You might be surprised to know, but cleaning and disinfecting are not actually the same thing.
Knowing the difference between cleaning and disinfecting surfaces can help prevent the spread of diseases. It is always best to clean a surface to remove any dirt or particles and then to disinfect from contaminants properly. Similar to instances when you should wash your hands with soap and water or use hand sanitizer, the same goes for surfaces.
Cleaning a surface removes the dirt and impurities. It doesn’t kill germs but it does act in lowering the chance of spreading infections. Disinfecting refers to chemicals that are killing germs on surfaces. While these products do aid in helping lessen the spread and kill germs, it is best to clean a surface and follow with disinfecting to get the best results.
Ethyl alcohol (60-90%) is a common active ingredient found in CDC and EPA recommended cleaning products that can kill viruses and bacteria.
Using a disinfectant product without cleaning beforehand is beneficial in killing the germs when cleaning products are not accessible. This is helpful for items and areas that may have been contaminated with germs and should be wiped down quickly. By using these best practices, you can lessen an outbreak and reduce the spread of diseases in the future.