22 Jan Cleaning vs Disinfecting: Know the Difference!
Understanding the difference between cleaning and disinfecting and how they work together is critical when cleaning in a healthcare environment. Unfortunately, many professional cleaners do not know the difference which is a recipe for trouble when dealing with disease-causing microbes.
Cleaning removes visible debris from surfaces, helping to reduce the spread of illnesses including E. coli, Salmonella and Influenza. Disinfecting, on the other hand, kills the microbes that remain behind, invisible to the eye. The two processes go hand-in-hand. In fact, effective cleaning enhances the effectiveness of disinfectants.
Multipurpose cleaning products simplify this vital task to a single step, rather than multiple steps using a variety of products. To help achieve the best results in a healthcare environment, select professional multipurpose cleaning products that feature hospital-grade disinfectants specially formulated to clean a variety of soiled surfaces and disinfect them simultaneously. Multipurpose products not only save time and money. They are also more effective at fully disinfecting surfaces for a more complete clean.
For more specialized needs, such as critical care units or operating rooms, be sure to follow guidelines from local and regional governmental agencies for proper cleaning, disinfection, and sterilization.
Proper Dwell Time: Read Labels!
Whether using a multipurpose product or a stand-alone disinfectant, the solution typically needs to remain on the surface for a minimum amount of time before removal. Cleaning professionals should avoid simply spraying and wiping and instead read and follow label instructions carefully, regardless of brand. Products are only effective when used properly.
Clean and Sanitize Tools
Cleaning tools, such as scouring pads, brushes, mops, and scrapers, can be sources of cross-contamination. Wash cleaning tools between rooms to decrease the spread of germs or use disposable cleaning implements. Make sure to outline procedures to properly clean and sanitize tools regularly.
Bathrooms are often reported as one of the most difficult areas to clean. Because restrooms can potentially harbor bacteria, it is critical that they are cleaned frequently to maintain a clean and odor-free environment. These small but tough-to-clean spaces include high-touch areas, such as counters, sinks, faucets, toilets, urinals and flushing levers that should be regularly cleaned and disinfected. Choose a hospital-grade multipurpose product, like Comet® Disinfecting Sanitizing Bathroom Cleaner, that is effective in cleaning and disinfecting restroom surfaces. Be sure to follow label instructions for proper usage.
Frequent hand washing is one of the best ways to fight against the spread of viruses and bacteria. Make sure to have anti-bacterial hand soap and/or anti-bacterial hand gel, such as Safeguard®, readily available and stocked throughout your facility. Additionally, post signage around the building, reminding medical staff, patients and visitors to always wash their hands
Anyone entering a healthcare facility expects to enter an environment that promotes cleanliness. Patients, guests, and staff will notice if an area is not properly cleaned, which could lead to the spread of germs, and of course, customer dissatisfaction.