Terms like Sanitiser, disinfectant, cleaning regimes and hygiene standards, have become common place since the Coronavirus Pandemic.
As usual, Google visualises this best, showing the dramatic increase in search traffic for Sanitiser since the start of the year. But it begs the question, what is the difference between cleaning, sanitising and disinfecting, and how should we be using these products?
What is cleaning?
Let’s start with the easy one, cleaning. To clean something means to remove all of the visible contaminations on the surface, including dirt, spills, food particles, dust, etc., by washing, brushing, or wiping the area.
This process is surface level and does not eliminate germs but can help reduce their numbers. This is expected to be the first step in the cleansing process.
The main difference between cleaning and sanitizing is that cleaning is the act of clearing debris and deposits on a surface, while sanitizing involves killing bacteria after the surface has already been cleared or wiped off. Most importantly, cleaning should be the first thing you do regardless of the surface.
What is Sanitising?
Sanitising means to reduce the quantity of microorganisms like bacteria, viruses, and fungi on a surface after it has been cleaned. The sanitizer used must reduce the number of bacteria to the level that is deemed safe by the public health standards.
Although sanitising reduces the growth of harmful bacteria, it does not kill all of the microorganisms on a surface. Sanitising is meant to be used as a preventative measure and is an extremely important practice in restaurants, schools, corporate offices, and hospitals.
Sanitising is particularly important in food environments to help reduce instances of food borne illness. Every surface that comes into contact with food should be sanitised regularly, often several times a day.
What is Disinfection?
To disinfect means to kill specific pathogens on a surface using a disinfectant. In Australia, disinfectants are regulated by the Therapeutic Goods Administration and are either deemed to be commercial or hospital grade. Additionally, disinfectants can apply to have a specific claim for viral, fungi and sporicidal effectiveness.
Because disinfecting is more effective than sanitising, disinfectant will often be used on high touch areas and hard surfaces in environments that have a vulnerable population, such as healthcare facilities, aged care and early learning centres.
Disinfecting vs Sanitising
The difference between sanitizing and disinfecting is based on the effectiveness of the solution to eliminate pathogen microorganisms.
While sanitising product kill the majority of germs, they have a lower standard of effectiveness than disinfectant products. Disinfectant products are more potent and are designed to kill nearly 100% of pathogen microorganisms that they have been tested and approved for. This may include bacteria, viruses, and fungi while targeting specific disease-carrying microorganisms like the flu virus, norovirus, and coronavirus.
How does eWater fit in?
eWater as produced by the eWater hygiene system meets the definitions of a cleaner, sanitiser and disinfectant depending on how the product is used.
eWater Cleaner is a versatile multi-purpose cleaning agent for all surfaces including floors, glass and stainless. Capable of emulsifying oils and grease as well as breaking down dirt and grime.
eWater Sanitiser is an organic certified no rinse food contact and surface sanitiser that also meets the standards as a commercial grade disinfectant. Highly effective against a wide range of pathogenic microorganisms, it is a versatile antimicrobial for all environments –
To use eWater Sanitiser as a sanitising product a minimum 30 second contact time is required.
To use eWater Sanitiser as a Commercial Grade Hard Surface disinfectant, a minimum 8-minute contact time is required.
For further efficacy information, please refer to our efficacy documentation.
Remember: Always use eWater Cleaner before sanitising or disinfecting.