Clean, Sanitize, Disinfect – What’s the difference?

Today, more than ever, we understand the importance of proper cleaning protocols. The heightened awareness on cleaning may bring up some questions. How do you disinfect a surface? Is disinfecting and sanitizing the same thing? What is chemical dwell time?

The truth is – cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting are 3 words that sound similar, but have very different meanings. We’re going to break them down for you.

Cleaning: removes soils (dirt, germs, oils, dust) from a surface by using a cloth and soap, detergent, or all-purpose cleaner. As a result, germs aren’t being killed. You are simply wiping away any soils from the surface.

Sanitizing: reduces the number of germs on a surface to a safer level by applying a sanitizing solution to the surface and wiping it clean. Safe levels, as mentioned above, are determined by Public Health Standards.

Disinfecting: kills the germs living on a surface. Before disinfecting a surface, it’s important to clean it to remove any soils. After cleaning the surface, apply an EPA approved disinfectant and let it sit for the recommended amount of dwell time. Lastly, wipe the surface with a clean cloth to remove any chemical residue. (Dwell time can be found on the product label and may vary between based on the type of disinfectant being used).

Follow the tips above to properly clean at home or in the workplace! Have more questions? Feel free to contact us now.