Two-Step Process

Two-Step Process

We have heard a lot about cleaning and disinfecting, but its important that you are doing the two-step process together.

The CDC defines each as the following:

  • Cleaning removes organic matter, salts, and visible soils, all of which interfere with microbial inactivation.
  • Disinfection destroys most pathogenic and other microorganisms by physical or chemical means.

The CDC also explains:

  • Cleaning does not necessarily kill germs, but by removing them, it lowers their numbers and the risk of spreading infection.
  • Disinfecting does not necessarily clean dirty surfaces or remove germs, but by killing germs on a surface after cleaning, it can further lower the risk of spreading infection.

The EPA offers a practical, three-step process for preparing spaces for reopening:

  1. Develop a plan
  2. Implement the plan
  3. Maintain and revise the plan


Make sure your staff is using an EPA List N approved disinfectant when cleaning for COVID-19.  A microfiber clothe is recommended and it is imperative that the disinfectant remain wet on a surface for the full duration of the dwell time or contact time indicated on the product label to ensure effectiveness against COVID-19.  Also, avoid over-using or stockpiling disinfectants or personal protective equipment (such as gloves). This can result in shortages of critical products needed for emergencies.


“Proper and effective cleaning and disinfecting are important to help prevent the spread of COVID-19,” said CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield. “As our nation re-opens, this guidance is critical to help Americans return as safely as possible to work, school, and other daily activities within their communities.”   The Food Standards Agency (FSA), serving England, Wales and Northern Ireland, claims “Chemical disinfectants only work if surfaces have been thoroughly cleaned first to remove grease and other dirt.”


Professional cleaners who use the two-step process of cleaning will help to ensure that building occupants are safer and healthier. By removing disease-causing pathogens and reducing employee absenteeism, they will also contribute to the bottom line of buildings and businesses they serve.


Just remember “C” comes before “D.”  Reach out to learn more or attend our free webinars or to schedule a Discovery meeting.