Know The Differences Between Sanitizing, Cleaning, And Disinfecting

Source: | Re-Post System4 7/13/2017 – 

Cleaning is not sanitizing. Sanitizing is not disinfecting. Although the terms are often used synonymously, there is a significant difference among the three.

General cleaners remove dirt and debris from a surface and make things look shiny and clean. But they are not designed to remove the pathogens that can cause an illness. Sanitizers and disinfectants both reduce or remove the bacteria count on a surface, yet it is equally important to understand their differences as well.

Jan/san distributors can leave a lasting impression with their customers if they can help them better distinguish among these products, determine when each is applicable and know how to use them properly.

Clean, Disinfect, Sanitize

End users must fully understand the differences among cleaning, disinfecting and sanitizing to know which products to choose for which job. Bruce Heller, president of Cavalier Inc., Norfolk, Virginia, keeps this simple by referring to the dictionary, which he says offers easy-to-understand definitions for each:

• Cleaning removes a soil from a substrate. Thus, he says, a cleaner will mix with soil allowing it to be removed.
• Sanitizing is to have a substrate deemed hygienic (from a public health perspective), thus sanitizers reduce, not eliminate, the growth of bacteria.
• Disinfecting is killing germs and bacteria.

In all cases, a janitor should first apply a general-purpose cleaner.

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