Know the Difference to Fight the Spread of Viruses

If slowing the spread of viruses and protecting yourself (and your employees) is a priority, then it’s extremely important to understand the differences between cleaning, disinfecting, and sanitizing your workplace.

To ensure we are communicating all appropriate measures and relaying thorough protocol, we have consulted with the United States Centers for Disease Control through their public resources and real-time updates.

Please be advised, these are recommendations for preventing the spread of viruses like the flu and the novel coronavirus (COVID-19):

1). The difference between cleaning, disinfecting, and sanitizing:

  • Cleaning removes germs, dirt, and impurities from surfaces or objects. Cleaning works by using soap (or a detergent) and water. This process does not kill germs but it does remove them and lowers their numbers. We recommend:

a) Husky 701 Multi-Purpose Cleaner
b) Husky 702 Neutral Damp Mop Cleaner

  • Disinfecting kills germs on surfaces and objects. Disinfecting works by using chemicals to kill germs on surfaces or objects. This process does not necessarily clean surfaces, as its goal is to kill germs and lower the risk of spreading infection. We recommend:

a) Husky 814 Tuberculocidal Spray Disinfectant

EDIT:  September 2020, our Canberra chemical 814Q is EPA certified to kill SARS-CoV-2 in 60 seconds.

b) Husky 891 Arena Disinfectant

  • Sanitizing lowers the number of germs on surfaces or objects to a safe level as judged by the health standards or requirements. It does not kill germs. We recommend:

a) Husky 803 Sanitizer
b) Husky 830 Sanitizer

Proper instructions for cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting can be found on the back label of most cleaning products, including Clorox wipes and Lysol spray.

2). Focus on High-Touch areas

  • Disinfect high-touch and high-use areas (i.e. bathrooms) daily.
  • Clean and sanitize acute areas or high-touch surfaces daily and weekly.
  • Immediately clean surfaces and objects that are visibly soiled and be sure to use personal protective equipment (i.e. gloves, masks) and immediately wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and warm water after cleaning soiled surface or object.

a) Remove the visibly soiled surface with soap and water to clean.
b) Disinfect to kill germs.

  • Match your routine cleaning and disinfecting with the need at-hand.

a) There is no need to add special cleaning routines in addition to the normal daily and weekly cleaning, disinfecting, and sanitizing regimen.
b) Follow CDC protocol, and react appropriately.

  • Clean and disinfect correctly.

a) Always follow label directions on cleaning products and disinfectants. Wash surfaces with a general household cleaner to remove germs. Rinse with water, and follow with an EPA-registered disinfectant to kill germs. Read the label to make sure it states that EPA has approved the product for effectiveness against influenza A virus.

b) If an EPA-registered disinfectant is not available, use a fresh chlorine bleach solution. To make and use the solution, follow these steps:

1) Add 1 tablespoon of bleach to 1 quart (4 cups) of water. For a larger supply of disinfectant, add ¼ cup of bleach to 1 gallon (16 cups) of water.
2) Apply the solution to the surface with a cloth.
3) Let it stand for 3 to 5 minutes.
4) Rinse the surface with clean water. If a surface is not visibly dirty, you can clean it with an EPA registered product that both cleans (removes germs) and disinfects (kills germs) instead. Be sure to read the label directions carefully, as there may be a separate procedure for using the product as a cleaner or as a disinfectant. Disinfection usually requires the product to remain on the surface for a certain period of time.

As with any virus spread, it is important that we educate one another and come-together on the facts in order to eliminate or slow the spread of germs and viruses. We can do this by focusing on non-pharmaceutical interventions approved by the CDC, such as staying home when you are sick, covering your mouth and nose with a tissue (then properly discarded) or in the sleeve-covered crook of your arm when you cough or sneeze, and effectively washing your hands.

We have posted daily reminders in high-touch areas for our employees and we are continuously updated by our procurement team on EPA registered products in and out of stock so that we may keep our own work areas as sanitized as possible and be as helpful to our customers, as possible. We are also proud to keep our customers informed on product availability and effectiveness.

Please refer to for any and all updates on this cold and flu season as well as the 2019 Novel Coronavirus outbreak. Please refer to this article for more facts and details on How to Clean and Disinfect (Schools) to Help Slow the Spread of Flu. We also recommend following a local industry leader in EPA approved disinfectants, Canberra Corporation.

At the time of this posting, please note that we are on allocations with our manufacturers and we are experiencing low to no stock levels of various sanitizing and disinfecting items. Please continue to communicate with your FriendsOffice Account Manager and Customer Care Associate to ensure up-to-date and accurate stocking information. All back orders will be filled as new stock comes available. 

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