We discussed in an earlier article on the principles of chemistry. Understanding the pH scale, acids, alkalines and when to chose which product to clean a certain soil. Please reference back to the (WHAT ISSUE) to refresh yourself or look over for the first time. In that article we learned about various soils and factors that contribute to choosing the right product. However, choosing the right chemistry can be tricky depending on the area where you live. For instance, salt air along the coast and hard water issues to name a few. Chemistry is always evolving which leads us into the next chapter of “The Art of Cleaning” safer chemistry through bacteria augmentation products and peroxide technology.
Bacteria vs enzymes
There is a huge difference in bacteria vs enzyme cleaning products. In a very short answer, bacteria products will produce specific enzymes to break down the organic that it is feeding on. Enzyme products are specific to certain organics and can not adapt to its environment. Bacteria-based products grow and target food sources like fats, greases, urine, blood and many other organics which makes these products so valuable to vacation rental professionals.
Bacteria-based products can be used on carpet after a pet has an accident or human for that matter i.e. spring break, blood on upholstery or linens, foul odors in drains, trash cans and refrigerators. These products are designed to digest the organics which cause odors. That’s why most product descriptions state odor digesting. However, these products are not odor eliminators and should not be sprayed in the air that would be a waste of money. Bacteria-based products should be sprayed on the surface where the organic matter is located or believed to be. Carpet odors are tricky but pre-spraying an area and agitating the carpet will help work the product into the fabric and reach the source of the odor. Most home laundry products contain enzymes targeted to break down blood, grease, grass stains and other food stains. Commercial laundries will use enzyme soaks but it’s more difficult due to the corrosiveness of the chemicals and the enzymes being sensitive to pH. High and low pH’s will kill the enzymes along with oxidizers like bleach and peroxide at certain levels.
Using bacteria-based products on hard surfaces like tile & grout, bathroom surfaces, trash cans and refrigerators will yield great results. However, we must give these products time to work. Once the cleaning bacteria is introduced to the odor source it will start the process of digesting this source. If you think of this process like us digesting our food it is a slow process and takes time but will get the job done. When breaking down odors you must always find and remove the source first. Once the source is removed you can then start the process of removing what was left behind. Fish and shrimp juices left in refrigerators is one of the most difficult odors to eliminate. The juices drip through the refrigerator and into the drip trays underneath. By completely saturating the spot where the odors are will start the digesting process and your bacteria product will follow the same path of the fish juices to help remove the problem. Then you should dump out and clean the trays with your bacteria product. I am confident this process works having experienced it multiple times! I have heard many vacation rental professionals stating they tried bleach, lemon oil, disinfectants and other home remedies with no success. Bacteria-based products have been around for years and deserve a place in your cleaning arsenal.
I absolutely love peroxide-based products! They are so safe for us to use and can truly clean every type of surface. They clean glass at a specific dilution, safely remove carpet stains, clean tile and grout, mold & mildew, remove linen stains and so many more applications. The commercial-grade products are concentrated and will really make a good impact on your properties. We like to dilute ours into two separate dilutions one light and one heavy. The light cleans glass, mirrors, counters, floors and many areas that have light soils. The reason this dilution works on floors is because you are limiting heavy concentrations of chemical residue on the floors to not attract more dirt. The heavier dilution works on soap scum, kitchen greases, toilets, sinks and many other stubborn stains like wine and food on carpet. Peroxide cleaners are typically neutral in pH but in their true state they carry a 4 pH which is slight acidic. They should foam on organics to show they are working and will go deep into the pores and pull up dirt, soil and other contaminants. When cleaning mold & mildew with peroxide be prepared to agitate. Peroxide will clean the mildew but must be agitated. Bleach simply bleaches out the mildew for it to return with a vengeance a couple days later. We have incorporated an essential oil that is a known antimicrobial which helps attack the root of the mold & mildew. If you have not tried a peroxide-based product you should.