With a dangerous virus going around, keeping things clean is a given. Our hands, countertops, door handles, and even groceries need to be cleaned properly. However, there is a difference between cleaning, disinfecting, and sanitizing. While all three are key to remaining healthy, they are different from each other.
Here are the differences between cleaning, disinfecting, and sanitizing and why they are important for healthy living.
You may have heard that cleaning helps get rid of bacteria. This is both true and false. Cleaning does indeed wipe away germs, dirt, and other harmful particles. However, cleaning does not necessarily kill them.
All it really does is moves them away from the surface. But that does not mean the method of cleaning is useless. In fact, you can’t sanitize or disinfect until you have cleaned first. To effectively clean a surface, use a paper towel or static pad to pick up the contaminants. If needed, you a cleaning agent that removes surface dirt completely.
Sanitizing is kind of similar to disinfecting. However, instead of killing bacteria, sanitizing aims to control it. There are many ways to do this, but the most common and effective way is mixing bleach with water. Before doing so, it is important to understand that you can’t just mix bleach and water haphazardly.
It must be mixed at the right ratio. Make it too weak and the solution won’t be able to do anything. If you make it too strong, it can become a hazard. Lastly, sanitizing requires you to leave the solvent to sit for a set period of time to take effect.
You may think that wiping off a surface with something such as Clorox wipe is cleaning. To a certain degree, it is, but Clorox kills the germs, which means it is more along the lines of disinfecting. Viruses are extremely contagious and it is important to disinfect regularly. This is especially true for high-traffic areas like bathrooms and kitchens.
Although continually disinfecting may seem ideal, it can have serious repercussions. Overexposure to powerful chemicals can cause nausea, respiratory issues, and dermatologic issues, like contact dermatitis or psoriasis.
Cleaning and sanitizing properly are two of the best ways to enjoy healthy living. Take the time to find what works best for you, your family, and the areas that need the most attention.