Cleaning products are harder to come by these days as more people are taking extra steps to clean and disinfect their homes and businesses. But what’s the difference between cleaning, sterilizing, sanitizing, and disinfecting — and how often is it necessary?
What’s the Difference?
- Cleaning refers to the removal of all foreign material such as dust, organic debris, or dirt from surfaces by washing, rinsing, wiping, or scrubbing. This is the first step to a true disinfection process, as microorganisms are harder to reach when a surface hasn’t been cleaned.
- Sanitizing: While hand sanitizer is recommended if hand-washing with soap and water is unavailable, it is not recommended to sanitize surfaces. Sanitizers only kill bacteria, whereas a disinfectant will destroy both bacteria and viruses.
- Disinfecting is critical for homes and businesses because EPA-approved disinfectants kill or inactivate both bacteria and viruses. After cleaning, it’s important to use the appropriate disinfectant on hard, non-porous surfaces such as countertops, door handles, phones, switches, etc.
- Sterilizing is an extreme form of disinfecting that completely removes all forms of microbial life. Surgical instruments and devices that come into contact with bodily fluids and tissues must be sterilized, and these guidelines are established by specific entities in the healthcare field.
ServiceMaster of Baltimore Disinfection Services
Most public places were regularly cleaned before COVID-19, but it’s important to implement a rigorous disinfection protocol appropriate for your space.
Homeowners should clean and disinfect hard, non-porous surfaces several times a day and practice hand hygiene and good respiratory etiquette. If someone is exposed to an infectious disease, the area needs to be disinfected as often as possible to limit the spread.
Commercial environments such as retail stores, churches, public transit, and offices can count on Servicemaster of Baltimore’s 60-plus years of experience serving our community to fight the spread of contagious diseases like the coronavirus. Our specific cleaning and disinfection protocols have been established to keep you safe.
- All staff wear appropriate PPE according to the most up-to-date CDC guidance
- Follow a 2-step process of cleaning before disinfecting to reduce reapplication of soil on surfaces
- Use commercial products according to the product label, to include the appropriate dwell time for maximum effectiveness
- Seal our soiled materials for proper disposal
- Follow all applicable codes, standards, and regulations during services
Servicemaster of Baltimore can help you with your ongoing cleaning and disinfection service needs. Call us at 410-780-1700 to learn more about how we can help.