Cleaning, Disinfecting, and Sanitizing – What’s the Difference?

Towels, soap, and a spray bottle in a bucket

It’s easy to get hung up on the nuances of language. When you say you’re going to clean, do you mean you’re going to sweep the crumbs into the trash can? Do you mean you’re going to scrub the counter with bleach? All too often, we use these terms to generally mean the same thing. Read on to find out the differences between cleaning, disinfecting, and sanitizing, and when we should be doing each.

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Is hand sanitizer effective?

Hand Sanitizer

Hand sanitizer may seem a bit like a craze. Everyone has a bottle somewhere, and it seems like lots of places have adopted hand sanitizer in lieu of actual soap and water. This may leave you wondering, how effective is hand sanitizer? Is it more effective than soap and water at killing germs?

Let’s look at some of the numbers. Studies have shown that hand sanitizer with an alcohol concentration between 60-95% are more effective than hand sanitizers that have less or are non-alcohol based. Non-alcohol based hand sanitizer may not work well on certain types of germs, either. Hand sanitizer can remove some microbes, but they simply do not eliminate all types of germs.

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