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Sanitation vs Disinfecting

What is Sanitation?

According to the Institute for Service Excellence, sanitizers “reduce but do not necessarily eliminate, microorganisms…” from hard surfaces down to safe levels.  You can accomplish this by using a chemical called a biocide.  This is a toxic chemical, though in proper dilution ratios with careful use, they are safe for you to utilize.  Sanitation must be used in your home during your normal cleaning process.  Especially in the kitchen and bathroom, make sanitation foremost in your cleaning rituals.  First, clean the surface (countertop, shower etc.).  Then apply the chemical you are going to use for sanitation.  Follow the label instructions which will undoubtedly require some dwell time, usually 3 to 10 minutes.  Dwell time is the amount of time you must leave the sanitizer on the surface in order for it to do its job.

What is Disinfection?

The Institute for Service Excellence is considered to be THE expert in the cleaning industry.  ISE defines disinfectants as chemicals “used on hard inanimate surfaces to kill or inactivate at least 99.9% of disease-producing microorganisms.”  So, you can see that a disinfectant will kill more microorganisms than a sanitizer.  In order to completely eliminate and destroy these organisms the areas must be sterilized.  This is beyond what you will be doing when you clean your own home.

CHAT is the Acronym to Remind You of the Proper Way to Clean

Cleaning is divided into dry cleaning and wet cleaning.  Dry cleaning can be accomplished by vacuuming loose debris from surfaces like counters, showers and floors.  Then the wet cleaning can begin.  CHAT stands for CHEMICAL ACTION.   HEAT means that the hotter the water you use to clean, the better the job.  AGITATION means good old elbow grease.  Scrub the area with a scrub brush or microfiber cloth.  TIME refers to dwell time.  Sometimes it just takes a little time to make your job easier. Knowing the difference between sanitation and disinfection will make your cleaning job easier and accomplish your tasks in a timely manner.

Of course, you can always call Custom Maid to do the sanitation for you !!!

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Editor’s Note:  This post was originally published in April, 2015 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy and comprehensiveness.