Cleaning Myths

We are asked on a daily basis about the best way to solve cleaning problems and have noticed there are a number of common cleaning myths circulating, that are negatively impacting people’s ability to resolve their cleaning related headaches.

It would seem that our society has some interesting misconceptions about cleaning and the various products involved in the process, so we thought we would write this article to bust some common myths and set the record straight once and for all!

Myth #1: Cleaning, Sanitising & Disinfecting Are The Same Thing!

This is false. There is an important distinction between the three, although they often get tied together in the same category. Cleaning can be seen as the physical process one undertakes to remove unwanted dust and dirt from a surface. When cleaning, you are simply removing surface dirt and germs, not necessarily killing germs.

Disinfecting on the other hand specifically aims to kill germs and bacteria, however this might not fully clean a surface as its purpose is not to remove dirt particles, although some disinfectants such as JAMAC disinfectants also contain additional ingredients designed to remove dirt particles. It is important to note the difference between killing germs and removing them.

Sanitising can involve a combination of both cleaning and disinfecting with the goal of killing enough germs and bacteria so the object or surface is safe enough for handling. A good example to illustrate the key differences between the three are;

  • Cleaning – you wouldn’t sanitise your car when it is covered in mud. You would clean it. This involves using products to remove dirt from the surface, making it look physically clean once again.
  • Disinfecting – you wouldn’t clean a doorknob, somebody, with the flu just touched. You would disinfect it using chemicals to kill any germs and bacteria on the surface. There is likely no visible remnants of dirt or particles that need to be cleaned away as germs and bacteria are microscopic.
  • Sanitising – you wouldn’t clean a remote in a hotel room. You would sanitise it. This would lower the overall number of germs on the surface, making it safer to touch and handle.

Myth #2: Disinfectant Works Instantly

False! For a germicide to work, it needs to be left on the surface for longer than most people realise. You need to give the product sufficient time to settle and activate. There is no point in spraying a surface with a disinfectant just to wipe it off instantly. It is important to always read the label of the product as it will outline the specifics for the product you are using, but as a general guide, waiting at least a minute before wiping will generally do the trick and will be sufficient time for the product to fully activate.

Myth #3: All Cleaning Products Can Disinfect

Not true! This is an incorrect assumption many people have about cleaning products. Products are all designed to do specific things and are generally not a one size fits all solution. Each product is specifically formulated to achieve certain results. Cleaners use soap or detergent, and water to remove dirt and some germs, whereas disinfectants are specifically formulated to kill germs and viruses. The difference is enormous and the importance of knowing these distinctions is now more important than ever, especially with the spread of Covid-19.

Myth #4: Vinegar Is An Effective Disinfectant

False! Whilst vinegar is seen as a great solution for those adverse to the use of chemicals in the home, there are far better and more effective solutions out there. Vinegar and other acetic acids do reduce the number of pathogens detectable on surfaces but do not do nearly as good a job as other household and commercial cleaners. Whilst it may kill some germs, it won’t kill all germs leaving you susceptible.

Myth #5: It’s Possible To Clean Without Chemicals

Not true. Everything around us from the air we breath (CO2) to water (H2O) is made of chemicals! So even if you were cleaning with nothing but pure water, you are still using chemicals.

Linked to this is a belief that it’s possible to clean without using chemicals that are toxic, but few people understand that what makes chemicals potentially toxic is the quantity present, the other chemicals it’s mixed with and how it is used.

It is true there are many powerful cleaning products on the market that pose a risk to the environment, especially if they contaminate the water supply, which is why JAMAC cleaning products are designed to break down into a harmless state after use.

Myth #6: The More Cleaning Products You Use, The better!

Not necessarily. In some cases, a little goes a long way which is why it is important to refer to the products label as it will indicate what portions and amounts of products should be used for the most effective results.

If you would like more advice on the best way to tackle your particular cleaning related problems, please feel free to reach out to us at [email protected] or (02) 9838 1220