Cleaning and Disinfection Why is it important? Frequent cleaning and disinfection helps to prevent the spread of germs that may cause illness. What is it? Cleaning is an important first step because it physically removes dirt, organic matter and most germs from surfaces, but does not destroy some harmful germs that may remain. All surfaces must be thoroughly cleaned before disinfection. This ensures that germs are not hidden from the disinfectant when it is applied. Disinfection is the process that destroys most disease-causing germs that remain on surfaces. How often should it be done? Routinely - for frequently touched surfaces; shared surfaces / items More often - when illness levels have increased Immediately - when surfaces are contaminated with blood or body fluids How is it done? What Why How Step 1 : Clean To physically remove dirt, organic matter, and most germs before disinfection Use detergent / soap, water, clean brush / cloth and scrub Step 2: Rinse To remove soap and dirt residue To make disinfectants effective Use clean water and clean cloth Step 3: Disinfect To destroy disease causing germs that remain on surfaces Fully immerse tools in disinfectant solution at proper strength for a required contact time over . . . For more information Durham Region Health Department 905-666-6241 1-800-841-2729 durham.ca If you require this information in an accessible format, contact 1-800-841-2729. Cleaning and Disinfection What do I look for? Read the label and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Things to consider when buying cleaning and disinfection products: Type: Is the product just a cleaner, disinfectant or a combination? DIN: Drug Identification Number issued by Health Canada for all approved disinfectants Pre-clean / Clean: Must remove all dirt before sanitizing or disinfecting Sanitize: A lower kill level of some germs Disinfect: A higher kill level of more types of germs Contact Time: The time required for the disinfectant to be left wet on the surface to kill the germs Can household bleach be used as a disinfectant? Household bleach can be diluted with water and is an effective and inexpensive disinfectant. The product labels will inform you of the intended use of the bleach and whether it can be used as a disinfectant. Remember to always follow manufacturer’s instructions. More information can be obtained from Durham Region Health Department, Environmental Help Line 905-723-3818 or 1-888-777-9613 October 2016 For more information Durham Region Health Department 905-666-6241 1-800-841-2729 durham.ca If you require this information in an accessible format, contact 1-800-841-2729.
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