Disinfecting supply, cleaning service companies work to help Katy-area businesses, homes sanitize during coronavirus

cleaning, disinfecting, sanitation
"People are taking it seriously. I haven’t seen the people in our area panic buying," said Jennifer Pierce of State Chemical. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

"People are taking it seriously. I haven’t seen the people in our area panic buying," said Jennifer Pierce of State Chemical. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

Unlike many businesses in the Katy area that are struggling amidst the social distancing recommendations and ordered closures due to the coronavirus, some are experiencing steady or even increasing calls and sales.

Jennifer Pierce, a territory manager in the Katy area for State Chemical‚ also known as State Industrial Products, said she has seen a jump in demand for the company’s disinfecting products over the past week.

“Overall, there’s been a dramatic increase in the industry for products that work against the coronavirus,” Pierce said.

State Chemical began preparing by increasing its supplies for this expected surge long before it became a news item, she said.

Over the past few weeks, Pierce said she had been visiting clients and, more recently, sending out emails to help businesses train their employees on how to properly disinfect, to ensure they have enough supplies and to ensure they do not hoard cleaning items.


“People are taking it seriously,” she said. “I haven’t seen the people in our area panic buying.”

Pierce noted that many businesses and organizations are increasing their cleaning procedures, which will be the new normal going forward. Cleaning supply companies—including State Chemical, which has its own manufacturing facility in the U.S.—is working around the clock to keep up with the increased demand.

“Everyone has increased their amount of cleaning,” she said. “So it will take a while for the world’s stock [to resupply].”

Because of limited cleaning supplies, MKT Distillery LLC at 5373 First St., Katy, is helping the Fort Bend County Sheriff's Office by making hand sanitizer at its location, according to a Feb. 20 Facebook post.

“The first five gallons of hand sanitizer left MKT yesterday, and we are working on producing more today and this weekend,” the distillery stated.

The sheriff's office will use the supply for the You Are Not Alone program, which helps seniors and disabled citizens who live alone.



However, Pierce is more worried about businesses that are not properly using disinfectant solutions.

“Reading and following the directions [of disinfectant] can make the difference between containment and making [the coronavirus] worse,” she said.

Some solutions need up to 10 minutes to properly disinfectant surfaces, she said.

Meanwhile, Merry Maids’ Katy location at 22503 Katy Freeway, Ste. 31, Katy, has seen an increase of requests for disinfectant calls and steady business, said Brian Houtman, who owns and operates three locations of the home cleaning chain in the Greater Houston area with his wife.

“All our cleanings right now include a disinfecting service for all high-touch areas as recommended by the [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention],” Houtman said.

Houtman said his Merry Maid team uses disinfecting products that meet Environmental Protection Agency guidelines for the coronavirus. Employees have all gone through training about how to clean and disinfect for the coronavirus. Additionally, maids are equipped with masks, and between service calls, the cleaning kits and gear is sanitized.

“We definitely have enough supplies for the next few months [to ensure we can operate],” he said and clarified that he is not stockpiling but rather ensuring the business can operate.

In addition to gathering additional supplies, Houtman said his team gathered together at the start of the coronavirus to ask how they can help the Katy and Greater Houston areas.

“Community is really important,” he said. “First thing we did is we reached out to customers at high risk [for getting the coronavirus], such as the elderly and homebound.”

Merry Maids offered to deliver groceries or provide other help, he said.

“It’s important that the community comes together and share resources,” Houtman said.
By Jen Para
Jen joined Community Impact Newspaper in fall 2018 as the editor of the Katy edition. A graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism, Jen has written about business, politics and education. Prior to CI, Jen was the web producer at Houston Business Journal.


MOST RECENT

Public health officials have now confirmed five deaths total over the past five days in the county. (Community Impact staff)
Harris County coronavirus count: No new deaths, 286 new cases confirmed in Harris County May 26

Public health officials have now confirmed five deaths total over the past five days in the county.

Only Harris and Waller counties are providing data on recoveries, deaths and active cases on the ZIP code level. Together, they report a total of 486 recoveries and eight deaths out of 830 total confirmed cases in the Katy area. (Courtesy Pexels)
Katy-area confirmed COVID-19 cases grows to 965 on May 26

The data reflects the total number of confirmed positive coronavirus cases since the beginning of the pandemic.

Starting May 19, water parks will be able to open up to 25% capacity. (Kelly Schafler/Community Impact Newspaper)
Gov. Abbott issues proclamation allowing water parks to open

Starting Friday, May 29, water parks will be allowed to open but must limit guests to 25% of their normal operating capacity.

The vote occurred at the regular May 26 court meeting. Commissioners Grady Prestage and Ken DeMerchant and County Judge KP George voted in favor of extending the declaration, while Commissioners Vincent Morales and Andy Meyers voted against the motion. (Courtesy Fort Bend County; José Dennis/Community Impact Newspaper)
Fort Bend County extends disaster declaration to mid-June, examines mobile testing site options

"At some point in time, we need to get back to life as normal," said a commissioner who voted against the extension.

The flute section of the Rouse High School marching band from Leander performs in this 2017 file photo. (Courtesy Leander ISD)
Texas schools may begin hosting sports workouts, band practices June 8

The University Interscholastic League released guidelines for allowing sports workouts and marching bands to practice.

Taste Buds Cereal Bar to open in Katy area

Taste Buds Cereal Bar, located at 1801 N. Mason Road, Katy, will have a soft opening June 19.

Under guidelines from Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, day care centers, bars and entertainment venues—including bowling alleys and bingo parlors—were allowed to reopen a limited occupancy May 22. (Community Impact staff)
Harris County coronavirus count: Officials confirm 469 new cases over Memorial Day weekend

Under guidelines from Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, day care centers, bars and entertainment venues—including bowling alleys and bingo parlors—were allowed to reopen a limited occupancy May 22.

Katy-area residents practice social distancing guidelines by waiting outside a craft store. (Jen Para/Community Impact Newspaper)
Katy area's May 22 daily COVID-19 case count increases by 25

All new repoted cases occured in Harris County ZIP codes.

Souq International Markets will open its new Katy-area location soon. (Susan Rovegno/Community Impact Newspaper)
ROUNDUP: Memorial Day business updates from the Houston area

Read some of the latest business news from the Greater Houston area on Community Impact Newspaper’s website.

Houston's unemployment rate hit a record high at 14.2%, leaving more than 450,000 workers unemployed. (Matt Dulin/Community Impact Newspaper)
Greater Houston area sees record-breaking unemployment rate in April at 14.2%

The previous high for the Greater Houston area's unemployment rate was set in January 2010 at 8.7%.

Harris County homeowners who are age 65 or older or who have disabilities can expect property tax relief this year in the form of expanded property tax exemptions. (Courtesy Fotolia)
Harris County unanimously votes to increase homestead exemptions for seniors, the disabled

Harris County homeowners who are age 65 or older or who have disabilities can expect property tax relief this year in the form of expanded property tax exemptions.

Houston ISD interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan said she is exploring multiple options for the 2020-21 school year. (Screnshot via HISD TV)
Longer school days and more: Top stories from this week in Houston

Read the most popular stories covering the Greater Houston area from this week on Community Impact Newspaper’s website.