Cleaning, Sanitising and Disinfecting, A Handy Guide

Posted by Lucy McDonald on

 What is the difference between cleaning and disinfecting?

Cleaning means to physically remove germs (bacteria and viruses), dirt and grime from surfaces using a detergent and water solution.

Disinfecting means using chemicals to kill germs on surfaces. It’s important to clean before disinfecting because dirt and grime can reduce the ability of disinfectants to kill germs.

 What products can be used to disinfect?

You can use hypochlorite disinfectants (bleach), products that contain ≥ 70% alcohol, or products that state on the label that they have antiviral activity, meaning they can kill viruses.

If using bleach, mix with water following the dilution instructions provided by the manufacturer. Fresh bleach solution should be made every 24 hours. If the solution is not prepared and used as described in the instructions, it is unlikely to be effective.

Paradise Supplies Stocks White Angel,   Hypo  and Victory all high strength bleach

 Can I use a product that claims to clean and disinfect at the same time?

Yes, some products can be used for both cleaning and disinfecting, which can save time and effort. If using these products, make sure that you read and follow the instructions on the label to ensure they work effectively.

Paradise Supplies stocks Virucide, Express Sani, Leader Lemon and Envirogiene, all are cleaners and disinfectants

 Which areas should be cleaned and disinfected, and how often?

Any surfaces that are frequently touched should be prioritised for cleaning, such as door handles, light switches, counter tops, reception desks, phones, EFTPOS machines, touch screens, and workplace amenities (such as toilets). Any surfaces that are visibly dirty should also be cleaned as soon as they are identified, regardless of when they were last cleaned. 

Buildings that are accessed by the public should be cleaned at least every day. If your building has many customers or others entering each day, more frequent cleaning is recommended.

Paradise Supplies has Steri Dry which is 70% alcohol sanitiser for areas such as light switches, eftpos terminals, atms, etc where moisture should be kept at a minimum

 Is ‘fogging’ an effective disinfectant method?

Physically cleaning surfaces with detergent and warm water, followed by disinfection when needed, is the most effective way to kill the virus that causes COVID-19. Fumigation or wide-area spraying (known as ‘disinfectant fogging’) does not clean surfaces effectively and there is little evidence that it is effective at killing COVID-19. Additionally, if fogging is not done correctly, it can expose workers and others to hazardous chemicals.

Is a sanitiser a disinfectant?

A sanitiser is a chemical that is designed to kill some bacteria and some viruses that can cause disease in humans or animals. These chemicals are not as strong as disinfectants, which makes them safe to use on skin. If you’re disinfecting a hard surface or object use a disinfectant not a sanitiser.

Paradise Supplies stocks Foam Hands foaming hand sanitiser, Microban Gel hand sanitiser and Velvet Touch flowing hand soap

 Can I make my own disinfectant?

Store-bought disinfectants meet government standards, so you know they will work.  Products such as vinegar, baking soda, essential oils, mouthwash or saline solution will not kill COVID-19.

 All information supplied here has been fact checked with Ministry of health New Zealand, 29th May 2020

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