Cleaning & Disinfecting: Two steps to a safer home

According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control) recommendations, to reduce the risk of spreading infection in your home, you need to follow a simple two-step process—clean before you disinfect. This is especially true for kitchen and bathrooms, and heavily soiled surfaces. Viruses and other microorganisms can hide underneath dirt and organic materials where disinfectants can’t reach. Cleaning first removes germs, dirt, and other impurities from surfaces so disinfectants can adequately do its job.

According to the EPA (U.S. Environmental Protection), saving time using “all-in-one” antibacterial cleaners isn’t enough to disinfect unless you clean first—especially on high-touch surfaces and areas that may be heavily soiled with dirt, grime, or organic material.

Follow a simple 2-step process for the greatest protection against viruses and bacteria*
STEP ONE: Clean visibly dirty surfaces prior to disinfection. Note: Using “all-in-one” antibacterial cleaners isn’t enough to disinfect unless you first clean
STEP TWO: Disinfect using the appropriate product and following label directions. 


Disinfectants are NOT cleaners. So what is the difference?
Cleaning is done with water and a cleaning product, like CLR® Brilliant Bath. Cleaning does not kill germs, but it does remove germs, dirt, and other organic material where they hide by washing them down the drain. By removing germs, cleaning reduces their numbers and the risk of spreading infection. Disinfecting products are chemicals, also called antimicrobial pesticides. They work by killing germs on the surface and are regulated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as pesticides. To avoid adverse health effects, use sparingly only AFTER cleaning on high-touch or non-porous surfaces. (e.g., remote controls, doorknobs, light switches, faucets, toilets, hard-backed chairs, and appliance handles. Use all cleaners and disinfectants with caution and always follow the label instructions.


Would you mop before sweeping? Of course not.

The Benefits of Cleaning First*:

  • Breaks down germs, dirt, and impurities, removing them from the surface or object so the disinfectant can do its job. 
  • Cleaning has been shown to remove up to 98% of bacteria and 93% of viruses from surfaces using microfiber and water in tests published by the EPA. 
  • Removes the food and water that allow germs to survive and reproduce. Removes dust, molds, irritants, and allergens that can trigger asthma symptoms.
  • Lowers the risk of spreading infection by washing germs down the drain.
  • Removes dust, molds, irritants, and allergens that can trigger asthma symptoms.

Use safe, easy-to-use, and effective cleaning products 
Safely remove dirt, scale, grime, and build-up from a wide variety of surfaces with CLR® products. Many of the CLR® products are part of the EPA’s Safer Choice Program, recognizing the product as a safer alternative to traditional chemicals

For more information on cleaning and disinfecting your home, visit the CDC website.

* Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfecting”
** EPA.gov, “Green Cleaning, Sanitizing, and Disinfecting: A Curriculum for Early Care and Education

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