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It was an all-too-familiar scene in my kitchen this week. The oven preheated, I popped my entree into the heat to bake and turned my attention to the countertops. Everyone loves homemade meatballs, but the mess this dish leaves behind is not so desirable. In my enthusiasm for mixing the breadcrumbs, ground turkey, egg, and myriad of spices, I managed to get some of the mixture on the countertop and (somehow) the stovetop as well.

I was listening to a podcast while I cooked so, in hindsight, I was rather distracted. After washing my hands, I reached for the disinfectant, spraying it liberally over my mess. And there it was: a rookie mistake if ever there was one! It gets worse. I absentmindedly reached for a paper towel and began to wipe almost as soon as the spray had settled. Big mistake number two! 

Fortunately, the next thing that followed was a moment of mental clarity — probably thanks to that second cup of coffee earlier in the day — and I was able to fix my blunder before unintentionally (yet irresponsibly) spreading salmonella bacteria around my home.

Did you spot the two glaring mistakes I made before I pointed them out? There are two crucial steps in the disinfecting process that, when missed, can lead to incredibly unfortunate (yes, even deadly) consequences. 

Let’s walk back through my kitchen cleanup catastrophe to point out what was wrong. Imagine the scene of the countertops. Each visible crumb was functioning as a cabana-sized umbrella shielding the invisible enemy — salmonella (and other) bacteria — from the chemical disinfectant I applied. It matters not how effective your disinfectant is if it never reaches the target!

When Sonlight Cleaning Services employees disinfect a surface for your business, the first step they never miss is actually in the name… cleaning! A surface must be cleaned of visible dirt, dust, and (in my case) meatball mix before a disinfectant is applied.

Now let’s look at my second blunder. With my spray bottle still in hand, I began wiping countertops. Sonlight Cleaning Services ensures that employees are thoroughly trained on how to properly apply all the products used in your facility or office building. This training includes instruction on dwell time

Dwell time is the amount of time a product needs to remain — to “dwell” — on a surface in order for maximum germ-killing to occur. Dwell time is different for each product, typically ranging from 30 seconds to 10 minutes or more. Some products must even fully dry on a surface and not be wiped off. Additionally, some pathogens require more dwell time than others.

Once I came to my senses and looked at the product I had in my hand, the fine print reminded me that dwell time for that product was 3 minutes for maximum effectiveness to be reached. Thank goodness for great information from Sonlight Cleaning Services! Call or e-mail us today for a free evaluation of you janitorial and office cleaning requirements.

by Laura Pulliam

Texas Family Owned and Operated for over 33 Years.