This is part 4 of an article on the difference between cleaning and disinfecting. I define the three levels of cleaning as Sanitizing, Disinfecting and Sterilization.

Here's a reminder of our problem: "We have a very busy gym/workout area with multiple pad on walls, chin up bars, dummies and other porous touch points that have to be "disinfected" during multiple sessions at least four times per day. At night, we are able to perform more thorough cleaning but have concerns about the specs requiring "disinfecting" during the day with less than 10 minutes between sessions. Any thoughts?"

As presented in prior articles, I much prefer a higher level of sanitization (90-99 percent kill rate) over simply spraying and wiping a surface/area. Training your workers to use microfiber cloths correctly (which is another series of articles for a later time) and allowing sufficient dwell time is crucial to protecting the health of the people using the gym/work out area you described.

Upon review of your current disinfectant, I noted that it requires a minimum 10 minutes wet dwell time, which does not work in your current environment. I recommend you consult with your distributor for an effective (EPA registered) disinfectant with a shorter dwell time. If you can find a true cleaner/disinfectant then all the better.

You must first remove the body fluids on the surfaces before you can even sanitize effectively. Test or check to make sure that the product does not damage (age) the vinyl pads or other surfaces since you could be held liable in some cases.

We will continue with our definitions in a future article. Your comments and questions are important. I hope to hear from you soon. Until then, keep it clean...

Mickey Crowe has been involved in the industry for over 35 years. He is a trainer, speaker and consultant. You can reach Mickey at 678-314-2171 or