Only true industry experts know the importance of cleaning and disinfecting dirty or contaminated surface areas. Are you one of them? If not, keep reading to learn why it’s imperative to use both in your cleaning process, especially with flu season right around the corner. Knowing the difference between these two common practices makes the difference between merely looking “clean” and actually minimizing the spread of germs.
Though most companies have strict standards for keeping their facility clean and customers safe, it’s easier than you think to misuse products or forget necessary steps in your cleaning process.
Cleaning vs. Disinfecting: What’s the Difference?
By definition, cleaning is simply the process of removing unwanted dirt, dust, debris, or other impurities. When you clean something, it removes surface level allergens and microorganisms that your cloth, paper towel, or solution is able to pick up – which does help improve the health and safety of those exposed to the surface, object, or area. However, the existence of harmful bacteria and risk of cross-contamination from cleaning materials are not completely eliminated by just cleaning a surface. In other words, just because a surface, object, or area looks clean, doesn’t mean it isn’t carrying potentially harmful bacteria.
For a more thorough clean that protects against germs, many people turn to disinfectants. Disinfectants reduce the risk of spreading harmful viruses by destroying bacteria often left behind on the objects and surfaces we use every day. Disinfectants are able to kill 99.9% of germs left behind by cleaners (which may be more than you think). Without this important step, microorganisms can continue to grow on the surfaces that your crew or customers come in contact with, allowing bacteria and viruses to spread until a disinfectant is introduced.
In most cases, surfaces that have been disinfected but not “cleaned” are actually safer than surfaces that appear clean but haven’t been properly disinfected. For example, a dish that has been through the dishwasher but still shows traces of dried cheese and appears dirty is actually safer to eat on than a dish that is run under the sink and wiped with a cloth and appears clean.
Why BOTH Are Important This Time of Year
We all know that having a “clean” facility is essential to your company’s appearance and image. However, disinfecting the areas that your customers and employees come into contact with is just as essential to the health and safety of everyone in your facility. With flu season quickly approaching, effective cleaning and disinfecting has never been more important. To ensure your crew and customers stay healthy, a cleaning routine with products that both clean and disinfect surfaces is critical. This is true for all industries, from food service to healthcare and beyond.
Within facilities, viruses like the cold and flu are most commonly spread in public kitchens, breakrooms, and restrooms. These frequently-used areas are filled with surfaces that are touched regularly, making it extremely easy to spread germs that can cause sickness.
Using cleaning products that not only clean, but also disinfectant surfaces can decrease the number of missed work days and production slowdowns caused by sick team members.
Facility+ Fights Flu Season
Though many of these products are sold individually, multi-purpose cleaners and disinfectants get the job done at a lower cost and in fewer steps.
Midlab’s Facility+ by Maxim is a two-in-one solution that cleans and disinfects multiple surfaces. Its peroxide base is safe for almost any surface in your facility and eliminates the need for separate products or added steps.