What is the difference between cleaning and disinfecting?
Some people may assume that cleaning and disinfecting are much the same in terms of the sterile services they perform, but this is not the case. Some scenarios require more intensive cleaning and disinfection, while others will only require mild cleaning. Cleaning usually refers to using water or water mixed with antibacterial soap or detergent. Disinfecting is a more intensive process, which is used to kill bacteria and eradicate other germs.
Cleaning is suitable for most rooms in the house but disinfection is often required in kitchens and bathrooms, as there are potentially harmful strains of bacteria and other germs lurking around, which may cause infections and illnesses.
Where is disinfection necessary?
Disinfection is necessary in any area where there is a risk of bacterial infection. Disinfection is essential in food outlets and health centres and hospitals, for example. Disinfection involves reducing levels of bacteria to safe levels, which can be done by using specific chemicals or boiling water or heating food to a specific temperature.
Disinfection and sterilisation
Sterilisation is an even more intensive form of cleaning than disinfection – sterilisation involves killing all living microorganisms, including bacterial spores. Sterilisation is very important in the medical industry; sterilisation helps to prevent the spread of infections and illnesses. Hospitals have sterile service departments, which deal with the sterilisation of reusable medical equipment and instruments.