the role of cleaning products in preventing the spread of illness

The Role Of Cleaning Products In Preventing The Spread Of Illness

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    Cleaning your home regularly helps keep it free of the bacteria that might make you unwell. Removing bacteria, filth, and other contaminants from your home's surfaces through regular cleaning can improve the health of you and your loved ones. You don't need to sanitise or disinfect unless ill individuals stay at your house.

    How Does Cleaning Affect Your Physical Well-Being? 

    Products designed to aid in cleaning are useful tools for maintaining good personal hygiene and a clean living environment. Microorganisms (called microbes or germs) are the underlying cause of many common ailments and can be avoided with regular handwashing. Cleaning your home regularly removes the dirt and food particles that germs thrive on.

    An additional line of defence against infectious microbes can be found in cleaning and disinfection supplies with an active antimicrobial or antibacterial component. This is because its active ingredient kills or inhibits the growth of bacteria, serving a purpose beyond mere cleanliness. (Antibacterial and antimicrobial are typically used interchangeably; both kill microorganisms. However, in the strictest sense, antimicrobial refers to activity against many different microbes, while antibacterial is specific to bacteria. Together with regular and thorough cleaning, these products can be invaluable in the fight against infectious diseases.

    How Does Surface Disinfection Help?

    the role of cleaning products in preventing the spread of illness1

    • Even though standard cleaning solutions effectively eliminate dirt, only disinfectants and disinfectant cleaners (sometimes called antibacterial cleansers) can eliminate the germs responsible for various ailments.
    • Even if they don't look dirty, kitchen and bathroom surfaces, door handles, toilet seats, and children's toys can harbour bacteria.
    • Dirty cleaning sponges and rags can transfer germs to other areas.
    • Products that promise to kill germs must be registered with the EPA and display an EPA registration number on the label. These products must also comply with EPA efficacy requirements and recommendations.
    • Disinfecting surfaces properly entails adhering strictly to the directions provided on product labels.

    Why Is It So Crucial That We Eliminate Germs?

    • Most infectious diseases are passed from person to person through casual hand contact.
    • Our bodies can be contaminated by any number of entry points, including the gastrointestinal tract, respiratory system, and skin.
    • The second major cause of foodborne illness is poor personal hygiene among food handlers.
    • Bacteria and viruses can go from hands to inanimate objects and back again.
    • Dry surfaces (like toys) can harbour germs for several hours, whereas wet ones (like bathroom sinks) can harbour them for up to three days.
    • Salmonella can stay alive for at least 24 hours on a dry surface after being frozen.
    • Four billion liveable germs have been found on the typical kitchen dishcloth.

    Cleaning, Sanitising, and Disinfecting: What's the Difference?


    Most bacteria, grime, and other contaminants can be eliminated through cleaning. Scrub it with soap and water to get it clean. 

    Clean Regularly and Clean First

    Cleaning is the first and most crucial step in eliminating germs from your house. Cleaning using soap or detergent will eliminate bacteria and dirt on surfaces, lowering the potential for illness from touching them. Most viruses and germs can be removed from surfaces simply by cleaning them. Impurities, such as dirt, can make it more difficult for chemicals to reach and destroy bacteria on surfaces; therefore, cleaning them first is recommended.

    After cleaning, sanitising helps get rid of the bacteria that are left behind.

    When You Should Clean Your House Surfaces

    • Clean frequently touched objects like doorknobs, light switches, and worktops regularly and after having guests over.
    • As needed or when other surfaces in the house become noticeably dirty, you should also clean them. Cleaning them more frequently is recommended for households with vulnerable members, such as young children or compromised immune systems. It's also an option to sterilise the area.
    • Follow the label directions for cleaning with the appropriate product for each surface.

    The Proper Way to Clean Household Items

    Preventing the transmission of germs typically only requires frequent cleaning. To avoid injury during cleaning, consider the following suggestions:

    Countertops, light switches, certain toys, and floors are all examples of hard surfaces.

    • Use soap and water or the proper cleaning solution for the cleaned material.
    • Use cleaning chemicals designed for carpets, rugs, and drapes to clean these surfaces.
    • If you can, follow the washing instructions provided by the manufacturer. Dry everything thoroughly after washing it in the warmest water setting possible.
    • Vacuum the mess and dispose of the dirt.

