Key Takeaways

  • Cleaning refers to the physical removal and reduction of foreign (e.g., dust, soil, grease, oils) and organic (e.g., blood, body secretion, microorganisms) materials from a surface through the use of mechanical action, water, and detergents (PIDAC, 2018).   

  • Disinfecting refers to the process of deactivating and killing most microorganisms through the use of disinfectants (PIDAC, 2018). 

  • Products that contain disinfectants must include a drug identification number or DIN, which is regulated by Health Canada (PIDAC, 2018).

  • High-touch areas are surfaces that are frequently touched by healthcare providers and clients. It is essential to frequently clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces to prevent transmission of microorganisms. 

  • When cleaning remove visible soil before disinfecting, clean from high to low points and from dirty to dirtiest, and change wipes when they begin to dry out.


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Introduction to Infection Prevention and Control Practices for the Interprofessional Learner Copyright © by Michelle Hughes; Audrey Kenmir; Oona St-Amant; Caitlin Cosgrove; and Grace Sharpe is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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