News and information from the world of NatraSan, plus some of the science and research behind the products.

The difference between cleaning, sanitising and disinfecting

Know the difference between cleaning, sanitising and disinfecting

How clean is clean? Most of us struggle to understand the difference between cleaning, sanitising and disinfecting. Cleaning products often promise one, both or all three. So what is the difference and how do we know if our cleaning products are really doing the job?

Here’s how to distinguish between cleaning, sanitising and disinfecting:

Cleaning: Cleaning a surface means simply removing visible debris and dirt, using water and detergent. Cleaning alone is usually enough for floors and window frames, for example – low-risk surfaces where the likelihood of pathogen (bacteria or virus that cause disease) transfer is minimal. However, without sanitising or disinfecting, simply mopping and wiping surfaces doesn’t kill germs, pathogens or allergens, such as dust mites or mould spores. Cleaning is just the first step in making a surface free of germs.

Sanitising: Sanitising makes a surface sanitary or free of dirt and germs to a level generally considered safe. When you sanitise, you’re reducing the number of bacteria present by 99.9%. In order to sanitise properly, a sanitiser must remain on a surface for a minimum of 60 seconds before being wiped off. Sanitising is better than cleaning alone but does not remove all viruses or fungus.

Disinfecting: For frequently-touched surfaces, such as food preparation areas, or if a family member has had an illness, such as highly-contagious norovirus, it’s worth using a disinfectant. Disinfecting destroys most pathogens on a surface – both viruses, such as flu, and harmful bacteria. Check the label of your disinfectant for instructions, but as a general rule of thumb, the disinfectant should remain on the surface for around 10 minutes in order to be fully effective.

Why not simply disinfect all the time? Using harsh chemicals, such as highly-concentrated bleach, can have a harmful effect on health, leading to skin irritations or asthma.

NatraSan – sanitiser and disinfectant in one 

Multi-purpose NatraSan is an advanced antiseptic, sanitiser and disinfectant that can be sprayed on hard and soft surfaces and is totally safe to use. It kills all types of germs on contact yet contains no harmful chemicals so it’s safe to use on the human body, even around the eyes and mouth.

Powerfully antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal, NatraSan contains the active ingredient hypochlorous acid, found in human immune systems. NatraSan kills 99.9999% of germs and is far more effective than bleach.

Find out more about our award-winning products here.