Does your cleaning contractor know the difference between cleaning, disinfecting and sanitizing? Do you?
These terms are often thrown around and misused, but in reality, they each have specific definitions and reasons they are used. Cleaning is not the same as sanitizing and sanitizing is not the same as disinfecting. When you clean, you simply remove foreign material from high-touch objects and surfaces by using water and enzymes and some elbow grease. You need to clean, however, before you disinfect or sanitize, so it is a very important step.
When you disinfect, you kill germs. You don’t necessarily clean dirty surfaces or remove germs, but by killing the germs, you help to remove the risk of spreading infection. This is especially important in healthcare facilities. Sanitizing uses either heat, radiation or chemicals, and is mostly used in foodservice facilities. Again, the area needs to be completely cleaned in order for sanitizing to be effective, as sanitizing and disinfecting are a step above regular cleaning. Cleaning simply removes dirt, while the other methods remove potentially harmful bacteria that may not be visible. All are important in the areas and the buildings that they are used in, in the right order. Does your cleaning contractor keep your facility cleaned, sanitized and/or disinfected according to your specific needs?