Cleaning, Sanitizing, and Disinfecting - What's the Difference
Confused about the difference between cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting? There is an important distinction between each of these seemingly similar actions.
Cleaning removes dirt, sanitizing will destroy some bacteria and viruses, and disinfecting will result in more bacteria and/or viruses being destroyed.
In this article, we’ll explain the differences between cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting and how each method can help maintain a healthy and safe environment.
What is Cleaning and Why It’s Important
Cleaning means removing visible dirt, dust, and debris from surfaces using soap, detergent, and water. It alone does not kill bacteria or viruses but is an essential first step before sanitizing or disinfecting.
Regular cleaning helps maintain a clean and tidy environment, essential for your health and well-being. It can be done using various methods, such as dusting, vacuuming, sweeping, and mopping.
It also helps prevent the buildup of dirt and grime, which can attract pests and bacteria. Additionally, cleaning can improve indoor air quality by removing dust and allergens from surfaces.
By hiring professional HomePlus house cleaning services in Carlisle, MA, you can benefit from a more thorough cleaning process.
What is Sanitization and Why It’s Important
What makes cleaning and sanitizing distinct from one another? While cleaning makes your house look nice, sanitizing gets rid of bacteria that can be harmful to your health.
Sanitation is required for surfaces that come into contact with food as well as to prevent the transmission of disease. In order to avoid contamination and cross-contamination, sanitizers contain microorganisms that kill bacteria and fungi.
The CDC advises using hand sanitizers with alcohol concentrations of 60% to 95%. Use a solution that contains at least 60% alcohol to sanitize the majority of surfaces.
Additionally, a steam cleaner, washing machine, or dishwasher can be used to sanitize some objects and surfaces.
What is Disinfecting and Why It’s Important
The process of killing bacteria and viruses on surfaces using chemicals is known as disinfecting. They are stronger than sanitizers and can kill a wider range of microorganisms, including viruses and fungi.
Disinfecting is typically done using EPA-registered disinfectants that have been proven to be effective against specific pathogens.
Disinfecting is essential in healthcare settings, where the risk of infection is high. Disinfecting is also important in homes and offices, particularly during cold and flu season, to prevent the spread of germs and bacteria.
How Do Cleaning, Sanitizing, and Disinfecting Vary From One Another
Some individuals mistakenly believe that cleaning or sanitizing and disinfecting are synonyms. However, they are distinct:
Cleaning gets rid of bacteria, crumbs, dust, and dirt from surfaces and objects. In contrast, cleaning physically cleans surfaces and objects using soap (or detergent) and water.
It’s possible that this won’t necessarily destroy the germs. However, the number of germs that could infect you has decreased as a result of the elimination of some of the germs.
The process of disinfecting involves using chemicals called disinfectants to kill germs on surfaces and items. Bleach and alcohol solutions are a few common disinfectants.
You frequently need to keep the disinfectant on the surfaces and goods for a specific period of time in order to kill the germs. Cleaning soiled surfaces or getting rid of microorganisms are not prerequisites for disinfecting.
Sanitizing can be accomplished through cleaning, disinfection, or a combination of the two. By sanitizing, you can safely lower the number of microorganisms. What is deemed to be a safe amount is determined by the public health norms or criteria at a workplace, school, etc.
For example, sanitizing protocols are in place for restaurants and other businesses that prepare food. Your needs will determine the sanitizing technique you employ.
To clean a floor, you could use a mop, a chemical, and water. Dishes can be sterilized in dishwashers. Or perhaps you’re using an antibacterial wipe to clean the TV remote.
Tips for Safe Cleaning and Disinfecting
It’s necessary to be secure when using cleaning and disinfecting products:
- Don’t mix different cleaning and disinfecting products together unless the label says it’s safe. Mixing certain products can be very dangerous.
- Check the label to see if you need to wear gloves or eye protection when using the products.
- If you accidentally swallow, inhale, or get the product on your skin, follow the instructions on the label or seek medical help right away.
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