    Clothes, towels, stuffed animals, and bedsheets, as well as other linens and towels:

    • Use the detergent and the proper washing water temperature to clean your clothes.
    • Get things dry.
    • Laundering soiled things from a sick person with those of a healthy person is completely safe.
    • Purge dirty clothes hampers or baskets by surface care instructions.
    • Hand washing is recommended after dealing with soiled laundry.

    As it relates to gadgets like mobile devices, keyboards, touchscreens, and remote controls:

    • Using a wipeable cover on devices makes it much simpler to clean and disinfect them after use.
    • When cleaning, make sure to stick to the manufacturer's guidelines.


    Disinfection reduces bacteria below health requirements. To disinfect, people typically use spray cleaners or diluted bleach solutions. Surfaces should be cleaned before being sanitised. 

    After cleaning, you may need to sanitise certain household surfaces and items.

    • Cleaning and disinfecting baby feeding equipment, toys, and play areas is important.
    • After a flood or other calamity, it's important to disinfect any surfaces that food will come into contact with.
    • If you have a recalled food item, cleaning your fridge may be a good idea.
    • Clean all surfaces according to the label's recommendations using a product designed for that specific surface.

    Using Sanitizers Correctly

    Daily sanitising may not be required if surfaces and objects are cleaned thoroughly after use. To kill germs and bacteria, disinfect with diluted bleach or a sanitising spray approved by the Environmental Protection Agency.

    Some toys and baby feeding accessories are examples of nonporous objects.
    • Use a high heat (boiling or steaming) or a mild bleach solution to sterilise things. For instructions on how to properly use an item, consult its manual. For certain objects, you can utilise the dishwasher's sanitising cycle.
    • After disinfecting, lay everything out to dry on a clean paper towel or dish towel before putting it away or using it.
    • Avoid transferring germs to your dishes by not rubbing or patting them dry with a dishcloth.
    For use on tile, stone, or other nonporous surfaces
    • Use hot, soapy water to wipe off kitchen counters.
    • Then, using a DIY bleach solution for sanitising products, disinfect the inside sink and any other surfaces that have come into contact with poultry, raw meat, or juices.


    When something is disinfected, most of the germs on it die. When disinfecting, harsher bleach solutions or chemicals are used. The first step in disinfecting a surface is to clean it.

    Why and When to Disinfect

    When someone is sick or when there are people in the house with compromised immune systems (such as those receiving immunosuppressive treatment for organ transplants, cancer, or other illnesses, those with HIV/AIDS, or those with immune-compromised genetic conditions), it is especially important to disinfect the home.

    Safe Disinfection Procedures

    An EPA-approved disinfectant or a harsher bleach solution should be used.

    Start by washing the area with soap and water. Make sure you know whether you're disinfecting a hard or soft surface by reading the label of your product.

    When using chemical disinfectants, be sure to observe these vital safety precautions:

    • If you want to use a disinfectant correctly and get rid of it properly, read the label first.
    • Use the proper safety gear (gloves, goggles, etc.) to prevent injury to your skin and eyes from splashes.
    • Please don't rush the process; give the disinfectant a chance to do its job. "Contact time" describes this interval. The contact time is listed with the directions. The surface must remain wet throughout the full contact time to ensure the killing of germs.
    • The clock has been running for 15 seconds.
    • If you're using the product inside, ensure plenty of fresh air to circulate by opening windows and doors or using a fan.
    • If the instructions call for water, use room temperature water (unless the label specifies otherwise).
    • Cleaning and disinfecting solutions should be clearly labelled.
    • Keep chemicals away from children and pets at all times.
    • A female hand-washer
    • Do not combine substances of different types.
    • Do not put disinfecting products directly on your skin or ingest them through your mouth or nose. These items pose a significant health risk.
    • Do not use antiseptic wipes or shampoo on your pet.
    • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds after disinfection.

    Choosing the Right Disinfectant: Some Important Questions to Ask

    • Does it need living things to deactivate?
    • How does hard water influence it?
    • Does it stick after use?
    • Is it acidic?
    • How irritable is it to the human body?
    • Can it be absorbed through the skin, eaten, or breathed in and cause harm?
    • How long does it stay potent after being watered down?

