Understanding if it’s Clean, Disinfected, or Sanitized
December 09, 2020
As 2020 comes to an end in the next few weeks, a sort of hopeful cleansing seems to be in order- both to keep the flu and COVID-19 at bay, and to try and wash away the stress that 2020 has brought for so many people. While we can only hope for the best as we look forward to 2021, we can consider physical cleaning preparation for better things to come. But how we clean and what that means can vary because cleanliness comes in different forms: disinfecting, sanitizing, or both.
See below for how cleaning, disinfecting, and sanitizing have different impacts on germs!
- Cleaning is the process of REMOVING germs and debris from the surface. Think of washing your hands or the dishes with warm soapy water for the recommended 20 seconds. Did it kill the germs? Maybe, depending on the soap you used and temperature, but more than likely it just sent them down the drain.
- Disinfecting ELIMINATES germs. Think of using your antibacterial hand soap while washing your hands, and then bleaching or using chemical disinfectants in the sink you washed your hands in earlier. This kills those germs that you washed from your hands and into the sink.
- Sanitizing lowers the number of germs on a surface to levels deemed safe by public health standards. Think about the standards for those used in inspecting childcare facilities, food safety regulations, and CDC guidelines. Sanitizing is a form of cleaning or disinfecting. This could mean washing your hands so it’s safe to prepare food or disinfecting a table with a flu/COVID-19 eliminating solution.
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