Amasht Hygiene E-news | December 2012
The Difference Between Cleaning, Sanitizing and Disinfecting
  Clean low-risk surfaces, such as floors, windows, etc., where the likelihood of pathogen transfer from the surface is low. Sanitizing should only be applied to food contact surfaces, which is required as part of the food code. Disinfection is appropriate for frequently touched surfaces because it is likely to harbor pathogens. Since sanitizing does not make anti-viral claims, sanitizing offers no confidence of killing the flu or other viruses commonly found on surfaces. Cleaning alone will always contribute favorably to the health of indoor occupants. The problem, however, is the risk of cross-contamination. The mopping solution and the cleaning tools could be spreading disease in the absence of a germicide.
  When you sanitize, you are killing/reducing the number of bacteria present by 99.9 percent (3 log10) but doing nothing about viruses and fungus. Sanitizing is better than cleaning alone but the reduction of pathogen populations on environmental surfaces is exponentially better when you disinfect.  
Ready-to-use wipes with short dwell times are ideal for high-traffic areas. By selecting ready-to-use wipes with a strong substrate and that stay wet longer, staff can disinfect greater surface areas with fewer wipes reducing costs and delivering a better value for facilities. Using the right disinfecting wipes with the fastest kill times coupled with implementation of standardized cleaning protocols, commercial facilities should see a return on investment while never compromising on clean.

Staff will often turn to wipes for a convenient solution and can be confident they are killing germs of the highest concern. Some do, some do not. Some chemistries keep the surface wet for the full contact time. Others, especially those that are alcohol based, generally evaporate before the contact time, creating a risk that the surface is not being properly disinfected. Hence it is important to consider this factor when determining whether the disinfectant is acceptable for use.
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