Even if you have your workplace cleaned on a daily or weekly schedule by a commercial cleaning company, you will still benefit from periodic deep cleanings. Depending on your business, you should schedule a deep cleaning at least once to twice a year. When there are concerns about illness, such as during the coronavirus pandemic, you may want to do it more often.
So, what does it mean to do a deep cleaning? How do you know if your commercial cleaning company is doing a deep clean with disinfectants to manage infection control? Here is the information you need.
What Is Deep Cleaning?
Doing general commercial cleaning keeps your facility dirt free by mopping, vacuuming, dusting, cleaning bathrooms, kitchens, and taking out the trash. It doesn’t necessarily eliminate germs that may be lingering on hard and soft surfaces.
According to the Center for Disease Control, cleaning alone will not kill the germs. It takes disinfecting. That’s an important distinction. During the coronavirus pandemic, we learned that germs, like those responsible for COVID-19 infections, can linger on surfaces and cause infections even without person-to-person contact. Germs can remain on surfaces, such as stainless steel or plastic, for 1-3 days.
Deep cleaning makes sure things aren’t just cleaned, but disinfected for infection control.
What to Expect from a Deep Cleaning with Disinfectants?
A deep cleaning from a commercial cleaning company should start with a general cleaning process and a separate process for disinfecting.
The first cleaning should focus on using green clean products and low-impact cleaning tools and techniques. Once that’s complete, a disinfecting process should use anti-microbial chemicals that have proven to be effective for killing germs. The US Environmental protection Agency (EPA) has published a list of the chemicals proven to be effective at killing germs on surfaces. Your commercial cleaning company should only be using these chemicals for disinfecting your workplace.
In a deep cleaning, your commercial cleaning company should focus additional disinfection efforts on high-touch areas, especially in common areas or shared office space. This includes items such as door handles, light switches, elevator buttons, vending machines, and coffee machines. It means a deeper level of cleaning and disinfecting for breakrooms, bathrooms, and lobby areas.
Some commercial cleaning companies offer increased disinfecting services for an additional fee using an electrostatic sprayer, or similar. This adds an electronic charge to a chemical which helps it to adhere to surfaces longer and provide another layer of protection.
How Do I Know if My Commercial Cleaning Company Practices Deep Cleaning?
To answer this question, you should ask for a detailed list of exactly what your commercial cleaning company does during a deep clean and make sure it includes everything you need. You should also require a checklist that gets filled out during each cleaning and deep cleaning to ensure it has been completed to your satisfaction.
This should list each area to be cleaned and what actions will be taken in each area.
Deep cleaning and disinfecting depend on three key factors:
- The chemicals that are used, including disinfectants
- The equipment used to apply them
- Proper techniques used by the cleaning crew
- Include bullet about ensuring they clean/disinfect high-touch areas
- Another item I’ve learned about in my GBAC training is that dwell time is key! If the disinfectant is applied and wiped off before dwell time has expired, then it will not do it’s job effectively
Ask what cleaning products they’re using. Even the strongest household cleaners won’t get the job done. You should require your commercial cleaning company to use only EPA approved, antimicrobial disinfectants that kill bacteria and eliminate viruses. EPA guidelines require disinfection agents to kill 99.9999% of germs to be approved.
The equipment your commercial cleaning company uses and the training the cleaners have had will make a big difference. The company you work with should have trained service providers on industry best practices, including EPA and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards for safety and compliance. Specifically, you should ask these questions:
- What type of disinfectant agents are you using?
- What is your application method?
- Is your cleaning crew trained or certified on best practices?
The commercial cleaning industry is largely unregulated. There’s no real definition of deep cleaning. That’s why working with an established, experienced cleaning company is important. They will have the resources, equipment, and knowledge to do the job right.
OpenWorks is the preferred commercial cleaning, disinfecting and facilities services company for more than 1,500 customers nationwide. Since 1983, OpenWorks has been committed to providing the most effective and innovative processes, highly-trained professional cleaners using the latest cleaning technology and practices, and providing the best service in the industry. It’s why we have a 98% customer retention rate across our locations.
Disinfecting and sanitizing your facility will help with infection control. Request an estimate to learn more about how OpenWorks can create a cleaner, healthier, and safer environment for your facility, your employees, and your customers.