Cleaning vs Disinfecting

There’s an important difference between ‘cleaning’ and ‘disinfecting’.

Cleaning means to physically remove germs (bacteria and viruses), dirt and grime from surfaces using a detergent and water solution. A detergent is a surfactant that is designed to break up oil and grease with the use of water. Anything labelled as a detergent will work.

Disinfecting means using chemicals to kill germs (bacteria and viruses) on surfaces. It’s important to clean before disinfecting because dirt and grime can reduce the ability of disinfectants to kill germs. Disinfectants containing ≥ 70% alcohol, quaternary ammonium compounds, chlorine bleach or oxygen bleach are suitable for use on hard surfaces (that is, surfaces where any spilt liquid pools, and does not soak in). These will be labelled as ‘disinfectant’ on the packaging.

Once a surface is clean, it can be disinfected.


How to Clean

For routine workplace cleaning in a non-healthcare workplace, physical cleaning with water and detergent is sufficient. Water and physical effort alone will not kill the COVID-19 virus.

The Federal Government highly recommends that workplaces are cleaned at least daily. More frequent cleaning may be required in some circumstances. For example, if your workplace operates in shifts, workplaces should be cleaned between shifts. If equipment is shared between workers, it should be cleaned between uses, where practicable. Cleaning with detergent and water is sufficient.


How to Disinfect

Health authorities recommend using a 1000 ppm bleach (sodium hypochlorite) solution to disinfect hard surfaces.

When and how often your workplace, or certain surfaces, should be disinfected will depend on the likelihood of contaminated material being present. This would include any time there has been a case or suspected case of COVID-19 at the workplace, or at workplaces with a high volume of workers, customers or visitors that are likely to touch surfaces.


Cleaning and Disinfecting Solutions

Detergent means a surfactant that is designed to break up oil and grease with the use of water.
Disinfectant means a product labelled as household disinfectant, and containing ≥ 70% alcohol, quaternary ammonium compounds, chlorine bleach or oxygen bleach. Note: Disinfectants require sufficient contact time to be effective.

Where there is uncertainty, the manufacturers or importing suppliers of the substance should be contacted for advice.

Precautions for cleaning and disinfecting

Where cleaning on or around electrical equipment/fittings, isolate electrical equipment and turn off power source if possible before cleaning with liquids. Read the label for the detergent or disinfectant and follow the manufacturer’s recommendations. Obtain a copy of the Safety Data Sheet (SDS) for the detergent or disinfectant and become familiar with the contents. Wear the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) that is identified on the label and the SDS.


Research so far has found that the COVID-19 virus spreads through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. A person may acquire the virus by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose or eyes.

A key way you can protect workers and others from the risk of exposure to COVID-19 is by implementing appropriate cleaning and disinfecting measures for your workplace. A combination of cleaning and disinfection will be most effective in removing the COVID-19 virus.

Health and safety is our priority

The protection of your people, customers, and our service personnel is our top priority. The Disinfecting Business’s Specialists will wear specialised protective gear while conducting service. In cases where there has been a COVID-19 exposure, we will work with you to set up a special staging area for donning and removing this protective gear to further protect your facility.

Utilising The Disinfecting Business’s Disinfection Service not only provides you peace of mind, but it demonstrates your brand’s commitment to safety. Let us help you get back to business.

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