Cleaning vs Disinfecting: What is the Difference?

Cleaning vs Disinfecting: What is the Difference?

The Difference Between Cleaning vs Disinfecting—Explained

Cleaning and disinfecting are essential services in commercial buildings—but are they both included in your cleaning service? Before the COVID-19 pandemic, high touch disinfection was not typically within a regular cleaning’s scope of service beyond restroom and potentially the breakroom areas. Now that buildings are beginning to open to full capacity, it’s crucial to implement a thorough cleaning service that includes disinfection.

If you’re unsure of what the difference is between cleaning vs disinfection, let us explain.

Step 1: Cleaning

Cleaning is sometimes used as an umbrella term to encompass many services. However, it actually means to remove all items from a surface and wipe away large and small particles, such as dust, debris, dirt, grime, and stains. To help put it in perspective, think spilling a few drops of coffee onto a kitchen counter. Wiping the liquid away will clean the surface, but it won’t disinfect it. Therefore, before moving onto disinfection, a surface must be cleaned, washed, and rinsed.

Step 2: Disinfecting

Disinfecting eliminates all bacteria and viruses from a surface. This goes beyond COVID-19 and includes the common cold, flu, influenzas, etc. Because of its extreme effectiveness, it’s crucial to disinfect schools, office spaces, medical environments, and other commercial buildings where people frequently inhabit.

Why Choose Disinfection Services (And Not Sanitization)?

Besides cleaning vs disinfection, there may also be confusion on disinfection vs sanitization. While sanitization helps to reduce bacteria, disinfection eliminates both bacteria and viruses. Disinfectants are also the only products approved by the EPA to kill viruses on surfaces. In short, your building should always choose disinfection services and not sanitization.

How to Implement Cleaning and Disinfection in Your Building

Before the pandemic, only restrooms and sometimes breakrooms were disinfected. Since COVID-19, employers and employees are much more health-conscious, making disinfection a best practice in commercial buildings. Now, all shared and high touch surfaces are disinfected on a much more regular basis, either daily or weekly.

If you’re looking to implement cleaning and disinfection services in your building, contact Safety Facility Services. We use EPA-approved disinfectants and are trained to recognize their dwell times. Dwell times are crucial to know and follow, as it is the amount of time a disinfectant should be left on a surface to kill bacteria and viruses. Our area managers regularly train our cleaners on up-to-date EPA guidelines, product dwell times, equipment technology, and more.

Call 212.679.3451 now to learn more.