Cleaning, Disinfecting and Sanitizing – What’s the difference?

Cleaning, disinfecting and sanitizing are some of the most important steps you can take to prevent infectious diseases in your facility, including coronavirus. But what’s the difference between them?

Cleaning removes dirt, impurities and germs from objects or surfaces. When you clean, you’ll typically use water, soap or a dust rag to physically wipe germs off surfaces. You aren’t killing the germs, but you are reducing their number by removing them. This helps reduce the risk of spreading infection.

Disinfecting does kill germs on objects or surfaces. If an object is dirty, disinfecting alone won’t necessarily clean it, and it won’t remove germs, but it will kill germs on the surface. This also reduces the risk of spreading infection.

Sanitizing reduces the amount of germs on objects or surfaces to safe levels according to industry requirements or public health standards. Sanitizing is achieved through cleaning or disinfecting.

These differences are important, and high-touch objects and surfaces shouldn’t just be cleaned frequently — they should be disinfected frequently to reduce the spread of coronavirus. Depending on your facility and how it is used, these objects and surfaces may include door knobs and light switches, railings, desks, countertops, toys, phones, faucets, keyboards, countertops and more. If surfaces are visibly soiled, clean before you disinfect.

Additionally, read labels on your cleaning supplies and follow all instructions for use. Reduce the risk of cross-contamination by using color-coded cleaning supplies when possible, and wear the proper personal protective equipment when needed. If you aren’t sure which cleaning products in Erie are best for your needs and your facility, contact us today at 1-800-864-2693! Our team is happy to recommend our favorite cleaning and disinfecting solutions.

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