Home >Cleaning and disinfecting: SC Johnson Professional explains the difference

Cleaning and disinfecting: SC Johnson Professional explains the difference

18 May 2020

As the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (SARS CoV- 2), the virus that causes COVID-19, continues to spread more and more people are looking for ways to disinfect facilities and workplaces.

When someone who has COVID-19 coughs or exhales they release droplets of infected fluid. Most of these droplets fall on nearby surfaces and objects - such as desks, tables or telephones. People could catch COVID-19 by touching contaminated surfaces or objects – and then touching their eyes, nose or mouth. Current evidence suggests that SARS CoV- 2 may remain viable for hours to days on surfaces.

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that workplaces are kept clean and hygienic, for example by wiping surfaces such as desks and tables, and objects such as phones and keyboards regularly with disinfectant. This is because contamination on surfaces which are then touched by employees and customers is one of the main ways that COVID-19 spreads.

Cleaning removes germs, dirt, and impurities from surfaces or objects. Cleaning works by using soap or detergent and water to physically remove germs from surfaces. This process does not necessarily kill germs, but by removing them, it lowers their numbers and the associated risk of spreading infection.

Disinfecting kills germs on surfaces or objects with the use of chemicals. Disinfecting should be done after a surface has been cleaned. Cleaning removes loose soils, preparing the surface or object to be disinfected. If a surface is not cleaned first, germs can hide under soils and reduce the efficacy of the disinfectant. Here are SC Johnson Professional’s top tips:

  • Always follow product use instructions for disinfecting hard, non-porous surfaces
  • Spray until surface is visibly wet
  • Per product use instructions, let the product stand for the recommended time period on surface to be disinfected. The wetting period is very important to kill germs on your surfaces
  • Air dry or wipe as directed after wetting period is complete. 

What areas should be disinfected? 
Global health organisations recommend keeping common surfaces disinfected as one of the simplest ways we can reduce the potential risk of infection from more common viral diseases. For example, when a sick person coughs or sneezes, droplets can land on surfaces such as desks, seats, counter tops or frequently touched surfaces which can then spread viruses. These include ‘high touch’ surfaces such as phones, door handles and light switches. Doorknobs are sometimes an afterthought when it comes to cleaning and disinfecting, but are in fact a high-traffic area for germs!

High-touch areas include:

  • Door handles
  • Handrails
  • Taps
  • Light switches
  • Soap dispensers
  • Chair handles
  • Food contact surfaces.

For more information on SC Johnson Professional’s recommended best practice and resources, head here.