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What’s The Difference Between Cleaning, Sanitizing, And Disinfecting Surfaces?
Have you ever wondered why there are cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting products? Surely they all work the same, right? Wrong! Sometimes you have to tackle dirt and germs, and sometimes you have to go to battle with bacteria and viruses. The product you should use depends on the villain you are fighting.
Here is a brief summary of when and why to clean, sanitize, or disinfect.
Cleaning removes dirt and organic matter from hard surfaces using soap or detergents.
Hard Surfaces to Clean:
Sanitizing reduces the number of micro-organisms on hard surfaces by 99.9%* to lower the risk of spreading infections.
Hard Surfaces to Sanitize:
Disinfecting kills viruses, bacteria and fungi on hard surfaces by 99.999%*.
Hard Surfaces to Disinfect:
*Each 9 after the decimal increases germ killing power by a factor of 1,000.
Sanitizers and disinfectants are regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and must be certified through a process that tests them to meet certain pre-defined criteria. By law, a chemical product cannot be labeled as a sanitizer or a disinfectant unless and until it is EPA certified.
Since disinfectants feature the broadest spectrum of activity, they go through more rigorous testing requirements and must clear a higher bar for effectiveness than sanitizers.
Consider Kill Time
Also called dwell time or contact time, kill time is the appropriate amount of time that a disinfectant has to remain visibly wet on the surface being cleaned to effectively kill the germs, viruses, or bacteria you're combating. Some chemical formulas kill in five minutes and others in one minute or less. Always check the product label and leave on surface for the length of kill time listed.
When products are not used according to the contact times listed on the label, there is a risk that microorganisms will not be completely killed on surfaces. As a result, surfaces can continue to pose a threat of infection.
Tips For Choosing Products
When you need clean surfaces, it’s twine time.