our on-site cleaning starts immediately after construction concludes. We have two primary objectives during our cleanup: The first, to eradicate and control the dust generated by sanding and plastering before it ends up in the air ducts; and the second, to remove all dust and debris in a timely manner to restore safety to the job site. We do this in five steps:

  1. Schedule air duct cleaning
  2. Wipe down all hard surfaces, nooks and crannies, furniture, and items in renovation space
  3. HEPA vacuum carpet and upholstery
  4. Clean flooring with wet mopping, WoodGlo Renew, or roto tile buffing depending on the floor material
  5. Dispose of all construction debris on-site according to municipal guidelines and regulations in a safe manner

Because these jobs can be so large and costly, it’s important that customers budget for them in their initial construction project plan. Customers are sometimes floored to learn the cost of their site’s post-construction cleanup and are too late in the game to make room in the budget for it. Instead, they choose to DIY the cleanup or, worse, forego it altogether. We never recommend this and we would rather see customers reach out for a quote during the planning stages of a construction project so they can budget accordingly.

Though professional cleanup services are costly, they are always one hundred percent worth it. Here are three reasons why:

  • A professional cleaning increases safety

With construction projects, there will inevitably be debris left behind. From sawdust to nails and broken glass to stray wires, these debris present dangers to both the building crew and those responsible for a DIY cleanup. Accidents during cleanup happen more often than you might think. Hiring a professional crew trained to deal with hazardous materials will ensure the safety of everyone involved. A restoration company is equipped with better equipment than a broom and a dustpan.

  • Professional cleaning ensures debris is properly disposed of

Most municipalities have special rules for the disposal of residential and commercial construction waste, like paint and other chemicals. In general, they must be separated, sorted and eventually delivered to a special facility for lawful disposal. It is important to work with a professional restoration company like or you could face a fine.

  • A professional cleaning promotes efficiency and timeliness

We estimate that a professional cleaning crew will likely be able to complete a post-construction cleanup job four times faster than a DIY-er. Professional crews come with the necessary equipment it takes to clean thoroughly and efficiently. A quick cleanup allows you to move on to the final stages of your construction project. Plus, calling in the professionals for a quick turnaround can mean all the difference for contractors whose agreements include penalties for going overtime on the project.

Here at ServiceMaster Restoration by Simons, we understand that every good construction project includes a professional and thorough post-construction cleanup. Our crews have decades of experience clearing construction job sites safely and quickly to ensure peace-of-mind for contractors, homeowners and business owners alike. For a professional quote, please give us a call as early as possible in your construction planning process. As always, your satisfaction is our number one priority!

ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons is an MBE/WBE certified firm and family-run company serving Chicago, Oak Park, River Forest, and the North Shore.  Recently, the company was awarded a variety of honors, including the ServiceMaster Achiever Award and outstanding service in disaster restoration by Build Magazine. ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons provides disaster restoration services including Water & Flood Damage Restoration, Fire & Smoke Damage Restoration, Mold Remediation and a wide range of interior specialty cleaning including Hoarder & Clutter Cleaning, Post-Construction Cleaning, Carpet Cleaning and Upholstery Cleaning to residential and commercial customers residing in Chicago, Oak Park-River Forest, and the North Shore.  For more information, give us a call at 773-376-1110 or visit servicemasterbysimons.com.

 

 

 

 

Odor Removal – Clearing the Air of Pesky Odors

Odor Removal Services from the Professionals at ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons. Benjamin Franklin said, “Guests, like fish, begin to smell after three days.” Although you probably will likely not experience odor problems from guests, there may be odors from fire, smoke, water damage or biological concerns that are hard to remove from your home or

Lemon Carpet CleaningOdor Removal Services from the Professionals at ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons.

Benjamin Franklin said, “Guests, like fish, begin to smell after three days.” Although you probably will likely not experience odor problems from guests, there may be odors from fire, smoke, water damage or biological concerns that are hard to remove from your home or business. At ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons 855-9-SIMONS, we are experts at removing unpleasant odors that can affect your home.

Our trained and certified technicians understand how to remove and eliminate persistent odors by using a combination of professional products, systems and odor removal technologies. Many commonly used deodorizing products only mask the smells temporarily, but properly removing the odor will ensure the disagreeable scent does not resurface later.

At ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons, we use a four-step odor removal process:

1. Identify and eliminate the source of the odor.
2. Clean the affected area to properly remove odor residue.
3. Select the necessary deodorization process.
4. Seal the surface if necessary.

While it may be necessary to perform multiple treatments to eliminate severe odors, the use of neutralizing agents included in our extensive line of OdorGo® deodorizing products, coupled with advanced technologies such as nano-particle air cartridges in our air filters, gives us the ability to quickly knock down odors. This effective combination can help to reduce additional living expenses by allowing you to remain in your home.

With our advanced technologies, extensive training and years of experience, there is no odor too strong for our team to handle.

ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons is a Woman-Owned and Family Operated Cleaning & Restoration Company. With three locations to serve our customers, ServiceMaster By Simons serves Chicago, Oak Park-River Forest, Elmwood Park, Cleaning Services in Chicago’s North Shore and the North Shore of Lake County to Wisconsin’s State Line.

For immediate service or a free consultation and quote, call us at 773-376-1110 or toll free at 855-9-SIMONS.

ServiceMaster By Simons Comes to the North Shore!

ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons, Chicago’s leader in professional Water & Fire Damage Restoration, opens North Shore Cleaning location in Skokie, Illinois The ServiceMaster By Simons companies including ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons, ServiceMaster Oak Park-River Forest and ServiceMaster Cleaning By Simons is happy to announce its new North Shore warehouse facility at 8124 Ridgeway, Skokie, Illinois.  This […]

ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons - North Shore, Illinois - Professional Disaster Restoration Services - Professional Cleaning ServicesServiceMaster Restoration By Simons, Chicago’s leader in professional Water & Fire Damage Restoration, opens North Shore Cleaning location in Skokie, Illinois

The ServiceMaster By Simons companies including ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons, ServiceMaster Oak Park-River Forest and ServiceMaster Cleaning By Simons is happy to announce its new North Shore warehouse facility at 8124 Ridgeway, Skokie, Illinois.  This new state-of-the-art facility will serve commercial & residential customers in Chicago’s North Shore. It offers the same great services that the ServiceMaster By Simons’ companies offer in the city and west suburbs.

The company offers professional services in Evanston, Wilmette, Winnetka, Glencoe, Glenview, Deerfield, Northbrook, Buffalo Grove, Lake Forest, to name a few. “This new facility will help us meet the demand for services that we are receiving from the North Shore area,” said Sam Simon, ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons’ owner.  Our brand name has grown so much over the past two years with radio ads and television commercials. It made sense to open the second location to meet the growing demands for our services.

Water & Fire Damage Restoration Services

Since opening its first location in Chicago at 400 North Paulina Street in 2013, we  remain the leader in Water & Fire Damage Restoration and professional Cleaning Services to homes and businesses in the Chicago-land area.  This includes the newly acquired ServiceMaster of Oak Park-River Forest. The franchise that has offered quality Disaster Restoration and Cleaning Services for the residents of Oak Park and River Forest for over 30 years. “We were receiving so many calls from the North Shore, it made sense to open the second location to serve our customers faster, rather than spend time in traffic,” said Neda Howell, ServiceMaster By Simons’ manager.  “Our reputation not only depends on our quality cleaning services, but on the timeliness of our professional technicians.”

As a result, North Shore businesses and residents can now experience our quality, professional services.  By calling 855-9-SIMONS, you can conveniently schedule your specialty cleaning services.  Our services include Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning, Hard Surface and Wood Floor Cleaning. It also boast the best in Post-Construction Cleanup, Move in/Move out Cleaning, Air Duct Cleaning, Steamed Carpet Extraction and Hoarder Cleaning services.  If you prefer, you can click here to schedule your services on our website.

 

5 Things your Floor Wants You to Do Today: Hard Surface Cleaning Services in Chicago, IL

Think about what your floor goes through on a daily basis: dust, dirt, shoes, dog slobber, and trash bags dragged all over it, not to mention scuffing and stains… you probably couldn’t be paid enough to take that job. And yet, your floor is there for you every day. When debris is left on your […]

Think about what your floor goes through on a daily basis: dust, dirt, shoes, dog slobber, and trash bags dragged all over it, not to mention scuffing and stains… you probably couldn’t be paid enough to take that job. And yet, your floor is there for you every day.

When debris is left on your floor for too long, not only is it gross to walk on, but it can also wear away the surface of the flooring. Your floor goes through a lot, and it could use a little extra TLC.

ServiceMaster Cleaning By Simons has been providing hard surface floor cleaning services in Chicago, IL for decades. Here are some tips learned from years of cleaning expertise on how to help your floor remain beautiful:

Use Walk-Off Mats

High traffic areas are particularly troublesome to your floors. When soil and other debris are continuously tracked inside and left unattended, it can cause major eroding to the surface of your floor. This kind of damage is expensive to repair, so you want to avoid it at all costs.

Prevent damage to your floors by using walk-off mats in high traffic areas. This will limit the ability for outside debris to be tracked indoors.

Choose a length that is appropriate for your home or business, but consider that a five foot walk-off mat will reduce the debris coming in by 33%, whereas a twenty-five foot walk-off mat will cut the debris amount in half.

Remove Dry Debris

You can reduce the amount of debris that is tracked into your home or business by following a daily cleaning routine. Vacuuming, sweeping, dusting, and using microfiber cloths are the most efficient ways to remove dry debris and prevent it from eroding your hard surface flooring.

When you do this daily, you limit the possibility that foot traffic will drag any dry debris off your walk-off mats and onto your floors.

Wet Clean

Having a regular wet cleaning routine is just as important as removing dry debris. Make sure that you use cleaning products designed specifically for the type of flooring you are cleaning.

If you aren’t sure what to use, consult with a cleaning professional to ensure you don’t damage your floor.

Mops and microfiber cloth systems will do the trick well, just make sure that you also allow the floor to dry properly to prevent slips and falls when people walk on the floor. Use damp cleaning systems minimally on wood floors, as improper use could warp or damage the integrity of the wood.

Spot Cleaning

Remove and treat spills as soon as they occur to prevent staining or other floor damage. Use an appropriate cleaning solution, bucket, and wringer to clean up spills. Dry the floor thoroughly or visibly mark the wet area with a sign or cone, so that people won’t slip and fall if they walk on the area you’ve just cleaned.

Periodic and Restorative Maintenance

Natural stone, concrete, ceramic/clay, wood, resilient, and specialty are the six main categories of hard surface flooring materials. Each of these materials requires unique and specialized care.

Unless you are a certified hard surface cleaning technician, it can be difficult to know what kinds of cleaning products, equipment, and tools are best suited to your floor.

Avoid mistakes in how you deep clean your hard surface flooring by hiring professional floor maintenance technicians. They have the knowledge and skills to perform daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly deep cleanings. They also know how to restore damaged flooring to maintain its appearance and extend the life of your floor.

It’s time to protect and maintain your hard surface floor properly. From disaster restoration to other cleaning services, contact ServiceMaster Cleaning By Simons today to work with our technicians and create a customized cleaning program for your Chicago home or business needs.