    Cleaning Supplies With Antibacterial Products

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    Antibacterial, antiseptic, and antimicrobial labels can be seen on common household items like:

    • Detergents and soaps
    • Products for washing and disinfecting hands and windows: Textiles, plastic wrap, rubbish bags, carpet padding, toothpaste, mouthwashes, and surface sprays.

    Triclosan, an antibacterial agent, is present in many of these items. These components have important medical uses but should only be used at home if required. Some bacteria may resist these antibacterial chemicals if they are overused in the house.

    Antibiotic Resistance Linked To Household Cleaners

    Evidence suggests that overusing antibiotics and the widespread use of disinfectants may increase the prevalence of germs resistant to both types of treatment. There are several factors to consider:

    • These cleaning products may not have enough antibacterial or antimicrobial agents to kill microorganisms.
    • Even though most germs will be killed by using an antibiotic or antimicrobial cleaner, a small number may be able to survive and even thrive. Antibiotic and disinfectant resistance is a real threat to these strains.
    • The spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria poses a threat not only in the community but also in healthcare facilities.

    Incorrect use of disinfectants is common. For instance, they are not combined as directed by the manufacturer.

    Triclosan and other antibacterials have been shown to penetrate the environment and accumulate, which can result in antibiotic resistance. 

    Natural Substitutes for Harmful Chemicals in Household Cleaners

    Liquid soap, Baking soda, and vinegar are alternative or less harmful cleaners. Since many materials are cheap, you could save money in the long run. They may, however, necessitate extra "elbow grease" or vigorous scrubbing.

    Not all DIY cleansers are completely harmless, even though many include safer materials like baking soda and vinegar. Use them with the same caution you would with any other cleaning product.


    By getting rid of germs, bacteria, and other contaminants from surfaces, cleaning products are very important for keeping people from getting sick. Antimicrobial or antibacterial substances can help stop the growth of germs, and regular cleaning helps keep you and your living space clean. Disinfecting surfaces is important for getting rid of germs that cause many illnesses, because even clean surfaces can hold bacteria.

    Cleaning is the first thing that needs to be done to get rid of germs and bugs in the house. Sanitising helps get rid of germs that are still there. Surfaces in the house should be cleaned often and after guests have been there, especially in homes where people are weak or have weak immune systems.

    To stop the spread of germs, clean hard surfaces like floors, countertops, light switches, and toys according to the manufacturer's directions. For washing, do as the manufacturer says. Get rid of the dirt by vacuuming up the mess. When you wash clothes, make sure you use the right soap and water temperature, let them dry, and then follow the care instructions for the surface. It is best to wash dirty clothes by hand after handling them.

    Use a cover that can be wiped clean on electronics to make cleaning and germ-killing easy. When cleaning, always follow the directions given by the maker.

    Sanitising is very important for keeping people healthy and safe, especially when you're working with bacteria and germs. To lower the amount of germs, spray cleaners or bleach solutions that have been diluted are used. Before you disinfect, you should clean the surfaces. After you clean, you should disinfect the surfaces and things that come into touch with food. You can kill germs and bacteria by disinfecting with bleach that has been watered down or an EPA-approved sanitising spray.

    It is important to clean surfaces well when cleaning so that germs don't get on dishes. To clean surfaces that don't absorb water, you can use hot soapy water. To clean surfaces inside sinks and other places, you can make your own bleach solution. When sick people or people whose immune systems aren't working well are around, disinfecting is even more important.

    To clean safely, you should use an EPA-approved disinfectant or a stronger bleach solution, wash the area with soap and water, and be sure to follow all safety rules. Chemical disinfectants need to have clear labels, be kept away from pets and children, and be used carefully.

    Detergents and soaps that kill bacteria are often found in home items like clothes, plastic wrap, and surface sprays. But using too many medicines and disinfectants may make germs more common that are not killed by either type of treatment. Some things to think about are the fact that cleaning products don't have any antibacterial or antimicrobial agents, that antibiotics and disinfectants might not work as well as they used to, and how antibiotic-resistant bacteria can spread in healthcare centres.

