In times of unprecedented global health crises, it is more important than ever to understand the differences between clean, disinfect and sanitize. Although all three are ways of keeping our environment hygienic, each one has a distinct purpose and process. Cleaning refers to the physical removal of dirt and germs, disinfecting destroys or inactivates germs on surfaces, and sanitizing is the process of reducing the number of germs to a safe level. Understanding the differences between these three hygiene methods is critical to maintaining a clean and healthy work environment. Through this article, we will explore the differences between clean, disinfect and sanitize, and how each one plays an important role in protecting our health and well-being in the workplace.
What is Cleaning?
Cleaning is the process of physically removing dirt, germs and contaminants. Cleaning is the most basic hygiene practice, and is often thought of as the most rudimentary form of hygiene. Cleaning should not be limited to physical removal of contaminants, but also the removal of their colour, smell and taste. For example, cleaning should also remove the colour, taste and smell of dirt, dust bunnies, and garbage. The cleaning process is most often achieved through the use of water and detergents, but can also be done with other substances like vinegar and hydrogen peroxide. Depending on the level of contamination and the type of surface being cleaned, the cleaning process can be as simple as wiping it away with a cloth or spraying it with water. Depending on how bad the contamination is, cleaning can also involve the use of professional cleaning agents or biological agents such as oxidizing agents, sodium hydroxide and hydrogen peroxide.
What is Disinfecting?
Disinfecting is the process of destroying or inactivating germs and microorganisms. Disinfecting can be done through physical, chemical or biological methods. Physical disinfectants include the use of heat, ultraviolet light, or sound waves. Chemical disinfectants include the use of oxidizing agents, chlorine or phenolic compounds. Biological disinfectants include the use of microorganisms that kill or inhibit the growth of other microorganisms. While cleaning is often done as a preventative method, disinfection is usually done because germs have been found on the surface. Disinfectants are commonly used in kitchens, bathrooms and other areas – such as high traffic areas — where the risk of the spread of germs is high.
What is Sanitizing?
Sanitizing is the process of reducing the number of germs to a safe level. Unlike disinfection, sanitization does not kill germs, but rather reduces their number below a certain threshold. Just like in the case of disinfection, sanitization can be achieved through physical, chemical and biological methods. Physical sanitizing methods include the use of ultraviolet light or sound waves to kill germs. Chemical sanitization methods include the use of oxidizing agents or other biocides that kill germs. Biological sanitization methods include the use of disinfectants such as hydrogen peroxide or silver ions to reduce the number of germs.
Differences between Cleaning, Disinfecting and Sanitizing
Although cleaning, disinfection and sanitization all play a critical role in protecting our health and well-being, they are very different in terms of efficacy, cost and practicability. Cleaning removes dirt, germs, and contaminants from a surface, but it doesn’t actually kill or inactivate the germs. This means that once the surface is cleaned, the dirt and germs can easily be brought back by contact with other people, animals or even the wind. This is why cleaning is only effective when done in isolation, away from other people and animals.
Disinfection, on the other hand, kills or inactivates the germs on a surface, which means that even if other people or animals come in contact with the disinfected surface, the germs are not transferred. Disinfection – although more costly — is the most effective method for keeping environments clean and safe, especially in today’s environment where Covid and flus are prevalent.
Sanitization, on the other hand, does not kill or inactivate the germs, but rather reduces their number below a certain threshold. This means that even though the germs are still alive, there are not enough to cause any harm. Sanitization is effective because it does not rely on chemicals, and is therefore more cost effective and practical than disinfection.
Benefits of Cleaning, Disinfecting and Sanitizing
Cleaning, disinfecting and sanitizing are critical to keeping our environment clean and healthy. While cleaning and disinfecting are important preventative hygienic practices, sanitization is important for making sure that the environment is safe and healthy.
– If people are exposed to large amounts of germs, they are more likely to get sick. This is why cleaning, disinfecting and sanitizing are important business practices that can help ensure the health and wellbeing of staff in any work environment.
– Cleaning, disinfecting and sanitizing can also help reduce the spread of pests and insects in the environment, which can be harmful for the environment and humans in many different ways.
– They can also be used as a preventative measure against pandemics and other diseases.
Cleaning, Disinfecting and Sanitizing Methods
There are many different methods for cleaning, disinfecting and sanitizing. Here are some of the most common methods for each type of hygiene:
Cleaning – Cleaning is the first step towards preventing the spread of germs. You can clean virtually any surface that comes into contact with people or animals, including floors, walls, windows and furniture.
Disinfecting – Disinfecting can be done in many ways, but some of the most common methods include:
– UV light
Sanitizing – Some of the most common sanitizing methods include:
– Air purifiers and filters
– Silver ionization
Cleaning, Disinfecting and Sanitizing Products
There are many different products that can be used for cleaning, disinfecting and sanitizing. Here are some of the most common products for each type of hygiene:
Cleaning – Cleaning products include detergents, soaps and chemical cleaners.
Disinfecting – Disinfecting products include chemical disinfectants, hydrogen peroxide, phenolic compounds and ozone.
Sanitizing – Sanitizing products include chemical disinfectants, ozone, silver ions and hydrogen peroxide.
Tips for Effectively Cleaning, Disinfecting and Sanitizing
When it comes to cleaning, disinfecting and sanitizing, it is important to do so effectively. There are many different ways to effectively clean, disinfect and sanitize. Here are some of the most important tips for each type of hygiene:
Cleaning – It is important to clean regularly in order to prevent the spread of germs and the buildup of dirt and grime. It is recommended that cleaning be done at least once a week.
Disinfecting – When disinfecting, it is important to pick the right disinfectant for the job. This means that you should choose the disinfectant based on the type of surface you are disinfecting.
Sanitizing – When sanitizing, it is important to make sure that the amount of germs is reduced to a safe level. This means that you should choose the sanitizer based on the type of surface you are sanitizing.
Cleaning, disinfecting and sanitizing are important business practices that help keep our environment clean and healthy. While cleaning is the most basic hygiene practice, disinfection and sanitization are effective methods for keeping the environment safe. There are many different methods for cleaning, disinfecting and sanitizing, and there are many different products that can be used for each method. These different methods and products can make the difference between an environment that is clean and safe and one that is filthy and dangerous. Knowing which practices are best for your business environment is key in ensuring a healthy workplace all year round.