One of the main preventive measures that individuals can take in the fight against Covid-19 is to wash their hands regularly with soap and water and, where soap and water aren’t available, use hand sanitiser gel.

But what about organisations working tirelessly to prevent the spread of the virus in workplaces and public spaces? The advice is to increase how often and how thoroughly they normally clean these areas, as well as cleaning surfaces they do not normally clean.

We all understand what cleaning is, but now we’re looking at taking our cleaning routines to the next level. We want to do the right thing, but how do we know whether this is sanitising or disinfecting – and what is the difference between these two terms anyway?

‘Sanitising’ and ‘disinfecting’ are referred to pretty much interchangeably, but there is a subtle difference between the two and where they can be applied. Here’s why:

Cleaning removes visible dirt, soil and debris from surfaces and, while it may help reduce germs by removing ‘contaminated’ matter, it doesn’t necessarily kill them. Don’t underestimate the importance of basic cleaning – it’s the foundation of any effective sanitising or disinfecting processes.

Sanitising goes a step further than cleaning and reduces the number of germs on surfaces or objects to ‘safe’ levels, as set by public health agencies. Required for all food preparation areas, sanitising effectively decreases the infection rate using certified sanitisers – and while sanitising will kill some viruses and bacteria on a surface (and sanitising products are required by the EPA to kill at least 99.9% of germs on contact), it’s disinfection that’s the stronger process, killing a required 99.999% of germs!

Disinfecting actively kills germs – including viruses – rather than just reducing their numbers to a safe level. It’s a level of cleaning that we would typically carry out yearly during the cold and flu season, but with COVID-19 we’re living in this season on a permanent basis!

It’s time to adapt our cleaning routines to suit the environment we’re living in. Here at Arrow we not only have the right products for cleaning, sanitising and disinfecting, but we also offer a consultative approach to your cleaning requirements. If you need more information we’d be happy to help – simply contact [email protected] with any additional questions you may have!