Super User

Super User

In our blog post last week, we talked about how to take down a bully virus with best practices.  We touched on the relative resistance of different categories of microorganisms to disinfectants and sterilization, and the critical baseline set with the Standard Precautions, where cleaning and disinfection always go hand-in-hand.

If last week's post was the textbook portion of our shared online "class," then this week is the virtual lab portion. When you get down to it, what's really happening when cleaning the doorknobs, waiting rooms, elevator panels, bed rails, tables, and all the other  surfaces inside a healthcare facility? Why is it essential to clean first followed by disinfection? Let's look at each part of the process, its purpose, and how to practice environmental infection prevention that would make your grandmother proud.

Cleaning = Soil removal

SoilCleanCleaning refers to the removal of germs, dirt, and impurities from surfaces. Cleaning does not kill germs, but by removing a portion of them, it lowers their numbers and the risk of spreading infection.

Enzymatic cleaners, in particular, provide a catalytic boost to remove soil and help accelerate cleaning action, breaking down organic soils and bioburden. CDC states that, “Cleaning is the necessary first step of any sterilization or disinfection process.” Effective cleaning is especially critical in this time of pandemic.

Disinfection = Microbial kill

MicroorganismDisinfection refers to using chemicals to kill germs on surfaces. This process does not necessarily clean dirty surfaces or remove germs, but by killing germs that remain on a surface after cleaning, it can further lower the risk of spreading infection.

Microbial killDisinfectants must remain on a surface for a specific amount of time to effectively kill different types of microorganisms. This is the kill time, sometimes referred to as exposure time or contact time, and it varies from product to product.

A powerful one-two punch

One-two punch with Cleaning and DisinfectionCase Medical recommends cleaning environmental surfaces with Penta Wipes Multi-Enzymatic Surface Cleaning Wipes to remove soil…

...then following with Case Solutions® 70% Ethanol Spray; 70% Ethanol is an effective intermediate level disinfectant when the exposure time is greater than or equal to one minute.1

We created an infographic-style mini poster as a summary of this information. Feel free to download and share!

Our gratitude

The coronavirus is straining the resources, energy, and nerves of the global healthcare community. But we believe we will get through this together, and that the healthcare community will prevail. We are endlessly grateful for your service. Please take good care of yourselves and contact us if we can be of help to you.




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