The recent health crisis has caused schools, offices and retail spaces to rethink what it means to have a healthy and safe environment. Because our shoes are one of the dirtiest things we encounter every day, floors are a key battleground for preventing disease transmission.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends regular cleaning followed by disinfection, but do you know the difference between cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting? Read on to learn:
- What these terms mean
- CDC-recommended cleaning and disinfection methods for floors
- How to choose the right floor cleaning equipment
- Why hot water is essential for killing germs and getting truly clean floors.
How to Clean and Disinfect Floors
Our shoes constantly collect harmful bacteria and viruses. They're one of the most common ways for pathogens to make their way from bathrooms and city streets into offices, hospitals and schools. That's why floors need to be cleaned thoroughly and regularly.
“Cleaning” is a generic term that may include sanitizing, disinfecting, or sterilizing. These words are sometimes used interchangeably, but they have distinct meanings, especially when you're talking about eliminating harmful microbes.
Sanitizing reduces the population of bacteria and viruses on a given surface. It doesn’t kill them; it simply reduces their numbers. To kill pathogens, you need to clean first, then disinfect or sterilize.
Using a mop and bucket does little more than smear germs evenly across a floor. Each dip of the mop pollutes 18-20 percent of the clean water; so after five dips, the entire bucket has been contaminated. Commercial auto scrubbers use clean water throughout the cleaning process to remove harmful pathogens from your office floors, school hallways, etc.
Disinfectants are an additional step in the cleaning process. In other words, disinfectants are not cleaners. A disinfectant should be applied only after a surface has been thoroughly cleaned. Disinfectants are often microbe-specific and typically require a “dwell time” to be effective.
According to the CDC, “...by killing germs on a surface after cleaning, it can further lower the risk of spreading infection.” With Advance's CS7010 ride-on sweeper/scrubber you can
- Thoroughly and efficiently prep floors for disinfection
- Add disinfectant to the solution tank
- Spray on floors using power-washer wand attachment
When you sterilize a surface, it means you've eliminated any and all harmful microbes . Sterilization uses a combination of chemicals, heat and/or pressure to remove pathogens.
Use Hot Water to Get Cleaner, More Sanitary FloorsHeat is an essential tool to combat pathogens. A recent study found cleaning with hot water (140˚ F) reduced bacterial colonies by 90 percent. Though hot water alone is not enough to disinfect a surface, using hot water reduces bacteria and viruses and makes the disinfecting step more effective.
5 Reasons to Clean with Hot Water:
- Kills harmful pathogens
- Clean a larger area in less time
- More hygienic floors - hot water reduces bacteria and virus populations
- Reduces water uses
- Shortens drying time - business can resume faster
Choose the Floor Cleaning Equipment Used By ProfessionalsYour employees, customers, students, etc. deserve a safe and healthy environment. Industrial floor scrubbers are effective, easy-to-use, and the best way to clean one of the most germ-filled areas of your facility. They're also eco-friendly. Commercial cleaning machines use 75 percent less water (compared to mopping) and are more sanitary because they use 100 percent clean water throughout the cleaning process.
Nilfisk-Advance sweepers and autoscrubbers are widely-used by professional disinfection companies in the Bay Area and California’s Central Valley. Their commercial cleaning machines:
- Maintain higher water temperatures at a lower power cost
- Ensure floors are clear of dust and dirt, both of which spread viruses if left uncontrolled
- Save water and can use environmentally-safe soaps
Nilfisk-Advance has built its business around a portfolio of industrial cleaning solutions that offer a higher standard of clean at a lower resource cost. Here are four products we recommend for organizations looking for powerful and efficient cleaning equipment.
- CS7010 - Industrial Ride-On Sweeper-Scrubber
- SC6000 - Industrial Large Ride-On Scrubber Dryer
- SC500 - Small Ride-on Scrubber Dryer
- SC351 - Compact Battery-operated Scrubber Dryer
Learn more about the different types of commercial cleaning machines. Or, feel free to simply contact us online or by phone and let us know what you’re looking for; we’re happy to answer any questions you may have.