This is our last installment of a discussion on the difference between cleaning and disinfecting. Here's a reminder of the reader's problem:

"We have a very busy gym/workout area with multiple pad on walls, chin up bars, dummies and other porous touch points that have to be "disinfected" during multiple sessions at least four times per day. At night, we are able to perform more thorough cleaning but have concerns about the specs requiring "disinfecting" during the day with less than ten minutes between sessions. Any thoughts?"

This reader has over 20 of these large mat rooms that have to be serviced between exercise sessions as well as having a deep cleaning program at night where a given number of areas are moved with surface underneath cleaned of dirt/debris, etc. I highly recommend you advise your customer that due to the time constraints they are imposing you cannot guarantee true disinfection and that your liability is limited in case there is a MRSA or other outbreak.

If possible, you may need to schedule certain rooms be taken off line for a day or so that you can not only disinfect the entire area but also give the vinyl mats time to breathe. Remember that even if they are anti-microbial when installed, they can lose these properties over time if subjected to harsh chemicals and constant wetting as you described.

Remember that a customer may throw around terms such as "disinfecting" without having full knowledge of what is necessary to accomplish that goal. It's your job as the cleaning "expert" to educate them.

Your comments and questions are important. I hope to hear from you soon. Until then, keep it clean...

Mickey Crowe has been involved in the industry for over 35 years. He is a trainer, speaker and consultant. You can reach Mickey at 678-314-2171 or