Understanding if it’s Clean, Disinfected, or Sanitized

Understanding if it’s clean, disinfected, or sanitized

If there’s one thing that has come into the spotlight over the past couple of years, it’s how cleanliness can help protect our health. The COVID pandemic has brought new attention to the importance of handwashing and, while most of us are no longer trying to sanitize our groceries before we bring them into the house, it’s probably safe to say that we think more about what is being transmitted when things aren’t clean. It’s not just COVID, of course, but when things aren’t clean, you’re more likely to encounter flu and cold germs as well. Here, we offer a refresher course on cleaning, disinfecting, and sanitizing and their impact on germs.

  • Cleaning is a surface procedure. When you wash your hands or wipe a counter, you’re just removing germs and debris from the surface. Even if you wash your hands with warm water and soap for the 20 seconds recommended by the experts, you probably are not killing any germs. Rather, you’re just relocating them into the drain.
  • Disinfecting kills germs. Let’s assume that after you washed your hands, you used a chemical disinfectant or bleach in the sink and drain. That would kill the germs you rinsed into the drain. You might also kill the germs when you’re washing your hands if you use antibacterial soap when you lather them. When you disinfect something, you eliminate the germs.
  • Sanitizing has to do with public health standards. It’s a form of cleaning or disinfecting, and the goal is to lower the number of germs on a surface in order to meet necessary criteria for public health and safety. Examples of sanitizing standards include regulations used for childcare or food safety, as well as various CDC guidelines. It can be handwashing standards or methods for disinfecting surfaces to protect against the flu and COVID-19.

Cleaning, disinfecting, and sanitizing surfaces including your hands can help protect you during cold and flu season. Another great step to take is getting your flu shot and staying on top of your own healthcare. The goal of Total Point Urgent Care is to be a convenient healthcare resource for our community. Providing immediate medical care at a fraction of the cost of an emergency room, our neighborhood clinics offer warm, efficient, personalized care. At our locations in Texas and Arizona, our on-site technology and services include urgent care, primary care, specialty care, routine checkups, flu shots and other vaccinations, COVID-19 testing, and onsite lab and x rays. Soon, we’ll even offer virtual visits so that our patients can choose telecare instead of risking a trip to the clinic. For convenient medical care, visit one of our locations or contact us through our website.

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