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Sanitizing Versus Disinfecting – What You Don’t Know Could Kill You

Understanding the level of cleaning required in your building could mean life or death. OK, that might be somewhat dramatic, but it could certainly be the difference in protecting your building occupants from illness and the spread of infection.

Cleaning for health means having an effective cleaning program that cares for your business and your people.

Now, more than ever, the cleaning industry is focused on cleaning for health as well as appearance. And that’s a good thing. Cleaning for health means professional practices and products are used to ensure the utmost health of a building’s people and assets.  As reported by Cleanlink Magazine, “Cleaning with an eye on health helps reduce sick building syndrome, infections and respiratory problems — and it benefits not only the building’s occupants, but also the cleaning employees, since cleaner and healthier workplaces tend to experience less absenteeism among workers.”

Whether you are in the food service industry, in an educational or office facility, it’s essential to understand when and how to treat surfaces to eliminate illness causing germs.

Let’s look at the various levels of cleaning (as outlined by Clorox Professional):

Basic Cleaning – Manual or mechanical removal of soil and debris from surfaces and equipment. Products used: Cleaner, detergent.

Sanitization – Reduction of bacterial contaminants to safe levels as per health requirements. Products used: Food-contact and non-food contact sanitizers, products labeled “kills 99.9% of germs”.

Disinfection – Destruction of pathogenic and other types of microorganisms, typically using chemical agents. Products used: Cleaner disinfectants, products labeled “kills 99.999& of germs”.

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