Over the past months, hand hygiene and cleanliness have been one of our priorities in fear of contracting the coronavirus (COVID-19). People are often confused about the difference between cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting.  This confusion leads them to incorrect practices and misinformed use of products. 

These terms are integral to preventing the spread of infectious diseases, and it is crucial to know the difference between them to properly proceed on the best course of action in a given situation. You can look at these three as steps to a holistic approach. 

 

CLEANING 

By definition, cleaning is the physical removal of visible particles from surfaces. Cleaning involves wiping, washing, or brushingIt reduces the number of pathogens present on a surface, but it does not kill any of them.  

Removing debris, dirt, smudges, and other substances from a surface lower the risk of cross-contamination. It is also easier to disinfect a surface when it is clean. 

Grab some Care Touch Body Wet Wipes when you’re traveling, at the gym, or recovering in bed to remove dirt, sweat, and body odor while moisturizing and protecting your skin. 

 

DISINFECTING 

disinfect

Disinfecting is done by using chemicals to kill bacteria, viruses, and fungi present on a surface. Ideally, this should be after cleaning. It’s important to understand that disinfecting does not mean removing the germs, but by killing them, you run a lower risk of contracting or spreading infectious diseases. 

A factor in determining which products to use for disinfection is the application time. Disinfectants usually need to dwell on a surface for 10 minutes. Although this is the standard, it is best to check the label of a product to ensure proper usage. 

 

SANITIZING 

sanitize

Sanitizing a surface means to reduce the number of pathogens to a safe level according to public health standards. It may involve cleaning or disinfecting, and sometimes both when necessary. Sanitizing is mostly practiced in food preparation areas. 

In hand hygiene terms, sanitizers require a shorter application time compared to disinfectants. So, when you’re on the go, sanitizing can help lower the risk of surface germ infection. While this is acceptable when handwashing is not available, it does not eliminate all the risks.  

 

Check our wide selection of hand sanitizers and wipes to help protect yourself from pathogens as you go about your day.