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Cleaning, Sanitizing, and Disinfecting - Is There A Difference?

Cleaning, Sanitizing, and Disinfecting - Is There A Difference?

In light of the current pandemic the question has been raised as to the difference between cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting. Why should I be stocking disinfectants if I have sanitizers? Or why should we bother cleaning if we are disinfecting the whole time anyway? The reality is that Yes there is a difference and each one plays an important role in your regular cleaning schedule.

  1. Cleaning: Removes dirt and grime from surfaces with general cleaner/degreasers, floor maintenance products, etc. This is essentially removing the stuff you can see. Cleaning can get rid of 80% of germs and should be done in all areas of the facility.
  1. Sanitizing: Gets rid of enough germs for the surface to be deemed safe by public health authorities. Sanitizer sprays and/or wipes work great in places like the lunchroom or kitchen where there is contact with food.
  1. Disinfecting: Kills and removes 99.999% of germs. Washrooms, and high touch-point areas should be disinfected thoroughly and regularly to avoid cross-contamination and the spread of disease.

Basically; the difference between sanitizing and disinfection is the amount of germs removed but both are relatively ineffective if you haven’t cleaned first. The heavy dirt and grime must be cleaned away before you can make the surface safe!

If you need cleaning and disinfection products, surf our site or contact us for help, we are more than happy to provide a complete range for your facility!

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