Germ Illustration

Cleaning, Disinfecting and Sanitizing


Cleaning is the physical removal of visible dirt and organic matter from objects using detergent, warm water and friction. Rubbing action creates friction, which is required to remove any surface dirt/organic matter from the surface. Cleaning will physically remove some microorganisms (germs such as bacteria, viruses, parasites, moulds), however; it does not kill those that may remain on the surface. Cleaning is an important first step in removing disease-causing microorganisms. If surfaces are not clean, dirt and organic matter can coat and protect germs and may cause further disinfection processes to be ineffective.


Disinfecting/sanitizing will greatly reduce the number of microorganisms from any surface. This process will destroy (kill) and reduce the number of microorganisms to an acceptable level. These processes do NOT sterilize items and all germs will never be removed. This process can be achieved by using either high temperature water during the rinse cycle (e.g. commercial dishwashers at greater than 82℃/180℉) or chemical solutions.

Last modified: February 19, 2020