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Cleaning vs disinfecting: The misconceptions

Do you know the difference between cleaning and disinfecting? It is a common misconception that disinfecting is the same as cleaning. Differentiating and executing the two properly is important to ensure a healthy, clean area.

Cleaning is the he act of removing dirt or something undesirable. 

Disinfecting is the process of killing pathogenic organisms rendering them inert. 

Be mindful of these common cleaning vs disinfecting misconceptions:
  • Disinfectant chemicals are not to be cleaned or rinsed off after use. In many cases this is simply not true. Disinfectants in a dry state do not have a residual activity: the disinfectant action can only take place when moisture is present; so in other words the disinfectant has to remain wet for it to work, a dry residue or film of disinfectant may be problematic.
  • Disinfectant residue/film will not damage a surface such as a floor and wall surfaces. The potential of damage is completely dependent on the type and concentration of chemicals contained in the disinfectant and how much of this residue/film is left behind. A dried on disinfectant residue/film (along with all the bugs that it has killed and the soil it may contain) can in fact make a floor or wall surface sticky, attract additional soiling, discolor or even chemically damage the surface of which it is left on.
  • Only certain hospital grade or EPA registered disinfectants can be used on floors and wall surfaces. In most cases the disinfectant chemical selection will be part of the facilities Infection Control and Environmental Services plan. They will have dedicated staff for making the critical decisions for disinfectant chemicals and monitoring the products effectiveness. Each facility will have a process of selecting products that meet the facility’s particular needs, they will have and conduct training programs for the personnel doing the disinfecting and cleaning, and they will have processes for monitoring effectiveness.
Posted: 6/4/2018 7:04:10 PM by Jesse Wade | with 0 comments