There's A Difference Between Cleaning And Disinfecting
A reader asks: "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?"
First of all, let's agree on terminology. Although you and others may not agree with my simplistic approach for this brief response, I believe it has merit. Cleaning has to do with the removal of soil/contaminants from a given surface or area. Disinfecting is cleaning to the point of actually removing, killing or at least suppressing any microorganisms that may be present.
When there is soil on a flat surface such as dirt, food residue, sweat, blood, vomit, urine, feces or other sources of food for microorganisms there is also always going to be contamination resulting in bacterial and viral growth. The microorganisms could have already been present and multiply at a rapid rate or they could be transported by dust, sneezing, etc. so that they have found a food source and will multiply rapidly.
We all know that there are pathogens (microorganisms that can sicken or even kill) as well as many benign bacteria that are harmless in most cases. When we "clean" a surface by spraying a detergent and wiping correctly with a microfiber cloth, we actually remove most of the microorganisms as well as the source of food. Remember that a microorganism cannot survive long on a clean, dry surface exposed to light and air.
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 CTCG50@comcast.net.