Infection Control Nurse

How do I clean to remove germs?

This section will answer the following questions:
  1. What cleaning equipment do I need?
  2. What cleaning products do I need?
  3. What is the difference between cleaning and disinfecting?
  4. When do I clean?
  5. When do I disinfect?
  6. How do I select a disinfectant?
  7. Which disinfectants kill COVID-19
  8. Is there a faster way to both clean AND disinfect?
  9. What are the 5 principles of good cleaning?

Cleaning vs disinfecting – what is the difference?

Cleaning means reducing the number of germs on a surface by physically removing them. It doesn’t necessarily kill the germs but reduces their number thereby reducing the risk of infecting others. Anything labelled as a detergent will work for cleaning.

Disinfecting means using chemicals to kill germs. This process does not necessarily clean or remove germs but following cleaning can kill the germs, thereby reducing the risk of infecting others. It should be noted that not all disinfectants kill all germs – when in doubt use bleach and/or check the label of your product.


It is important to remember to clean BEFORE you disinfect to reduce the number of germs on a surface as this will allow the disinfectant to do its job. This means wiping everything over with hot soapy water, then following this by wiping everything over again with a disinfectant. Getting into good habits with regular cleaning paves the way for disinfecting. Safe Work Australia are mandating that we both clean AND disinfect during the COVID-19 pandemic.

There is a quicker way to both clean and disinfect at the same time – enrol in our course to learn more!

Enrol Now For The Full Infection Control Cleaning Course

Click the link below to setup create your account and access the full course material. Once you have completed the course, you will receive a certificate of completion and a certificate badge you can include on your website or share on social media profiles.

Course Duration: 90 minutes

Course Price: $95 (inc GST)

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