Germs are a part of everyday life. Some of them are helpful, but others are harmful and cause disease. They can be found everywhere – in our air, soil, and water. They are on our skin and in our bodies. Germs are also on the surfaces and objects that we touch. Sometimes those germs can spread to you and make you sick when you rub your eyes or nose, eat with your hands or from being close to someone that is sick.
This is why it is particularly important to have a regular cleaning schedule set up at your workplace, sports or education centre as there is a higher chance of getting sick because it is a more public space as opposed to your home. Protecting yourself when cleaning or disinfecting by using the appropriate PPE and never mixing chemicals is important in reducing the harm you may inflict on yourself by not following the correct cleaning procedures or instructions.
What is the difference between cleaning, sanitising and disinfecting?
Some people think that disinfecting is same thing as cleaning or sanitising. But they are actually different:
Removes dirt, dust, crumbs, and germs from surfaces or objects. When you clean, you will likely use soap (or detergent) and water to physically clean off the surfaces and objects. This may not necessarily kill the germs. But since you removed some of them, there are fewer germs that could spread infection to you.
Uses chemicals (disinfectants) to kill germs on surfaces and objects. Some common disinfectants are bleach and alcohol solutions. You usually need to leave the disinfectant on the surfaces and objects for a certain period of time to kill the germs. Disinfecting does not necessarily clean dirty surfaces or remove germs.
Could be done by either cleaning, disinfecting, or both. Sanitising means that you are lowering the number of germs to a safe level. What is considered a safe level depends on public health standards or requirements at a workplace, school or other environment.