The words cleaning and sanitizing might be used interchangeably but they are not the same thing, in fact, there is a big difference between the two. Just because something is clean doesn’t mean it’s been sanitized and likewise, you can sanitise something without it being particularly clean.
Why does the distinction make a difference? The distinction is important because cleaning something doesn’t kill germs such as viruses, bacteria and fungi although many will be removed by the process. So while your home may be sparkling and dust-free it could still be harbouring nasty little micro-organisms that can make you sick.
There is also a difference between sanitizing and disinfecting. Sanitizing will reduce the level of micro-organisms to what is considered a safe level. Whereas disinfecting or sterilizing will kill everything.
With this in mind, it is important to think about whether you need to clean, sanitize or both, but also the types of micro-organisms you are wanting to get rid off. For example, in food preparation areas sanitizers will often be used to kill bacteria quickly, and they are very efficient for this purpose. However, many are not designed to kill other pathogens such as viruses.
Cleaning is the removal of dirt, food, grease and other contamination and impurities from an area, object or surface.
There are a number of methods most people are familiar with when it comes to cleaning. Each of which has its place in cleaning different items and areas.
For example, you may use soap or detergent and water to physically remove dirt from your hands or your kitchen surface, or you might use a vacuum cleaner to remove dust and other debris from your floor, you might dust your ornaments and you might scrape the dirt from mucky boots. Abrasion is also often required when cleaning.
Cleaning will physically remove a certain number of bacteria, viruses and other micro-organisms as well as dirt, grime and food. Plus it generally creates an inhospitable, clean, dry environment in which micro-organisms are less likely to thrive.
We all know that washing our hands properly with soap (even if it’s not antibacterial) and water is sufficient to keep us transferring any bacteria on our hands into our systems. The combination of detergent, abrasion and water literally washes them away, yet cleaning alone does not actually kill germs.
For many low-risk areas cleaning alone will be all you need. For example, you are unlikely to need to sanitize chairs, shelves, floors, walls, doors or windows on a regular basis. Unless of course, you have young children in which case anything goes.
On the other hand cleaning alone may not be enough for food preparation areas, the bathroom, or high traffic items such as door handles or the TV remote.
Sanitizing kills germs lowering the number of them on objects or surfaces to a level that is considered safe (as opposed to disinfecting which kills everything).
It is worth noting that in the United States products sold as sanitizers contain agents that will kill 99.9% of bacteria, however, they are not required to be effective against viruses or fungi.
This means that if you are dealing with a viral infection at home or work and wish to stop it spreading, you may need a different product to your standard kitchen sanitizer.
EPA registered disinfectants, household bleach, hydrogen peroxide and alcohol at 70% proof or above will all work to kill viruses as well as bacteria.
Because cleaning and sanitizing provide different functions both are important and often go hand in hand.
Cleaning is a vital part of the sanitizing process as surfaces need to be clean before you can effectively sanitize them. Without removing physical dirt, bacteria and viruses can remain without coming into contact with the sanitizing agent.
In a commercial kitchen or your kitchen at home, cleaning and sanitizing is often considered a 4 step process:
For certain surfaces such as door handles that don’t really get that dirty you may just wish to sanitize. Disinfectant wipes are often popular for this purpose.
Read below for tips on how to sanitize your home. Find more here.
Champion Chem-Dry offers a hospital-grade sanitizer registered by the EPA proven to kill germs, bacteria and enveloped viruses in homes on surfaces including carpet, upholstery, tile, wood, vinyl and high touch point areas such as door knobs, appliances, cabinets, remote controls, light switches and more! Call (813) 780-8464 for information on our sanitizer and healthy home services today!
Copyright ©2020  Champion Chem-Dry | Sitemap