Is there a difference between cleaning and disinfection?


Yes, actually there is a big difference between cleaning and disinfecting.

What is cleaning?

Cleaning is the physical removal of foreign material from surfaces. These foreign materials include but not limited to: dirt, dust, soil, grease, and organic material such as blood, secretions, and excretions. With the use of detergents, soaps, and water these substances are physically removed. In cleaning a surface, there is no killing of microorganisms however cleaning is an essential step before disinfection or sterilization can take place. When a  surface has not been effectively cleaned then it cannot be properly disinfected or sterilized. Organic materials that are left on a surface can prevent the disinfectant from neutralizing such microorganisms.

What is disinfection?

On the other hand, disinfection is the inactivation or killing of most microorganisms on surfaces. It usually involves chemicals, heat, or ultraviolet light and does not necessarily make it free from organisms but if microorganisms remain they are neutralized. Disinfecting is usually more effective when the surfaces or objects are first cleaned. For disinfection to be effective, it is important to follow the manufacturer directions for dwell time which is the time the disinfecting agent should stay on the surface to be disinfected.  

According to the WHO, there are certain things to consider before choosing a cleaning or disinfecting agent. These are as follows:

Intended use: Will it be used for cleaning (detergent), disinfection (disinfectant), or both?

Efficacy: Does it kill viruses and bacteria (microorganisms)? 

What is the recommended contact time?

Acceptability: Does it damage surfaces, leave residues or unpleasant smell?

Safety: Does it pose a health risk to those who will come in contact with it?

What if an equipment is required for handling these agents?

Cost and availability: Is it cost effective? Is it easy to obtain in the required quantity?        

Are there governing bodies that regulate these substances?

Volume: Is it available in the amount needed, based on facility requirements?

Deciding whether cleaning or disinfecting is most appropriate depends entirely on your needs, the type of cleaning in question, and the frequency of cleaning crews visits.

 At Ancenta, we specialized in disinfecting surfaces, high touch areas, like door handles, light switches, railings, desks and tables. With the pandemic so fresh in our minds, it is important that disinfecting is a priority in our line of work. Our disinfecting and cleaning agents are non-toxic, safe, yet effective. The peace of mind and safety of our clients are of paramount importance, as such, we pride ourselves in offering high quality cleaning services. 

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