Cleaning businesses see boost amid coronavirus concerns

BOSTON — Stopping the spread of coronavirus can begin at home, and businesses that specialize in home cleaning are seeing a boost.

It’s a busy time for cleaning businesses including Boston-based MaidPro.

“We have seen a 20 percent spike in phone calls for a couple of months now,” said Melissa Homer, MaidPro chief cleaning officer.

The company specializes in residential deep-cleaning. Homer says their techniques can help stop the spread.

“This is not the time to mess with things that say anti-bacterial or whatever it says – some products will claim some sort of germ killing quality but if it doesn’t say disinfectant on it – leave it on the shelf,” said Homer.

Those disinfectants should sit on surfaces for 10 minutes, but make sure if you use the heavy duty stuff, you’re reading the labels and diluting them properly.

“Products like these, you concentrate them too much and you put them on surfaces you can make yourself sick,” Homer said.

One big thing you want to prevent is cross contamination – and one way to do that is color coordinating your cleaning supplies – she’s done that here: the light blue is for living areas, the white is for the bathroom and the dark blue is for the kitchen.

“So much of this is stuff we already should have been doing,” Homer said.

“I’m certainly not happy about a pandemic, I’m worried for my own family as well,” Homer said. "But I think we are going to come out of the end of it a whole lot healthier because we are going to learn how to take care of our properties and ourselves and make sure that we have our systems in place."

“Frankly we got complacent. There hasn’t been a big scary illness to mess with the American public in a while and maybe our parents remember polio and things like that but we haven’t had anything come through like this in quite a long time,” she said.

As far as protecting herself and the people she works with?

She says that the same practices keep them safe and she hopes independent cleaners pay attention as well.