Cleaning and Disinfecting – Do You Know the Differences?

We are all concerned about germs, and the spread of viruses but have you ever asked yourself, what is the difference between cleaning and disinfecting?

Both of these cleaning techniques are part of a broad approach to prevent the spread of infectious diseases in all commercial spaces.

To help slow the spread of viruses, some preventive measures might include staying at home when sick, social distancing, using masks, or washing hands often.

But this isn’t always enough to ensure a completely COVID secure working environment.

The basics you need to know:

Cleaning
Physically removes germs, dirt, and impurities from surfaces or objects by using soap (or detergent) and water. This process does not necessarily kill germs, but by removing them, it lowers their numbers and the risk of spreading infection.

Cleaning is just the first step in a complete decontamination process, but it’s a step you can’t skip. Even if you intend to sanitise or disinfect the area, cleaning away visible soil, dust or debris beforehand makes it easier and more effective to remove microscopic germs with more intensive methods later.

Disinfecting
The use of chemicals to kill germs on surfaces or objects, and eliminate the likes of COVID-19 and reduce the risk of spreading the virus. This process does not necessarily clean dirty surfaces or removes germs, but by killing germs on a surface after cleaning, it can further lower the risk of spreading infection.

What are your business’ frequent touchpoints?
Areas that should be frequently cleaned and disinfected are those commonly touched within your business such as tables; hard-back chairs, doorknobs, light switches, handles, desks, cell phones, tablets, toilets, sinks, and kitchen counters.

For more information, you can read our Cleaning & Disinfection 101 guide to ensuring these touchpoints and also the different techniques such as cleaning and disinfecting are all covered in your cleaning regime.