Cleaning Before Disinfecting | Why is Cleaning So Important Prior To Disinfection?

With the skyrocketing conversation about cleaning, disinfection, and sanitizing come questions about each method. Due to the global pandemic, we have been dealing with for over a year, this conversation is imperative for health and safety concerns. So is cleaning before disinfecting important?

Keeping a clean environment has always been important to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Of course, within the last year, this importance has exponentially been emphasized and acted upon. Not only is a clean environment good for your physical health, but it is also good for your mental health and the health of your life choices. The environment you are in can affect your behavior, mood, physical well being and numerous other aspects.

Cleaning Before Disinfecting

Knowing the best methods for cleaning is a direct reflection on the health of the community and individuals. There is a large emphasis in most industries to have a high standard of sanitization. People have become increasingly vigilant about disinfecting and cleaning within their own homes, businesses, and just about everywhere else.

A common misconception currently involves the idea that sanitizing is enough to protect against harmful bacteria, viruses, and fungi…which is not the case. Cleaning before disinfecting plays an imperative role to create a safe environment.

A Full Spectrum

Think of sanitation, disinfection, and cleaning on a spectrum. Cleaning is on one side, being a complete removal of bacteria while disinfection is on the other, killing those bacteria. Sanitation is in the middle by removing and killing some bacteria.

A question involving cleaning methods that is common includes, “should I clean before I disinfect?

When to clean

Cleaning with products containing soap or detergent reduces germs on surfaces by removing contaminants and may also weaken or damage some of the virus particles, which decreases the risk of infection from surfaces. Cleaning removes germs, dirt, and impurities from surfaces or objects. Cleaning works by using soap (or detergent) and water to physically remove germs from surfaces.

When to disinfect

Disinfection kills any remaining germs on surfaces, which further reduces any risk of spreading infection. Disinfectants are the only products approved by the EPA to kill viruses on hard surfaces.

Now you might be wondering..” should I clean before I disinfect?”

Should I clean before I disinfect?

Cleaning before disinfecting is an important step in safety. Cleaning primes the surfaces before disinfection. Cleaning removes dirt, debris, and dust. If these are still present on the surface, disinfecting becomes less effective.

If a surface is disinfected before it is cleaned, the remaining soils can still contribute to the growth of harmful microbes and lead to further contamination. The residual soils may also serve as a barrier, preventing the disinfectant from reaching the surface and doing its job. Lingering soils on the surface may affect the active chemicals in a disinfectant, impacting their efficiency. If the surface is thoroughly cleaned first and validated for cleanliness, the disinfection step becomes much more effective.

Important First Steps

Cleaning before disinfecting is an important first step because it physically removes dirt, organic matter, and most germs from surfaces, but does not destroy some harmful germs that may remain. All surfaces must be thoroughly cleaned before disinfection. This ensures that germs are not hidden from the disinfectant when it is applied.

Difference between sanitizing and disinfecting

Sanitizing and disinfection are often used as interchangeable terms. Contrary to popular belief, they are very different concepts.

Sanitizing removes germs on surfaces to a safe level that is determined by public health standards. Meaning sanitizing is less harsh and intense than disinfectants. Sanitizing does not kill fungi or viruses, rather removes them to a certain degree. It also reduces the growth of these harmful germs.

Since sanitizing removes germs, it is cleaning the surface. Sanitizing is often utilized when working around materials or surfaces that can be health-sensitive.

The center for disease control prevention defines disinfection as the killing of germs and bacteria on surfaces. It does not necessarily clean or removes germs. Disinfecting kills the bacteria with the chemicals in its physical makeup. It is usually required to keep the chemical on the surface for a certain amount of time to kill the bacteria and germs

Cleaning On One End and Disinfecting On The Other, While Sanitizing Lies in the Middle

If you break down the numbers, sanitizing kills 99.99% of germs in contrast to disinfectants that kill 99.999%.

Cleaning before disinfecting steps:

  • Remove large debris
  • Clean with a specialty detergent
  • Disinfect

Our Disinfectant

Envirosafe offers two different services to choose from for disinfectants. We offer surface disinfectants and whole room disinfectants. We prioritize our customer’s ability to receive what their space needs to be safe for them and giving options provides that.

Spray coverage is the uniformity of spray droplets on target surfaces. Electrostatic sprayers achieve greater spray coverage by combining air turbulence with tiny, evenly-sized spray droplets. Dense coverage on the back and underneath results from electrostatic wraparound.

The Goal

The goal is to achieve an even coating with the disinfectant chemical. If the coverage is spotty or incomplete, chances increase that dangerous infective organisms will survive. With an electrostatic sprayer, the benefits are clear: Disease control is better because the chance of contact with the disinfecting chemical is greater.

Cleaning before disinfecting proves to be a pivotal point in health and safety for cleaning. Envirosafe can help you achieve this.

Enviro Safe LLC is a reputable organization in Sterling, Virginia, that provides advanced and affordable whole-room disinfection services. Our primary objective is to offer high-end disinfecting services to Virginia, Maryland, and Washington D.C. residents. With Enviro Safe LLC, you are looking at protecting the health of your family, pets, and the environment at large. All disinfectant products are FDA and EPA-approved.

Choosing What Is Right For You

When you choose Enviro Safe LLC, you are choosing professionals who are well trained in the field of disinfecting. All of our employees must go through OSHA-regulated training and Blood Pathogen training. This means they are aware of the safety precautions needed on the job site as well as a complete understanding of the products and tools we use to disinfect your space. In brief, we are confident that all our clients are safe in our hands.

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