Many people use the terms Cleaning, Disinfection and Sterilization to more or less mean the same thing. But they are distinctly different. Read on to learn more.
When you clean it is to maintain an acceptable and agreed standard that is clear of debris such as dirt, faeces, food, saliva, blood and other bodily fluids and the removal of foreigh objects and materials. In doing so, it reduces organic matter that contributes to the multiplication of viruses and bacteria. Using special cleaning agents and tools like vacuum cleaners, mops, floor scrubbers and cloths achieves a level of visual cleanliness. Comprising priamrily of two stages, the cleaning where the use of fluid and friction throug hthe process of scrubbing anr rubbing is usually done primarily with a solution of soap and water. Another way is to wash, again using the same combination of water and soap. Specialized cleaning agents can be powers, liquids, granules or sprays. Some are capable of killing bacteria as well as cleaning. The key component of cleaning is to prevent the spread of dirt and contaminants as well as dirt removal such as dust, bad smells, clutter and stains. Cleaning comes before disinfection and sterilization as materials may remain lessening the effectiveness of the latter processes.
Disinfection destroys microorganisms that are pathogenic and removes the majority of organisms on surfaces. Essentially disinfectant acts as an antimicrobial agent when then applied to objects that are non living destroy the microorganisms on the said non living object. A popular and economical disinfectant is chlorine bleach that works against most pathogens but it does not kill all microorganisms and on balance is less effective than sterilization.
Sterlization is any kind of process that kills or exterminates all forms of life such as bacteria, fungi, spore forms and viruses. It can be utlized by the application of chemicals, heat, high rpessure, filtration or irradiation or any combination of these.
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