Now more than ever, we’re consumed with keeping things clean: From our doorknobs and light switches to steering wheels and countertops, the COVID-19 pandemic has made us acutely aware of how many times a day we come into contact with surfaces that need to be sanitized. But how do we know if we’re cleaning up, or killing germs? We’re digging into the difference between cleaning vs. disinfecting, and learning the best ways to wipe things down during COVID-19 and beyond.
Cleaning vs. Disinfecting
The difference between cleaning vs. disinfecting comes down to the ability to kill germs. When you clean something, you’re wiping away and removing physical debris, leaving the surface clean. The CDC guidelines state cleaning with soap and water removes germs, dirt, and impurities from surfaces. It lowers the risk of spreading infection. Disinfecting means chemicals or heat are employed to kill germs that would otherwise continue to thrive where they exist, such as bacteria and viruses.
When to Use What
We’re a non-toxic, natural cleaning product company. We believe wholeheartedly in the power of nature to clean surfaces without being dangerous for us, our pets or our planet. We love reaching for L’AVANT wipes or multipurpose cleaner to clean our kitchens and bathrooms—and we do so often. When it comes to sanitizing surfaces during viral outbreaks like the flu or COVID-19, though, we also understand that disinfectants need to be used to kill the virus, especially on high-touch areas like door handles, light switches or toilets.
We do use conventional disinfectants sparingly because we want to make sure we’re not flooding our homes, lungs and skin with irritating or dangerous chemicals, killing off healthy bacteria or helping to create superbugs. We do try to use more naturally derived disinfectants if available and appropriate. Though we’re partial to the Seventh Generation line of disinfecting products, spraying straight 3% hydrogen peroxide or rubbing alcohol (minimum 70%) are also non-toxic solutions that kill germs. We recommend reading the instructions on all conventional disinfecting products to ensure you’re leaving the product on long enough to fully disinfect your preferred surface.
Want the best of both worlds during COVID-19? The CDC guidelines state to clean visibly dirty surfaces with soap and water prior to disinfection. We suggest reaching for your L’AVANT Collective Biodegradable Multipurpose Wipes or Natural Multipurpose Cleaner first, then following up with the disinfectant of your choice. Your surfaces will not only look beautifully, naturally clean, but they’ll be sanitized for additional safety.