What is the Difference Between Cleaning, Disinfection and Sterilisation !!
Cleaning is the process of achieving and maintaining an area to a standard deemed visually free from debris which can include dirt, food, faeces, blood, saliva and other body secretions. It is the removal of foreign material from areas and objects. Cleaning reduces amount of organic matter that contributes to the proliferation of bacteria and viruses. The actual process of cleaning is achieved with the use of aids such as cleaning tools and cleaning agents. Cleaning tools such as mops, vacuum cleaners, cloths, floor scrubbers are used to achieve a state of visual cleanliness.
Cleaning is a simple easy method using the two essential components of cleaning, namely, friction and the use of fluid. Friction through rubbing and scrubbing the soiled area and fluids generally water and a soap solution are the first stage of cleaning. Washing is one way of achieving physical cleanliness, usually with water and often some kind of soap or detergent.
Cleaning agents are substances which come in many forms but generally are liquids, powders, sprays, or granules. Some cleaning agents can kill bacteria and clean at the same time. Cleaning is important because it prevents the spread of dirt and contaminants to oneself and others. It is about removing dirt, including stains, dust, bad smells and clutter on surfaces.
Thorough cleaning is required before disinfection and sterilisation, because Inorganic and organic materials that remain on the surfaces of clinical instruments may interfere with the effectiveness of disinfection and sterilisation. The disinfection or sterilisation process will be less effective or ineffective, if soiled materials are left to dry or bake onto the clinical instruments.
Disinfection is the process or act of destroying pathogenic microorganisms and removes most organisms present on surfaces. Disinfectants are antimicrobial agents that are applied to non-living objects to destroy microorganisms that are living on the objects. Disinfectants work by destroying the cell wall of microbes or interfering with the metabolism.
Sterilisation is a term referring to any process that eliminates or kills all forms of life, including transmissible agents such as viruses, bacteria, fungi and spore forms.
Ways of Achieving Sterilisation
Sterilisation can be achieved by applying chemicals, high pressure, heat, irradiation, and filtration or a combination.