Is There Any Difference between Cleaning, Disinfecting, and Sterilizing? Cleaning, disinfecting, and sterilizing generally associate with a crystal clear area that is free of debris and stingy odors. Despite having much in common, these three processes are still different.
Read on the article to know how they differ, and learn when to apply each of them.
Cleaning is probably the term you hear almost every day. It refers to ensuring the visual cleanliness of an area. The process implies removing debris and stains from the carpets, curtains, or sofa and eliminating bad odors.
The main purpose of cleaning is to get rid of debris and dirt that make the area look messy. You may have to remove such stains as blood, ink, juice, coffee, greasy food, and pet secretions.
Cleaning means also the elimination of stingy odors, like feces or urine for bringing in the fresh air in the room.
During cleaning, you have to use a range of cleaning agents and tools to ensure the successful removal of debris. It includes such devices as: vacuum cleaner for dust removal, and steam cleaner for stain eradication.
Other tools include mops and clothes that you use to rub the affected area until the debris gets out. For a better result, you have to use the scrubbing tools in combination with special cleaning agents. Among the most used cleaning agents are soap, sprays, and powders.
To remove successfully a stain, you have to apply the cleaning solution and then scrub intensively the dirty area. Depending on the complexity of the stain, the friction can take from 10 seconds to a half an hour and more.
Cleaning helps get rid of organic agents that facilitate the growth and spreading of harmful and bad-smelling bacteria. It is important to mention that cleaning is a must before the disinfection or sterilization of an area.
If the tools for disinfection are full of debris and bacteria, it will contribute more to the spread of the infection.
Disinfection is obviously a cleaning process, but it implies a deeper cleaning of a surface or an area. It focuses on killing harmful pathogens and other microorganisms that are not welcome in places full of people.
The bacteria that disinfection destroys is much more resilient and dangerous than bacteria you kill during regular cleaning. This is why disinfection is a more complex process that requires other tools and agents.
You will be not mistaken saying that disinfection is the invisible cleaning, as you can’t see its results.
Since disinfection deals with more serious bacteria, you will need to use more powerful chemicals than traditional soap. These chemicals are called disinfectants. They are applied on objects, killing the microorganisms living there.
The agent destroys the cell of the bacteria or stops their metabolism, leading to their death. The most popular and accessible disinfectant is chlorine bleach. It contains a solution based on chlorine and sodium that leaves harmful bacteria no chance to survive.
Disinfectants kill pathogens that soapy agents you use in daily cleaning are not capable of, including fungi and hepatitis B.
If you think that disinfection kills all types of bacteria, you are wrong. You can’t destroy all pathogens with disinfectant. For that, sterilization exists. During sterilization, no living organism survives.
The process aims to destroy any forms of live present on the treated surface. This task ends always with success thanks to the methods and tools used in sterilization. Even the toughest viruses can’t stand the sterilization.
This is why people choose to sterilize objects during a disease outbreak or before surgery or a dentist intervention.
The most popular chemicals you can use to sterilize objects are hydrogen peroxide and hypochlorite. You can perform sterilization not only using chemicals. There are other methods to kill all kinds of harmful bacteria.
It can be steam under high pressure that demolishes the cell of microorganisms. It can also be ultraviolet radiation that stops all living processes inside the bacteria making it die immediately.
Heat is also a good way to kill and stop the spreading of pathogens. Once the heat reaches the microorganism, it destroys the proteins that help it live. In this way, the living organism dies in seconds.