COVID has made all of us more conscious of cleanliness – especially of the kinds of products that kill germs. Like you, we wondered: how is it possible to kill all the germs and not harm the environment? Dawn Crawley, owner of House Cleaning Heroes, is a font of information on the subject, so we asked her about the practices she uses to keep her employees, her clients and the environment safe.
Dawn says there are three classifications of cleaning and it’s important to know the difference. “There is sanitation, disinfection and sterilization. Sanitation and disinfection are very similar. Both methods can kill viruses like COVID-19 and the two vary by just .01% in effectiveness. Sterilization occurs when you use very hot water at around 250 degrees F, or the point at which it creates steam. With most viruses, very hot water and soap kills a lot of it. To disinfect, we use a product that is eco-friendly and kills not only COVID-19 but all CORONA viruses, norovirus, blood-born pathogens and more.”
“You can put it in a spray bottle and clean touch-point surfaces like door handles, light-switches, countertops and any surface people will touch frequently. This product can also be used in an electrostatic sprayer. Electrostatic spraying has been around for longer than COVID. How it works is it electro-charges a molecule and causes the molecule to attach to surfaces, even spaces that can’t be reached with a cloth. If I’m cleaning with a rag and spraying, that’s the first line of defense, but an electrostatic sprayer, which House Cleaning Heroes employs via a portable backpack, reaches and covers the whole surface.”
“It’s very safe; it’s not harmful. We do wear masks and goggles to apply the product but the dwell time is only 2-5 minutes and it kills multiple viruses. I recommend this to people even apart from COVID if there’s something going around like a stomach flu.”
Something else she’s passionate about is that “smell does not equal clean.” She gets it – her generation used Pine-Sol. But she asserts, “The smells that we’ve associated with cleanliness, won’t necessarily be present when we’ve completely sanitized your home. If you want it to smell like a particular scent, just provide us with an essential oil that you like and we’ll use it.” The main reason she doesn’t use products with heavy odors like Pine-Sol or bleach, is the odor's effects on house cleaners, who may be doing two or three houses a day. “They’re not just bad for the environment, bad for my employees, and so bad for you too!” If you can smell bleach in the shower, then that is getting on your skin.
Her quest for safe, effective cleaning products started years ago when she visited a job site where her worker was cleaning with bleach and she came away with a headache. She began a perpetual search for products that work, that clean well and kill germs, but that are still safe for employees and homeowners. “I’m so sensitive now to the more toxic cleaning products that I can smell them when they’re in cabinets and fumes are leaking out into the home. Why would you want to use such a product when there are much better, more effective ways to clean?” she asks.
“Ask, does it look clean?” Dawn says. Environmental toxins create allergies – even pets have allergies! So, it’s much safer just to eliminate perfumes along with the dirt that causes odors that actually could be bad for you.
House Cleaning Heroes Uses Green Products That:
- Kill 99.9% of viruses and bacteria
- Have a broad-spectrum disinfectant
- Eliminate and control odors
- Remove mold and mildew stains
- Comply with OSHA's bloodborne pathogen standard
- Provide food contact sanitization
- Are effective against Clostridium difficile and spores.