Stopping the spread of COVID-19: Difference between cleaning and disinfecting

Stopping the spread of COVID-19: Difference between cleaning and disinfecting

Cleaning and disinfecting are two different things. Cleaning means using soap and water to remove dirt and most germs. Disinfecting means using cleaning solutions that have ingredients that kill bacteria and other germs. Many surfaces look clean but may be contaminated with germs.

The Centers for Disease Control recommends the following when cleaning or disinfecting:

  • Wear rubber gloves when cleaning up blood, vomit, or stool.
  • Wear rubber gloves when you have cuts or scrapes on your hand that make it easy for an infection to enter your body.
  • Read the directions on the cleaning product label, including the safety information.
  • First, clean the surface with soap or another cleaner and water. Note: Always store cleaning solutions and other household chemicals in their original containers. Keep them out of children’s reach.
  • Second, use a disinfectant on the surface. Leave it on for a few minutes, depending on the manufacturer’s directions.
  • Third, wipe the surface dry with a paper towel and throw the paper towel away. Or use a cloth towel that is washed afterward.
  • Fourth, wash your hands well, even after wearing gloves.

The two most important household areas to clean and disinfect correctly are the kitchen and bathroom. In the kitchen, bacteria from raw food can contaminate surfaces and food prep areas. Without correct cleaning, this can spread disease. Other important areas that need correct cleaning include children’s changing tables and diaper pails.


For more information and to stay up-date with COVID-19:

The Bahamas Government – Website

COVID-19 hotline if they need advice.
The 24-hour Hotline at 502-7382;
376-9350 from 8am to 8pm; 376-9387 from 8pm to 8am, and toll free (242) 300-2619.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more on the coronavirus.


June Collie

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