During these uncertain times, understanding the differences between a clean environment versus a disinfected one can be crucial. You may have presumed that words such as clean, sanitize, disinfect or sterilize were somewhat the same, or at least interchangeable. However, there are dramatic differences between a surface that is clean compared to a surface that is sterile. Here’s everything you need to know about the differences in cleanliness.
What is the Difference Between Clean vs Sterile?
As we move from clean all the way to sterilize, we increase in cleanliness and we are decreasing the amount of germs, bacteria, and viruses that survive on surfaces.
Understanding the Differences
Cleaning is physically removing germs and dirt and impurities. This is what we would think of when we use soap and water. We’re scrubbing off of the dirt and germs and washing them down the drain. Usually, cleaning is only an option at surface level, as a surface that may appear clean, can still have millions of germs.
Sanitizing is something that we would associate with hand sanitizer or certain cleaning products. Sanitizing can lower the number of germs on surfaces by up to 99.9%.
Disinfection takes that one level higher and that’s killing germs on surfaces, except for some fungal spores at nearly a 100% rate, it’s actually 99.999%. You might think the difference between 99.9 and 99.999% is not that big of a deal, but when we’re talking about viruses, where there could be millions of virus molecules on a surface leaving behind that 0.099% could mean thousands or hundreds of thousands of virus molecules present on the surface can potentially infect people.
Then we look at sterilization and that is something we typically would associate with medical instruments or dental instruments. Things, such as dental or equipment, that cannot have any living organism on its surface. A sterile surface usually goes through some sort of heating process. Sterilization while very effective is not practical for day to day objects and activities.
When it comes to your role in mitigating transmission of viruses or bacteria, you ideally want to achieve at least disinfection. This is due to the fact that disinfection kills germs on surfaces at almost 100%(99.999%).
If you are looking for more disinfection tips or you need an effective disinfection process for your home or business, Orkin Canada’s team of professional disinfection specialists can help.
Reviewed by Sean Rollo, BCE on August 24, 2020.
You may also like
Canada's Top 25 Bed Bug Cities Of 2020
Bed bugs are extremely efficient hitch hikers. They can move easily across a room and climb onto luggage or anything left on a bed in just one night.
Rodent Roundup: How To Deal With Rats And Mice
Rodents are some of the craftiest pests around. They’re always on the lookout for food, water and shelter. If you’re a homeowner or a business owner (or both), your property likely provides everything they’re looking for in one convenient place. And in an age of heightened health concerns due to COVID-19, a small rodent problem can quickly become a serious one. While rodents haven’t been shown to be carriers of the disease, they are known to carry other pathogens that can compromise the safety of your home or business. They thrive in filth and clutter, which means their presence is a sure signal that you need to take action. But where should you start? If you suspect there may be rodents around, you’ll want to identify the key markers of their presence.
Atlantic Canada's Top 15 'Rattiest' Cities
As fall approaches, pest control leader Orkin Canada reminds homeowners and business owners to take precautions to help keep rodents out. Cities are ranked by the number of rodent (rat & mice) treatments the company performed from July 1, 2019 through June 30, 2020.
Ontario's Top 25 "Rattiest" Cities 2020
Pest control leader Orkin Canada reminds home owners and business owners to take precautions to help keep rodents out. Cities are ranked by the number of rodent (rat & mice) treatments the company performed from January 1, 2018 through December 31, 2018. This ranking includes both residential and commercial treatments.