Cleaning, Disinfecting, and Sanitizing: Is There a Difference?
July 04, 2016
There is a lot of misconception about the terms cleaning, disinfecting, and sanitizing, to the point that many people use them interchangeably. This confusion can even lead to critical bad practices. Imagine if a doctor cleans a wound instead of disinfecting it! To clear up this mess, we are going to explain the differences between cleaning, disinfecting, and sanitizing, and we will focus on one of the most innovative sanitizing and disinfecting programs.
Cleaning is the action of removing dirt, marks, or stains from a surface or an object with the use of water and a detergent. When you clean something, you remove the dirt and germs from the item you're cleaning, but it doesn't kill the germs. You remove the number of germs from that item by moving them to another place, but you do not kill the germs. Let's say you are cleaning your cutting board. You normally clean your block with a sponge and soap and then rinse it. To your eyes, your cutting board is clean, but under the microscope, the number of germs and bacteria that can be found is just unbelievable. What you are doing is removing the visible things on your cutting board, and while it may remove some of the germs and bacteria present, it doesn't remove them all. What you did was transfer the germs and bacteria from your cutting board to your sponge. The chances are that when you clean something else with that same sponge, you will be cross-contaminating the next item, and so on.
Disinfecting uses antimicrobial agents to destroy or inactivate microorganisms. When you disinfect an item, you don't necessarily kill all the germs, viruses, and bacteria present on that surface or item. One important thing to take into account is that disinfecting is not a substitute for cleaning. You must first remove the dirt and debris on the surface or item you want to disinfect. To better understand what disinfecting is, imagine for a moment that you have a pet and it urinated on your living room floor. You would first go and use a paper towel with water to wipe off the urine. Then, to disinfect the floor and reduce the number of germs, you would mop the floor with a solution of water and chlorine. If we go to the example mentioned above, when you have a wound, you or your doctor will apply alcohol or hydrogen peroxide to disinfect the wound. You can also disinfect your floor or tables. One thing you should take into account when disinfecting is the product you are using, as some disinfectants can be dangerous for people with asthma or allergies. For example, chlorine bleach can trigger an asthma attack.
Sanitizing is the action of making something hygienic. This is done either with high heat, ozone gas, or a chemical solution. Sanitizing lowers the number of germs, viruses, and bacteria on surfaces or objects to a hygienic level. There are several sanitizing methods like the use of heat, steam, hot water, chlorine, quaternary ammonia compounds, or alcohol. There are many sanitizing and disinfecting methods, but one of the most effective and innovative sanitizing and disinfecting methods is Germinator's patent-pending process!
Germinator's Patent-Pending Process
Germinator's patent-pending methodology is the most unique and cost-effective means of providing enhanced antimicrobial protection for businesses and residences. The company first tests surfaces for ATP using a luminometer to detect light that can come from cellular activity. This measurement immediately provides the level of clean on a surface.
The next step is the application of Germinator's Genesis surface treatment. Genesis is a one-step cleaner and broad-spectrum sanitizer and disinfectant treatment that harnesses the power of hypochlorous acid (HOCl). Derived from naturally occurring minerals, Genesis not only eliminates odors at their source but kills a wide range of bacteria, including Staphylococcus aureus
, MRSA, Salmonella enterica
and Pseudomonas aeruginosa
, and viruses including norovirus, rotavirus, and adenovirus on hard, non-porous, environmental surfaces. It meets the Association of Official Agricultural Chemists (AOAC) germicidal spray standards for Hospital Grade Disinfection and is on the EPA's N List of products determined to meet the criteria for use against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. As a result, this treatment will eliminate bacteria and viruses that may reside in your environment without the use of harsh chemicals or fumes.
Following Genesis, Germinator applies its Shield, a water-based quaternary ammonium compound that imparts a durable bacteriostatic finish. It is EPA-registered as effective against mold, mildew, algae, and odor-causing bacteria. This application creates an invisible barrier that helps combat deterioration and discoloration and promotes freshness for up to three months.
The Genesis and Shield products are applied by using an electrostatic sprayer, which is the most efficient and effective means of delivering the products to the intended application sites. After Germinator's surface treatment and protectant services, the company retests ATP levels to help ensure the surfaces have achieved the intended results.
Our goal is to provide you and your family with a more comfortable and hygienic environment. So, if this sounds like something you want, give us a call at (615) 821-2120 or fill in the form below to contact our offices and find out more about the services we offer. Remember to always stay in touch by liking our page on Facebook at Facebook at Germinator
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