What is Cleaning Versus Disinfection?

September 3, 2020

You may have heard senior communities say that due to COVID-19, there is increased sanitation including the disinfecting of high-touch surfaces. But what is considered a high-touched surface, what is the difference between regular cleaning and disinfection?

Cleaning and Disinfection of hig-touch areas in senior living communities.

First, we need to understand what is considered a high-touch surface. Possible high-touch points in a senior living community may include:

  • Door handles, push plates & hand railings
  • Handles of the beverage dispensers/vending machines
  • Refrigerator/freezer handles
  • Kitchen/bathroom sink faucet handles
  • Soap dispenser push plates
  • Towel dispenser handle
  • Trash receptacle touchpoints
  • Telephone keypad & handset
  • Common computers/touchscreens
  • Reception counter
  • Television screens/display screens on equipment
  • Laundry and housekeeping carts
  • Display cases
  • Self-service kiosks

The Difference Between Cleaning, Disinfection, and Sanitation

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 risk of spreading infection.

Disinfection kills germs on surfaces or objects. Disinfecting works by using chemicals to kill germs on surfaces or objects. This process does not necessarily clean dirty surfaces or remove germs, but by killing germs on a surface after cleaning, it can further lower the risk of spreading infection.

Sanitation lowers the number of germs on surfaces or objects to a safe level, as judged by public health standards or requirements. This process works by either cleaning or disinfecting surfaces or objects to lower the risk of spreading infection. (

Keeping Our Community Safe & Disinfected

As previously stated, Priority Life Care communities continue with heightened cleaning efforts by routinely disinfecting high-touch surfaces throughout each day. This includes interior spaces, as well as outdoor spaces. Nightly, our communities perform deep cleans of all communal spaces. Most recently, Priority Life Care has implemented the use of a hydrostatic sanitary sprayer unit for sanitizing.

Today, Priority Life Care continues to search for new technology and safer ways to clean, disinfect, and sanitize.

Did You Know?

You can carry your disinfectant sanitizer wherever you go! Just get a travel-size hand sanitizer that you can loop around your belt loop or handbag. Quite a few companies make travel size sanitizer pouches you can carry in public or while traveling. Use them often to disinfect your hands after touching high touchpoints in public. This is a good investment to keep yourself safe.

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