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The difference between cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting

When are you protected against COVID-19 after being vaccinated?

Cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting are more top of mind than ever before, with proper hand washing and sanitizing now second nature. But many people don’t fully understand the difference between these three practices. Here’s what you need to know. 

Cleaning: Scrubbing, sweeping, washing with a detergent, and rinsing surfaces. Cleaning won’t kill bacteria or viruses, but will remove them to a certain degree. If killing bacteria or viruses is the goal, cleaning isn’t enough. 

Sanitizing: Removing bacteria on surfaces to a level considered safe, with  chemicals, heat, or steam. Sanitizing a surface does not kill pathogens, it just removes them. Sanitizing includes spraying a countertop with bleach solution or sanitizer; and mopping the floor with water and a chemical sanitizer. 

Disinfecting: Disinfecting is the destruction of bacteria and viruses on surfaces through chemical action, like spraying a chemical disinfectant on a surface. Using a chemical disinfectant is the best way to reduce the spread of pathogens through touch transfer on surfaces, because bacteria and viruses are killed, not just removed.

To help stop the spread of harmful germs, it’s important to sanitize surfaces with a 70% alcohol aerosol hand sanitizer, like OmniProtect Sanitizer Spray. 

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