There is a very big difference between a house that looks and smells clean and a house that really is clean. Here are some things trained cleaning PROs know that can help bridge the gap:
Chemistry matters. There is a great deal of advanced science that goes into designing safe, effective cleaning solutions — ones that actually dissolve and bond with dirts and oils, suspend bonded particles in water, and lift them away from surfaces — all without leaving toxic chemical residues. Using poorly designed solutions, nonabsorbent cloths and mops, and/or improper techniques can equate to simply swishing dirt and chemicals around on surfaces rather than removing them.
Water matters too! A cleaning solution that works well in one home, may work less well in another. That’s because varying degrees of minerals in local water supplies (hard vs. soft water) can interfere with solution efficacy.
An effective formula for cleaning (based on the famous Dr. Sinner’s circle) is: chemicals + temperature + time + agitation. Add more of one and you can use less of another. For example, using an effective cleaning solution can enable you to spend less time or to expend less energy in scrubbing.
There is a huge mathematical difference between sanitizing and disinfecting. Sanitizing kills 99.9% of germs — a 1,000-fold reduction in human exposure while disinfecting kills 99.999% — a 100,000-fold reduction. Most homes don’t require true disinfecting (that’s for hospitals), but it’s good to know how to interpret highly regulated marketing lingo especially when someone in your family catches a nasty bug or flu. ‘Antibacterial’ is a very different and weaker claim than ‘kills viruses that cause common colds and flu’.
Disinfecting takes time. You might notice a PRO cleaner spraying bathroom or kitchen surfaces and then walking away to perform other tasks. They know it takes up to 10-15 minutes for (wet) disinfecting solutions to kill germs. This is why all those convenient ‘disinfecting’ wipes rarely live up to their kill claims, since most people wipe too much counter per wipe and don’t leave enough wet disinfectant on the surface for long enough to kill germs properly.
Dirt falls. The mark of a true cleaning PRO is that they start high, dusting ceiling fans, light fixtures, shelves, etc and work gradually downward, finishing a room by vacuuming or washing the floor. They also start far away from a home’s entry point and work gradually back toward the door to prevent re-depositing dust and dirt on freshly cleaned surfaces. Finally, PROs segregate their tools to avoid cross contamination — between bathrooms and kitchens, for example.