Cleaning Management Institute
Tip of the Month

Cleaning, Sanitizing & Disinfecting

March 21, 2014

All information from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Clean

Remove germs, dirt and impurities from surfaces and objects. Uses soap or detergent and water to physically remove germs from surfaces. This process does not kill germs, but it removes them, lowering their numbers and reducing the risk of spreading infection.

Sanitize

Lower the number of germs on surfaces and objects to a safe level, as judged by public health standards. This process either cleans or disinfects surfaces or objects to lower the risk of spreading infection.

Disinfect

Kill germs on surfaces or objects. These chemicals and processes do not necessarily clean dirty surfaces or remove germs, but by killing germs on a surface after cleaning, they further lower the risk of spreading infection.

CDC Cleaning And Disinfection Process

Always follow the label directions on cleaning products and disinfectants.

  • Wash surfaces with a general cleaner to remove germs.
  • Rinse with water.

Use an EPA-registered disinfectant to kill germs.

Touchpoint Disinfection

Common commercial building touchpoints that require regular disinfection:

  • Light switches
  • Phones
  • Computers
  • Door handles
  • Faucets
  • Soap dispensers
  • Toilet handles
  • Restroom stall latches.

Disinfecting wipes may be used on touchpoints and electronic items. Follow the directions for using the disinfecting wipe, and remember it may require more than one wipe to keep the surface wet for the necessary length of contact time.