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Sanitizing vs. Disinfecting

sanitizing vs disinfecting

Protecting yourself against germs and bacteria is an important part of everyday life, especially during flu season. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), American employees miss approximately 17 million workdays because of the flu, an estimated $7 billion a year in sick days and lost productivity.

To help curb any potential sick days, workplaces can sanitize and disinfect areas that multiple people come in contact with. But first, it's important to establish where to sanitize and where to disinfect. Commonly used interchangeably, the two descriptions actually
refer to different forms of hygiene.

sanitizing and cleaning

What's the difference? defines the terms as follows:

Sanitizing is meant to reduce, not kill, the occurrence and growth of bacteria, viruses and fungi.

Disinfecting is meant to kill the organisms claimed on the label of the product.

When thinking about sanitizing, remember it reduces bacteria 99.9%. With disinfecting, the products are designed to remove 100% of the bacteria, fungi, and viruses present, leaving nothing behind.

Where to Sanitize & Where to Disinfect

Where to sanitize and where to disinfect is also important to know. Sanitizing should only be done to food contact surfaces as required by food codes. Since sanitizers don’t make antiviral claims, there's no confidence they would be effective in combating flu and other viruses.

Effective hand washing is still one of the best methods in preventing flu germs from spreading. Clean hands protect the eyes, nose, and mouth from coming into contact with germs that can make individuals sick.

Regular cleaning, which involves removing dirt and debris where germs can grow, will allow sanitizers and disinfectants to work more effectively. WebMD suggests that disinfecting is best for the surfaces touched by a variety of people, especially if someone who is sick has come in contact with that surface. These surfaces include, but aren't limited to, doorknobs, refrigerator door handles, microwaves, faucets and toilet flushers.

At Powell Company, we have sanitary and disinfectant products that can help any business combat cold and flu season and keep their productivity going. Call your representative today or dial 1-800-472-0039 to get an order started.

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