Cleaner, Sanitizer or Disinfectant?
To remove germs, dirt and other organic material from a surface, there are three types of cleaning products to be aware of - cleaners, sanitizers, and disinfectants.
Cleaners work by using soap, water and scrubbing action to physically lift and remove germs and soils from a surface. Keeping surfaces free of dirt and grime makes it more difficult for germs and bacteria to develop and is the single most effective method of germ prevention.
Once a surface has been cleaned, a sanitizer or disinfectant may be needed as a second step to kill any remaining germs left on the surface. “High-touch” surfaces such as desks, doorknobs, hand rails, faucets and phones, as well as food contact surfaces, may require this secondary step to help prevent the spread of germs.
Sanitizers reduce the number of germs on surfaces by 99.9%, levels considered safe by public health standards, while disinfectants kill closer to 100%. Because disinfectants and sanitizers use chemicals that kill germs, they are considered antimicrobial pesticides and are strictly regulated by government agencies such as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). While sanitizers and disinfectants play an important role in preventing the spread of germs, it is important not to overuse these products and to make sure you need them for your specific cleaning task.
In summary –
Cleaners – lift and remove soil, dirt, dust, organic matter and germs
Sanitizers – reduce germs by at least 99.9%
Disinfectants – kill 99.999% of germs
When determining the type of cleaning product to use, it is important to know the level of cleaning required. General cleaning products, such as EcoGen’s All Purpose Surface Cleaner can be quite effective in removing dirt and grime, making it harder for new germs and bacteria to take hold. For surfaces that require a higher level of clean, apply a sanitizer or disinfectant to an already cleaned surface for maximum germ-killing effectiveness.