What’s the Difference between Disinfecting and Sanitizing?
- Posted by Sonlight Cleaning
- On June 29, 2020
- 0 Comments
Two things are currently on the rise in Texas — the number of businesses reopening and the number of new coronavirus cases (both in our great state and nationwide). Over the past several weeks, businesses in Texas have been working hard to discover what it means to reopen, keeping both employees and customers as safe as possible in the process.
There is nothing simple or easy about where we find ourselves. This is far more complicated than a “bad flu season” — we have precedents in recent history for that. It’s more like a wildfire than a hurricane; hurricanes and other storm systems eventually pass through, but this seems to reemerge and even have “hot spots” like a wildfire that just won’t be quenched.
For the astute business owner and responsible facilities manager, this is a time of educating oneself. Some organizations have had to shift their basic business practices as in-person shopping makes way for curbside customer services. Others are reeducating themselves on what it means to maintain a safe office for their employees.
The word of the year seems to be “pivot” as everyone from teachers to lawyers to pastors make the necessary adjustments for this new world in which we find ourselves. And it all begins with educating oneself. That’s why today we’re going to start with answering the basic question, “What’s the difference between disinfecting and sanitizing? Or can the two words be used interchangeably?”
Turns out there’s a BIG difference. Sanitizing refers to lowering the number of bacteria on a surface to an “acceptable” level (as determined by public health standards). Surface bacteria can be lowered through either cleaning or disinfecting but–this is important–it indicates only a lowering of the number of germs on a surface. Cleaning, for reference, also refers to lowering the number of bacteria on a surface (usually through the use of soap or detergent and water) but it additionally indicates a removal of dirt and other impurities from the surface. Neither sanitizing nor cleaning–by definition–refer to killing germs but rather to removing germs (i.e. lowering their number on a surface).
Disinfecting, on the other hand, is a much higher standard than either cleaning or sanitizing. Disinfecting refers to using an EPA-approved chemical disinfectant to kill both bacteria and viruses. Unlike sanitizing, which technically only refers to decreasing the number of germs on a surface, disinfecting refers to killing germs. Typically, cleaning (removing visible dirt and some germs) should be followed by disinfecting. During the coronavirus outbreak, disinfecting should absolutely be the standard.
At Sonlight Cleaning Services, we know what’s at stake right now for both our nation and your business. That’s why we set only the highest standards for our cleaning procedures. We understand the difference between true disinfecting and “half measures” that just won’t cut it right now
If your business is preparing to reopen or looking to take the next step in ensuring customer and employee health, look no further than Sonlight Cleaning Services for all your cleaning and disinfecting needs. Give us a call today!