Industrial and Public Health Safety
The Difference Between Cleaners, Disinfectants and Sanitizers
Nowadays there are thousands of products that tout their effectiveness at cleaning, disinfecting, or sanitizing an environment of the home or office, but really what does that all mean? What are the major differences between cleaners? And what is the difference between cleaners and sanitizers? To maintain a clean and healthy home, it is important to know the facts and proper procedures to ensure you and your loved ones are safe and protected
Cleaners: Cleaners, soaps, and detergents are used to remove physical material like dirt, dust, soil and germs like bacteria and viruses. These products, with correct rinsing procedures, work to rid the surface of organic matter and germs but do little to kill or deactivate them.
Disinfectants: Disinfectants are products which contain chemicals that destroy bacteria and prevent them from growing, although have no effect on dirt, soil or dust. For this reason, disinfectants are typically used after cleaning with a soap or detergent so that all physical material is removed and the surface can be thoroughly disinfected. These products are classified and regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to ensure they meet appropriate disinfectant standards.
Sanitizers: Sanitizers, including alcoholic hand sanitizers, reduce germs and bacteria on the surface, but do little to remove dirt or organic matter. This class of cleaner is also not regulated by an agency, however do provide a quick and efficient reduction in bacteria when used.
In order to maintain the highest levels of cleanliness and sanitation in your home and office while preventing the spread of disease, it is important to use a combination of cleaners, sanitizers and disinfectants. Also, please remember to read all instructions and warnings on the product labels to ensure proper usage and maximum effectiveness
MRSA disinfectants and cleaners
Disinfection and sanitation needs are at paramount levels with the onset and spread of MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus).
What is MRSA? It is a bacteria, staph, to be precise, that has built up an immunity or resistance to common antibiotics. It is called Methicillin-resistant, because it is resistant to that particular form of antibiotic as well as the more well-known names like Penicillin and Amoxicillin.
MRSA is spreading quickly in facilities on commonly touched surfaces as well as shared equipment. These need to be cleaned thoroughly and frequently to avoid exposure, contamination and spread. Finding its way into schools, hospitals, airports or wherever there is a condensed amount of people are at the highest risk. Schools and gyms with sports equipment should follow a strict regimen to prevent MRSA spread. Cleaning often is always the best answer, but be sure to know the following too:
- How should the cleaner or disinfectant be applied?
- Do you need to clean the surface first before using the disinfectant (e.g., precleaned surfaces)?
- Is it safe for the surface? Some cleaners and disinfectants, including household chlorine bleach, might damage some surfaces (e.g., metals, some plastics).
- How long do you need to leave it on the surface to be effective (i.e., contact time)?
- Do you need to rinse the surface with water after using the cleaner or disinfectant?
Just read the product labeling and follow the instructions. We recommend PureGreen24 as a MRSA disinfectant because of its "kill time" of only 2 minutes and Cidex OPA because of its widespread use in hospitals and Dental offices.
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Starting at: $155.76Includes 2 oz bottle of disinfectant, 2-quart container with lid, measuring cup, instructions, comparison chart and test strips to check solution activity. Ideal for cleaning respiratory care equipment. Learn More
Starting at: $6.99This anti-microbial surface disinfectant is a must have for any clinic, stable business or household setting. Completely safe and proven to kill bacteria, fungi and viruses including Staph (MRSA) and Influenza A, this colorless and odorless disinfectant is EPA registered effective against dozens of harmful organisms. Learn More
Starting at: $9.49Instantfoam 72% Alcohol Non-Aerosol Foaming Hand Sanitizer Learn More
Starting at: $128.90
3M Avagard antiseptic hand prep is designed to replace water-aided antimicrobial hand scrub brushes and antimicrobial soaps. The scrubless, waterless way to prepare hands for surgery, it's fast-acting and effective, providing proven, persistent antimicrobial protection for up to six hours without water or scrubbing. Avagard hand antiseptic product has obtained FDA NDA approval, which includes a complete review by FDA of all safety and efficacy data. Other products in this category marketed under the Tentative Final Monograph for Healthcare Antiseptic Drugs (TFM), may only claim compliance to the TFM and are not subject to FDA data review to assure product safety and efficacy prior to sale.Learn More
Starting at: $5.49
3M Avagard D Instant Hand Antiseptic Sanitizer is a waterless, scrubless way to prepare hands for surgery. Fast acting and effective, the FDA approved Avagard D provides proven, persistent protection for up to 6 hours from germs, bacteria, and viruses such as MRSA and h2N1 Swine Flu. The unique, rich emollient base feels smooth on hands, but 3M Avagard Sanitizer won't leave hands sticky or affect glove performance. Avagard Hand Sanitizer is a "must have" for hospitals, healthcare facilities, clinics and anywhere else that professionals come into close contact with patients.Learn More