    Liquid soap, baking soda, and vinegar can be used instead of harmful chemicals in home cleaners, but they may need more work or a lot of scrubbing.

    Content Summary

    • Regular home cleaning curbs bacteria spread and maintains wellness.
    • Cleaning improves the overall health and well-being of households.
    • Sanitising is crucial when ill individuals reside in a home.
    • Cleaning products play a vital role in personal hygiene.
    • Microorganisms, a leading cause of ailments, can be curbed with regular handwashing.
    • Dirt removal hinders the growth environment for harmful germs.
    • Antimicrobial cleaning agents add an extra layer of defence against infections.
    • Antibacterial agents specifically target bacteria, while antimicrobial agents are broader in action.
    • Disinfectants and antibacterial cleaners are essential for eradicating harmful germs.
    • Common household areas, like kitchens and bathrooms, can be germ hotspots.
    • Avoid using contaminated cleaning sponges to prevent germ spread.
    • EPA-registered products ensure germ-killing efficacy.
    • Proper surface disinfection follows the manufacturer’s instructions.
    • Infectious diseases are often spread through hand contact.
    • Poor hygiene among food handlers is a leading cause of foodborne illnesses.
    • Bacteria can easily transfer between hands and inanimate objects.
    • Dry surfaces can harbour germs for several hours.
    • Kitchen dishcloths can host billions of germs.
    • Cleaning is the primary step in germ removal.
    • Cleaning with soap significantly reduces the risk of illness from touched surfaces.
    • High-touch surfaces, like doorknobs, should be cleaned frequently.
    • Cleaning frequency should increase in households with vulnerable members.
    • Ensure the appropriate cleaning product is used for each surface.
    • Clean household items like countertops and toys with the correct cleaning solution.
    • Ensure linens and fabrics are laundered at the recommended settings.
    • Device covers can aid in the easier cleaning of electronic items.
    • Sanitising further reduces bacterial count after cleaning.
    • Sanitising is especially crucial for baby equipment and toys.
    • Ensure all surfaces are sanitised using recommended products.
    • Daily sanitising might not be necessary if thorough cleaning is maintained.
    • Disinfection kills the majority of germs on a surface.
    • Disinfecting is paramount in households with sick individuals or those with compromised immune systems.
    • Ensure the proper bleach solution or EPA-approved disinfectant is used.
    • Reading product labels ensures safe and effective disinfection.
    • Ventilation is essential when using disinfectant products indoors.
    • Disinfectants should never be applied directly on the skin or ingested.
    • Hand washing post-disinfection is a mandatory step.
    • Choose disinfectants based on their properties and requirements.
    • Triclosan is a common ingredient in many antibacterial household items.
    • Overusing antibacterials at home might lead to resistant bacteria strains.
    • Incorrect use of disinfectants can lead to antibiotic resistance.
    • Antibiotic resistance has severe implications in healthcare facilities.
    • Overuse of triclosan can inadvertently contribute to antibiotic resistance in the environment.
    • Natural alternatives like vinegar and baking soda can replace harmful chemicals in cleaners.
    • DIY cleaners offer a cost-effective and safer cleaning option.
    • Not all DIY cleaners are entirely safe, use them with caution.
    • Cleaning, sanitising, and disinfecting each have distinct roles in maintaining hygiene.
    • Cleaning reduces the need for sanitising and disinfecting.
    • A clean home is essential for physical well-being and disease prevention.
    • The right cleaning products can make a significant difference in preventing the spread of illness.

    Frequently Asked Questions About Cleaning

    Yes, following product labels is essential to ensure you're using the product correctly and effectively, as different products have specific instructions.

    Some natural products can be effective, but their germ-killing capabilities may be less potent than commercial disinfectants. Read labels for specific details.

    Personal hygiene, such as frequent handwashing, complements the use of cleaning products by preventing the transfer of germs from person to person.

    Yes, improperly cleaning products, such as mixing chemicals or not ventilating the area, can lead to health hazards. Always follow safety guidelines.

    Open windows or doors for fresh air circulation when cleaning. Wear gloves, avoid direct contact with chemicals, and store them out of the reach of children.