Cleaning not equal to disinfecting: CRC Industries

Maintaining a clean work environment has taken on increased importance as employees are returning to workplaces and coronavirus restrictions are being lifted across Australia.

According to US-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), cleaning and disinfecting hard non-porous surfaces is central to any effort to reducing the risk of exposure to infectious diseases.

Companies are urged to seek better understanding on the proper use of cleaners and disinfectants and how they work together to minimise risk.

Cleaning refers to the removal of dirt and impurities from surfaces. Cleaning itself does not kill germs, but by washing them away, it lowers their numbers and the risk of spreading infection.

Disinfecting refers to the use of a chemical agent (but sometimes a physical agent) that destroys harmful microorganisms such as viruses, bacteria and fungi.

These products must be registered with the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) and be proven in their efficacy against all microorganisms listed on the product label.

Specialty cleaning products manufacturer, CRC Industries, has a Clean-Disinfect-Protect program that can help companies maintain a clean working environment.

CRC Industries Australia managing director, Murray Walbran said the company’s solution for maximum efficiency in cleaning was a two-step cleaning and disinfecting process.

“Disinfection begins with a clean surface. Cleaning is a core competency for CRC and provides a unique opportunity for us to message the importance of the cleaning process,” he said.

“When done properly, the cleaning process removes dirt and other contaminants from hard, non-porous surfaces. Removing these substances will make disinfecting treatments more effective and can lower the risk of spreading infection.

“If proper cleaning is not done prior to applying a disinfectant, the effectiveness of the disinfectant will be compromised. Some products are formulated as both cleaners and disinfectants and will accomplish both processes but may still require two steps.”

According to CRC, it is important to match the cleaning product to the types of soils that are to be removed.

“When disinfecting, it is important to check the product label to be sure the product will kill the types of microorganisms you are targeting,” Walbran said.

“For all products, the first step is to fully review the product label and understand how the product should be applied and used in order to achieve the desired results.”