Cleaning, Sanitizing, and Disinfecting Frequency

  • Cleaning–Physically removing all dirt and contamination, oftentimes using soap and water. The friction of cleaning removes most germs and exposes any remaining germs to the effects of a sanitizer or disinfectant used later.
  • Sanitizing–Reducing germs on inanimate surfaces to levels considered safe by public health codes or regulations. Sanitizing may be appropriate for food service tables, high chairs, toys, and pacifiers.
  • Disinfecting–Destroying or inactivating most germs on any inanimate object, but not bacterial spores. Disinfecting may be appropriate for diaper tables, door and cabinet handles, toilets, and other bathroom surfaces.
  • Detergent–A cleaning agent that helps dissolve and remove dirt and grease from fabrics and surfaces. Soap can be considered a type of detergent.
  • Dwell Time–The duration a surface must remain wet with a sanitizer/disinfectant to work effectively.
  • Germs–Microscopic living things (such as bacteria, viruses, parasites and fungi) that cause disease.
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