What’s the Deal with Disinfectants?

K. Cross, Two Bettys Field Service Operations Director

May 5, 2020

Cleaning with Confidence

Perhaps your breakfast nook is now a classroom? Or your dining table is pulling double duty as both office and eatery? All this increased time at home means more cleaning, more often to maintain your space. With disinfectants back in the news in a big way, we want to focus on the differences between cleaning and disinfecting. That way, you can feel confident in caring for your own space until the Bettys return. 

Let’s start with cleaning. According to the CDC, cleaning removes debris, dirt, dust, allergens, and microorganisms. Cleaning usually involves soap or detergent and some “mechanical action” like scrubbing or wiping. Most of the eco friendly products used by Two Bettys are cleaners that help remove soil from surfaces. Cleaning products remove microorganisms but do not necessarily destroy them on contact. For example, simply touching soap is not an effective way to wash your hands. You need the combined power of soap, water, and the mechanical action of rubbing your hands to remove microorganisms and fingerpaint alike.

Disinfecting is a slightly different story. According to the CDC, disinfection is when you use a product that has been tested to kill the microscopic organisms on the label, including viruses and fungi. The CDC is currently recommending regular disinfection of high touch areas like light switches, electronics, door handles, etc. Understanding what products are disinfectants versus cleaners helps ensure you are disinfecting effectively. 

So, does the CDC’s recommendation to regularly disinfect mean you no longer need to clean? No! The first step in effective disinfection is always to clean the surface first. Bacteria, viruses, and other microorganisms love dirty surfaces where they can easily stick to debris. Cleaning the surface first removes this debris, allowing the disinfectant to do its job. 

Eco-friendly Options Are Effective!

But can you disinfect while staying green? Yes! There’s no need for harsh, harmful chemicals to disinfect. With over 13 years of eco-friendly cleaning experience, we continue to use only those products deemed the Betty Best! We have already boosted the power of our buckets with hydrogen peroxide based disinfectant for easy, effective use in all sorts of spaces. While you can expect to see your Betty wearing gloves and a mask, know that hydrogen peroxide based disinfectants are much easier on both people and the planet than chemicals like bleach or isopropyl alcohol. 

As always, read and follow the instructions for the products you choose and do not combine cleaners or disinfectants. We hope this helps you keep it green and clean until the Bettys are back!